(Posted Fri. May 11th, 2012)
Mar. 11: The National Corn Growers Association joined the American Farm Bureau Federation, The Fertilizer Institute, National Pork Producers Council and other farm groups this week to file a motion to intervene in the Gulf Restoration Network v. EPA lawsuit. More than a dozen environmental groups are seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency to establish strict water quality standards for nutrient runoff for all states in the Mississippi River Basin. With the amount of corn produced throughout the massive watershed, the outcome of this court case could have a profound impact on many of NCGA’s members.
“For the past two years, NCGA has warned that a regulatory framework similar to the Chesapeake Bay would be devastating to agricultural production in the Midwest,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “We are one court case away from that becoming a reality, which is why our organization decided to intervene.”
The Gulf Restoration Network lawsuit alleges that the EPA violated both the Clean Water Act and Administrative Procedures Act by not adequately responding to their 2008 petition to establish Total Maximum Daily Loads for nitrogen and phosphorus for the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The petition also states that Numeric Nutrient Criteria should be create for the 31 states in the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf. If this lawsuit is successful, EPA would be forced to institute TMDLs and NNCs throughout the watershed.