Poll: Residents of Chesapeake Bay watershed don’t trust federal micro-management


According to a Morning Consult poll sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Chesapeake Bay residents prefer state and local governments to federal regulators when it comes to protecting local water resources and regulating land use.

The poll sought opinions from Chesapeake Bay watershed voters on a range of issues related to the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a first-of-its-kind federal water pollution “diet” for the Bay watershed that claims more federal regulatory power over local water and land use than ever before.

Among the poll’s findings, it observed that only 14% of respondents believe the federal government should be primarily responsible for regulating how people use land and produce food, versus 36% in favor of state governments and 41% for local governments. Only 18% of respondents believe the federal government should be primarily responsible for ensuring the quality of local rivers, lakes, and streams, versus 48% in favor of state governments and 26% for local governments.

The polling was conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters. More results and information on the polling can be found here.

Pacific Legal Foundation, of course, agrees with the people of the Chesapeake Bay watershed that the federal government needs less—not more—of a role in regulating the land use, industries, and everyday lives of local communities.

That’s why PLF filed a brief supporting the Farm Bureau’s petition asking the Supreme Court to hear their case and strike down the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. That’s also why we’re challenging the open-ended, over-broad “waters of the United States” rule that threatens to extend EPA’s and the Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Act jurisdiction from navigable rivers and lakes further than ever before up into non-navigable ponds, puddles, and dry land.

While the Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on either the TMDL or “waters of the United States” rule, the people of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, at least, have made their opinions clear: they don’t want federal regulators in their backyards, telling them what to do with their private property.