The Chesapeake Clean Water Act wending its way through Congress has many farmers in the bay’s watershed concerned about undue regulatory pressures and potential negative economic impacts. The Virginia Farm Bureau has taken a stand against the legislation for those reasons.

According to a report in the Staunton News Leader, the act seeks to set a cap on "nutrients" — nitrogen and phosphorus — and sediment runoff as well as other sources of pollution in each of the states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It would also require states to submit implementation plans for approval by the EPA, allow the EPA to evaluate the implementation and penalize states for non-compliance with the hope of restoring the watershed by 2025.

The legislation also includes a plan for water quality credits, creating a cap-and-trade market for water quality.

Source: Staunton News Leader