National Ag Groups Sound Alarm Over EPA’s Florida Water Mandates

Wheat farmers in Kansas, dairy farmers in Wisconsin, and corn farmers in Iowa, along with millions of employers and employees who rely on a strong agricultural industry for prosperity, all have reason to be deeply concerned by the EPA’s implementation of draconian water mandates in Florida. That’s the word from national agriculture leaders. In a letter sent to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, 36 leading national agriculture groups expressed concern about the new EPA mandates for numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) in Florida’s waters.

If enacted, these mandates would establish a template of how NNC could be structured nationwide and would result in economic harm for the regulated community, for the economy as a whole and for the public sector that must develop and administer the NNC.

In the letter, the organizations urge the EPA to:

  • Delay further NNC policymaking until it has engaged with all relevant stakeholders in a thorough and transparent review of the strategic direction  of NNC policies.
  • Revisit and update the 1998 “National Strategy for the Development of Regional Nutrient Criteria” (National Strategy).
  • Not finish the NNC for Florida’s lakes and streams this fall and instead work on those in concert with the NNC that EPA is planning to finalize in August 2012 for all other Florida waters – and in the process answer the numerous and significant scientific, economic and policy questions about these NNC in an open and transparent manner.
  • Reject policymaking by settlement agreement, with its inherent opaqueness and the distrust that creates.

The first set of EPA mandates is scheduled to take affect in Florida on Oct. 15. If that occurs, the new mandates will have an immediate, chilling impact on Florida’s economy, because the federal mandates will be the “law of the land” in Florida. Every water discharge permit that comes up for renewal will be subject to the new federal mandates, and EPA regulators will consider water bodies that do not meet the new federal mandates to be impaired.

“The Florida Department of Agriculture estimates that the total initial cost for agricultural producers to comply with the NNC for lakes, rivers, and streams to be between $855 million to $3.069 billion, and the subsequent annual compliance costs to be $902 Million to $1.605 billion. As a result, they estimate that the size of the Florida economy will be reduced by $1.148 billion a year and that 14,545 full and part-time jobs would be lost,” cited the agricultural leaders in the letter.

In addition to concerns about the heavy economic burden the EPA water mandates will place on Florida’s agricultural community, there are also significant questions regarding the scientific validity of the new mandates.

The letter goes on to say, “In the case of Florida, there are significant questions about the statistical, modeling and biological science used by EPA. By EPA’s own admission in the proposed rulemaking, there is no scientifically established correlation between these proposed NNC and the desired biological conditions in these waters. In general, we believe there is a serious lack of rigorous, generally accepted science that justifies the particular methods EPA adopted to generate these NNC in Florida.”
Source: Ron Sachs Communications

 

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
Citrus
November 14, 2017
USDA Announces Grants to Promote IPM Practices
Methyl bromide transition, crop protection management among programs funded. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
November 13, 2017
Biostimulants Making Big Strides as It Seeks Organization
The inaugural BiocontrolsSM USA East Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL, featured two days of educational sessions focused on how Read More
Biocontrols Conference
November 13, 2017
So What Exactly Are Biostimulants, Anyway?
Biostimulants are one of the hottest new topics in specialty crops, but most growers could use a little clarity on where they fit. Here are the basics you need to know. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
November 13, 2017
Microbial-based Biostimulants: Big Potential in Small Packages
There is no shortage of interest in or questions and opinions about biostimulants. Many are working to develop them as Read More
Citrus fruit drop from Hurricane Irma as seen during Biocontrols East 2017 tour
Citrus
November 9, 2017
Forecasters Subtract another Slice from Florida Citrus
USDA’s second stab at the season thins orange crop by another 7%; would be lowest output in more than 70 years. Read More
Citrus
November 7, 2017
New Tool Helps Growers Improve Phosphorus Efficiency
Technology newly available to specialty crop growers provides economic and environmental benefits. Read More
Citrus
November 7, 2017
Comments Sought in Ag Water Component of FSMA
Growers and other interested parties are encouraged by United Fresh to weigh in on agricultural water requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act. Read More
Sun-and-moon
Citrus
November 7, 2017
Study: Circadian Clock in Plants May Boost Water Efficiency
The Texas A&M team that won a 2017 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine on circadian rhythm at a molecular level turn their attention to plants. Read More
Citrus stew courtesy of Irma
Citrus
November 6, 2017
South Florida Wringing out From Record-Setting Wet Season
Tropical torrents, along with a persistent precipitation pattern, helps break 70-year high-water mark. Read More
Citrus
November 2, 2017
Field Scouting Guide: Yellow Nutsedge
Follow these tips to identify and manage this wily weed. Read More
Citrus
November 1, 2017
Produce Industry Leaders Concerned About H-2C Amendments
It’s been a long time since significant immigration reform that will help American growers has passed Congress. The most promising Read More
Joseph Lowell Loadholtz
Citrus
October 30, 2017
Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Makes Room for Four More
Outstanding lifetime achievers in the state’s farming sector join elite list of honorees. Read More
Citrus
October 25, 2017
After a Delay, H-2C Is Getting a Committee Review
The Ag Worker Act must make it past the Judiciary Committee to have a chance of making it to the House floor. Read More
Immokalee< FL, Farm and Grove aerial view
Business Planning
October 25, 2017
Matchmaking Made Easy for Land Owners and Seekers
New website provides revenue potential for property holders. Read More
Benny McLean talks Tamarixia wasps during Biocontrols East 2017 tour
Biocontrols Conference
October 23, 2017
Biocontrol Gains Traction in the East
Biological control — whether you’re talking about biochemicals, microbial products, beneficials, or even the relatively new category of biostimulants — Read More
The Latest
Citrus
November 17, 2017
Alico Overhaul to Cut Citrus Production …
Company restructuring aims to integrate legacy businesses and reduce input costs significantly. Read More
Citrus
November 17, 2017
Sustainable Farming Projects in Florida …
St. Johns River Water Management District grants backing to 12 on-farm plans aimed at resource conservation and nutrient reduction. Read More
Citrus
November 17, 2017
Florida Citrus Tree Rehab in Full Swing …
With Hurricane Irma well in the rear view, growers and researchers hope to work groves back to a productive state as HLB rages on. Read More
Citrus
November 14, 2017
USDA Announces Grants to Promote IPM Pra…
Methyl bromide transition, crop protection management among programs funded. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
November 13, 2017
Biostimulants Making Big Strides as It S…
The inaugural BiocontrolsSM USA East Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL, featured two days of educational sessions focused on how Read More
Biocontrols Conference
November 13, 2017
So What Exactly Are Biostimulants, Anywa…
Biostimulants are one of the hottest new topics in specialty crops, but most growers could use a little clarity on where they fit. Here are the basics you need to know. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
November 13, 2017
Microbial-based Biostimulants: Big Poten…
There is no shortage of interest in or questions and opinions about biostimulants. Many are working to develop them as Read More
Citrus
November 9, 2017
Forecasters Subtract another Slice from …
USDA’s second stab at the season thins orange crop by another 7%; would be lowest output in more than 70 years. Read More
Citrus
November 7, 2017
New Tool Helps Growers Improve Phosphoru…
Technology newly available to specialty crop growers provides economic and environmental benefits. Read More
Citrus
November 7, 2017
Comments Sought in Ag Water Component of…
Growers and other interested parties are encouraged by United Fresh to weigh in on agricultural water requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act. Read More
Citrus
November 7, 2017
Study: Circadian Clock in Plants May Boo…
The Texas A&M team that won a 2017 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine on circadian rhythm at a molecular level turn their attention to plants. Read More
Citrus
November 6, 2017
South Florida Wringing out From Record-S…
Tropical torrents, along with a persistent precipitation pattern, helps break 70-year high-water mark. Read More
Citrus
November 2, 2017
Field Scouting Guide: Yellow Nutsedge
Follow these tips to identify and manage this wily weed. Read More
Citrus
November 1, 2017
Produce Industry Leaders Concerned About…
It’s been a long time since significant immigration reform that will help American growers has passed Congress. The most promising Read More
Citrus
October 30, 2017
Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Makes …
Outstanding lifetime achievers in the state’s farming sector join elite list of honorees. Read More
Citrus
October 25, 2017
After a Delay, H-2C Is Getting a Committ…
The Ag Worker Act must make it past the Judiciary Committee to have a chance of making it to the House floor. Read More
Business Planning
October 25, 2017
Matchmaking Made Easy for Land Owners an…
New website provides revenue potential for property holders. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
October 23, 2017
Biocontrol Gains Traction in the East
Biological control — whether you’re talking about biochemicals, microbial products, beneficials, or even the relatively new category of biostimulants — Read More