(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost issued this statement following passage in the House Environmental Matters Committee of SB 1029, "The Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program." The bill, which already passed the Senate, could be voted on as early as today:
"We can't wait 12 years to be sure farmers are reducing pollution. This bill would start getting farmers to meet strict water quality standards now, and to verify those results.
"Currently, individual farmers aren't required to meet specific pollution standards established in the regional plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Without this bill, farmers might not have to meet those rigorous standards until 2025.
"Farmers support this bill because it provides a win-win for everyone. Under the legislation, a farmer who voluntarily demonstrates his farm meets the highest current water quality standards gets some flexibility when he implements potential new regulations. It's like a student volunteering to take a test when none is normally required, because he wants his accomplishments recognized."