House Agriculture Committee Passes Chesapeake Bay Legislation

Today, the House Agriculture Committee voted to pass The Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization and Improvement Act, H.R. 5509. The bi-partisan bill addresses water quality challenges in the Chesapeake Bay and establishes a workable nutrient trading program under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will provide incentives for producers to implement additional conservation practices on their land.

“We appreciate the committee’s work on this important piece of bipartisan legislation,” said Production Stewardship Action Team Board Liaison Jamey Jamison. “This bill uses a common sense approach to improving water quality while maintaining a strong farm economy.”

H.R. 5509 would also create a federal advisory committee to oversee the Chesapeake Bay program and to ensure scientific and fiscal accountability. Most importantly, the legislation provides for assurance standards that help hold growers harmless under the Clean Water Act when approved conservation plans are met. NCGA sent a letter earlier today to every member of the House Agriculture Committee urging them to support this legislation.

The bill now moves to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for further consideration. No additional action will be taken until after the August recess. A companion bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate.

Source : NCGA

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