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 River Basin.
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 IFB.
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 aquatic population.
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]