Sep. 27, 2018
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President and CEO Chris Jahn today urged the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to take action on legislation to fund research around harmful algal blooms (HABs).
In a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Jahn asked that the bipartisan H.R. 6645, the "Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 2018 (HABHRCA)," be brought to the House floor for a vote before the program expires on September 30.
"Whether it is a harmful algal bloom in the Western Lake Erie Basin, hypoxia and red tide in the Gulf of Mexico, or blue green algal blooms in Lake Okeechobee, there is one area upon which industry, environmental organizations, federal, state and local governments can all agree," said Jahn. "We must continue to invest in research to help predict, detect, monitor and respond to these events."
"While there are many factors that can contribute to the formation of HABs, including weather, water flow, wastewater, septic systems and stormwater runoff, the fertilizer industry recognizes that nutrients lost from fields can also play a role," Jahn continued.
"TFI and our members promote 4R Nutrient Stewardship, which is using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. 4R-based practices have proven effective in limiting nutrient loss to the environment, but we need Congress to reauthorize HABHRCA so that NOAA and their partners at EPA, USDA and other federal agencies, along with stakeholders, can continue their research in this critical area," said Jahn.
HABHRCA was first authorized in 1998 and has since been amended in 2004 and 2014 to ensure it is addressing the most critical areas of research. The current legislation would reauthorize this important research program for five years.
"The Senate passed their bill unanimously exactly one year ago today," said Jahn "It is time for the House to pass this commonsense legislation."