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Md. Agencies Oppose Bill To Stop Further Bay Regulations

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland agriculture and environmental officials are opposing a bill to prohibit additional bay restoration regulations on farmers until other states in the watershed catch up to their pollution reductions.

Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance appeared Tuesday before a Senate committee in Annapolis saying the bill would tie his department’s hands. Richard Eskin, director of the Department of the Environment’s Science Services Administration, says it will significantly damage the state’s ability to improve water quality and meet requirements under a new federally led bay restoration strategy.

Farmers turned out in support of the bill by Harford County Sen. Barry Glassman, noting they are ahead of schedule in reducing pollution. Representatives of environmental groups, meanwhile, said the bill could have significant impact on restoration efforts and force even steeper reductions by others.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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