Farm Group Opposes New EPA Water Rules

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    CHESAPEAKE BEACH, MD - AUGUST 03: Donnie Eastridge aboard the commercial crabbing boat "Foxy Roxy" pulls in a crab pot full of Blue Crabs and a few Sea Nettles (jellyfish) on the Chesapeake Bay August 3, 2005 in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. The Maryland Blue Crab has been in decline in recent years but crabber Bobby Abner of Abner's Crab House says this year the crabbing has been better than recent years. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    The nation's largest farm lobbying group says a federal plan meant to keep pollution from running into the Chesapeake Bay could ruin agriculture in the area.

    American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said Sunday that his group is preparing a lawsuit over plans announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, which he says threaten to ``starve agriculture'' out of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

    Speaking at a national Farm Bureau convention, Stallman said farmers support clean water. But he said state governments, not the EPA, should decide how to regulate farming practices.

    EPA officials outlined the restoration plan last month. Farm and urban runoff, air pollution and sewer overflows have left the 200-mile-long bay with oxygen-depleted ``dead zones.''