|Photo by Neil Williamson (CC BY-SA 2.0)|
However, it is the counties who are responsible for their reducing all of their nutrient flows (including agriculture) below set targets or risk losing their federal funding for infrastructure. In other words, the counties have accountability, but no authority for the behavior of their agricultural sectors. It should be no surprise that they have to shoot beyond their targets in the other sectors in order to make up for the lack of progress by agriculture. (I only have data from St. Mary's County, but am assuming that this subversion of local authority has the same effect everywhere.)
Am I being unfair to the agristocracy? Don't I realize they are working hard to make sure I don't go to bed hungry? No. If anybody has been unfair to them, it's the drafters of the TMDL limits. If those limits are unrealistic or biased, they should be changed. Until then, I'm sticking with my view that Ag is too big to swale and follow other Best Management Practices (BMP's) in fulfillment of their responsibility to help clean up the Bay.