WASHINGTON – Approximately 50 agriculture groups, including the American Meat Institute, expressed their concern to the Senate in a letter regarding an effort to include S.1816, The Chesapeake Bay and Ecosystem Restoration Act in potential Lands, Waters and Wildlife omnibus legislation. The groups charged that “S.1816 would fundamentally alter the state-federal relationship within the watershed and enact unprecedented changes to the Clean Water Act.”

Included with the letter was a side-by-side comparison chart that explains the primary areas of concern and details how S.1816 would alter the Clean Water Act.

The groups also expressed concern that EPA has stated the bill will serve as a model regulation for other large US Watersheds and reminded the Senators that the farm sector has shown a strong commitment to environmental stewardship.

“The agriculture sector in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed has a strong history of being a responsible and proactive environmental steward, both through compliance with existing regulations and through implementation of voluntary conservation practices,” the letter notes. “We are all supportive of common-sense, cooperative approaches to solving water quality problems within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Unfortunately, this legislation falls far short of that approach.”