The following is a statement from Congressman Bob Goodlatte, upon passage of his amendment to the Continuing Resolution which restricts the Environmental Protection Agency's implementation of their Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). TMDL sets the limit on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment discharged into the Chesapeake Bay and each of its tributaries by different types of sources. Unfortunately, the heavy-handed limits that the EPA is proposing for the Bay are overly aggressive, one-size-fits-all mandates from Washington, D.C. that overturn state rules and give more power to federal bureaucrats. These limits will have far-reaching consequences for everyone who lives, works, and farms in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Goodlatte Amendment passed by a vote of 230-195.
"For the past two years we have seen the Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) take overzealous action in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. These actions have been taken without a cost benefit analysis to determine the overall cost of these mandates or event whether or not they will benefit the Bay. EPA has proposed arbitrary limits on the amounts of nutrients that can enter the Chesapeake Bay, and how these nutrients enter the Bay. At the same time EPA is seeking to expand their regulatory authority by seizing authority granted to the states and converting the Bay Cleanup efforts to a process that is a top down approach with mandatory regulations. These overzealous regulations will affect everyone who lives, works, and farms in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and the cost of complying with these requirements will be devastating during our current economic downturn, result in many billions of dollars in economic losses to states, cities and towns, farms and other businesses large and small. The EPA's approach is far from the best approach to restore the Chesapeake Bay. I believe that each individual state, and the localities in each state, know better how to manage a state's water quality goals than the bureaucrats at the EPA.
Passage of my amendment tonight is an important step in stopping the EPA's regulatory power grab. It does not cut off funding for on-the-ground restoration activities. It will not stop work that is going on in the states, or the voluntary programs managed by federal agencies that work with those in that state or on the ground to restore water quality. Those programs have been established outside of the TMDL, and have been going on before the TMDL was established."