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Farm Bureau Federation To Sue EPA Over Bay Cleanup Plan

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Nutrients brought to the Chesapeake Bay from runoff promotes algae growth and can kill off other species.
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Nutrients brought to the Chesapeake Bay from runoff promotes algae growth and can kill off other species.

The American Farm Bureau Federation has said it will file a lawsuit challenging the EPA's authority to pursue its Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan.

The dispute is over whether the EPA can -- as it has begun to do -- require states to comply with strict limits on the amount of runoff that can flow into the Chesapeake Bay, something it calls a pollution diet.

In an annual gathering, Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman said that diet "threatens to starve agriculture out of the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed" and likened it to a bureaucratic power-grab based on uncertain science.

This is part of a larger and ongoing fight over the historically slow efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation filed and settled a lawsuit against the EPA two years ago for not doing enough to clean up the bay. The group accuses the farm bureau of misrepresenting the facts and says agricultural interests have consistently been taken into account, arguing that many farmers have already voluntarily implementing basic conservation practices.

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