Illinois Farm Bureau files motion to intervene in Mississippi River
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[May 12, 2012]
BLOOMINGTON -- The Illinois Farm
Bureau, in addition to the American Farm Bureau Federation, 14 other
state Farm Bureau organizations, and 16 other national and regional
agricultural organizations, filed a motion Tuesday seeking to
intervene in a lawsuit that could further complicate farmers'
ability to manage their farms.
Gulf Restoration Network, et al. v. Jackson, which seeks to
force the Environmental Protection Agency to override existing
state water-quality standards with federal standards expressed
as numeric limits on nutrients, could lead to more costly and
stringent limits on nutrient runoff in the 31-state Mississippi
"Any court order requiring EPA to issue new
numeric standards and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) would
directly affect the livelihood and productive capabilities of
Farm Bureau members by increasing the costs associated with
developing and implementing nutrient management plans," said IFB
President Philip Nelson in a declaration submitted on behalf of
Currently, the Clean Water Act stipulates that states may use
either narrative or numeric standards as a method for
determining water quality. Along the Mississippi River Basin,
most states employ narrative standards, which state that no
nutrients may occur at levels that cause a harmful imbalance of
To help ensure that water quality is maintained, Illinois
farmers work with state agencies and organizations to manage
nutrient runoff, Nelson said.
"Illinois Farm Bureau's member farms implement nutrient
management plans to comply with the requirements of their point
source permits," Nelson said.
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"Illinois Farm Bureau livestock or poultry member farms that do not
hold permits for point source discharges nonetheless implement
nutrient management plans pursuant to state laws to limit runoff.
Along with the Farm Bureau, member farms in Illinois that produce
only row crops work closely with the University of Illinois to help
ensure that fertilizer is applied in a manner that maximizes
production while minimizing nutrient losses."
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a
member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national
organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a
nonprofit, membership organization controlled by farmers who join
through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more
than 420,500 and a voting membership of 82,973. IFB represents 2 out
of 3 Illinois farmers.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Farm Bureau]