September 26, 2011
AG Industry Report Found to be Fatally Flawed
Independent assessments validate Chesapeake Bay Model and Bay pollution diet
Two new independent scientific assessments shot down an earlier report from the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council (ANPC) that challenged the validity of the Chesapeake Bay Model's calculation of the amount of pollution agriculture contributes to the Bay. Both assesments agreed that the ANPC analyses has "poor scientific merit and promote[s] a false set of criteria by which to judge the suitability of the CBP watershed model for use in the TMDL implementation process."
(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Two independent scientific assessments of a recent report issued by the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council (ANPC) have determined that the report was fatally flawed, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) said today.
The assessments were conducted by an independent panel of scientists convened by the Chesapeake Bay Program's Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), and by modeling expert Lawrence Band, of the University of North Carolina, at the request of CBF.
"The ANPC report was but one part of a coordinated attempt by national agribusiness lobbying groups to block implementation the Chesapeake Bay pollution diet and to delay efforts to clean up the region's rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay," said CBF Senior Water Quality Scientist Dr. Beth McGee. "It was an effort to mislead the public, the farm community, and Congress, using flawed science."
The ANPC report (prepared by a company called LimnoTech) compared the Chesapeake Bay Model used to develop the Bay pollution diet to a model created by the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service. The report alleged that there were significant differences between the two models over the amount of pollution from agriculture, and said that the Bay pollution diet should be delayed until the differences in the models were resolved.
In a July 2011 press release concerning the ANPC report, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said, "It is clear to us that the EPA's TMDL water regulations are based on flawed information."
The new scientific analyses found that that allegation was not accurate. In fact, while the models are different, and include different data, both models were largely in agreement. Both reviews found the ANPC report lacking the scientific justification for delaying implementation of the pollution diet.
In the executive summary to its report, the STAC independent panel said, "The committee concludes that the LimnoTech analyses have poor scientific merit and promote a false set of criteria by which to judge the suitability of the CBP watershed model for use in the TMDL implementation process."
"It is my hope that these independent reports confirming the scientific validity of the Bay model will allow us to focus on what is important: that we all move forward aggressively to achieve the pollution reductions necessary to clean up our local waters and the Bay," McGee said. "Reducing pollution will create jobs, benefit local economies, and improve the quality of life for our children and grandchildren."