NANFA-- Bush puts hold on "dead zone" plan

Christopher Scharpf (
Fri, 02 Feb 2001 08:56:43 -0400

Within hours of taking office, U.S. President George W. Bush ordered a
moratorium on the publication of any more rules in the Federal Register from the
Clinton Administration. The new administration intends to review each and every
one of the last administrations final rulemaking efforts before allowing them to
proceed. Actions caught up in this moratorium which could affect fish include
new restrictions on arsenic in water, regulations on sewage outfalls,
regulations on pollution from commercial feed lots, a two-year mining claim
moratorium for the Siskiyou area in southern Oregon intended to protect salmon
runs and the Clinton Administration's moratorium on new road building and
logging in wilderness areas.

Among the actions caught in the rule hold was also the Clinton Administration's
announced long term plan for reducing the size of the "dead zone" in the Gulf of
Mexico. The final plan, released last month by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), called for improvement through a series of specific, practical,
and cost-effective voluntary actions and incentives for farmers. The "dead zone"
is caused when excessive nitrogen pollutants from fertilizer and animal wastes
increase growth of algae. To meet this goal, Clinton's plan called for increases
in financial and technical assistance for landowners implementing conservation
measures and the development of new partnerships to reduce polluted runoff into
the basin.

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