The Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council (ANPC) was formed in 2010 in direct response to two EPA actions: 1) the attempted imposition of EPA-developed Clean Water Act (CWA) Numeric Nutrient Criteria (NNC) for Florida’s lakes and flowing waters; and 2) EPA’s Chesapeake Bay CWA Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) covering portions of six states in the watershed and the District of Columbia.
Since that work, ANPC has helped agriculture successfully engage on numerous issues important to farming, ranching, nutrients and water quality involving the policies and programming of the CWA and the Farm Bill’s Conservation Title, as well as other federal authorities. ANPC’s purpose was, and continues to be, helping agricultural trade associations and businesses quickly assemble outside legal, technical and policy expertise on federal matters related to nutrients and water quality.
Sound nutrient management to support profitable agricultural operations while reducing nutrient losses is a complicated business; there are no simple solutions, and the challenges vary from year to year and farm to farm. Farmers' and ranchers' leadership and problem-solving must be central to this work. ANPC has been consistently grounded in agriculture's commitment to nutrient stewardship to restore and protect water quality alongside a principled understanding of what is lawful and sound policy and the proper and effective roles of the federal government, state agencies and the private sector. It has also been based on a strong technical and scientific understanding of agriculture's use of nutrients, what can be expected from agriculture in term of reducing nutrient losses from farm fields, and how these processes should be modeled and monitored.
Over the last 12 years, ANPC has helped agriculture at the national and state levels submit numerous legal, technical and policy comments to federal and state agencies, as well as engaged in active education and policy advocacy efforts of various forms on those same matters. As a result, federal policy on nutrients and water quality, particularly as it relates to the CWA, has been changed substantially for the better.
Alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding, and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers, and lakes.
12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains, and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.