Regulatory Brief

 Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy

Formal title: Docket Number [EPA-HQ-OA-2011-0798] Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy (Preliminary)

President Barack Obama established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (Task Force) on October 5, 2010 through Executive Order 13554 for the purpose of Coordinating the long-term conservation and restoration of America's Gulf Coast. Over the past year the Task Force has engaged with various stakeholders and the public as well as coordinated with other entities that the Task Force's important goals. Activities of the Task Force has led to the development of the Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy (Preliminary), which was released on October 5, 2011 for public review and feedback.

Brief Description:

The Task Force is an intergovernmental advisory body comprised of senior officials from 11 federal cabinet level agencies and the Executive Office of the President, and one representative from each of the five Gulf Coast states; Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The President charged the Task Force to work with state and federal agencies, tribes, communities, stakeholders and the public throughout the Gulf Coast to develop a Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Strategy.

AVMA Response:

The AVMA agrees with the Task Force's overarching vision to achieve a resilient, healthy Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem that supports the diverse economies, communities and cultures of the region.

The AVMA applauds the efforts by the Task Force to develop strategies that built upon existing efforts and for recognizing the current and planned advancements by many of the stakeholders for mitigating and preventing negative environmental impacts. The strategy proposes a science-based, collaborative, and integrative effort of multiple disciplines-working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment, which is the basis of the One Health concept. The AVMA supports and is a leader in One Health. The convergence of people, animals, and our environment has created a new dynamic in which the health of each group is inextricably interconnected.

The AVMA is impressed that the Task Force included promotion of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs), but disagrees with the Task Force attaching specific construction and fencing requirements in the Strategy. Regulations and practices pertaining to such need to be addressed at the State and Local levels and in consideration of many variables such as soil erosion factors, watershed contribution, species involved, stocking density, heard health programs, the presence or lack of public health concerns with the species, and secondary negative impacts (i.e. to wildlife, the environment, and the animals being raised). The CNMPs as well as other guidances such as the NRCS Agricultural Waste Management System (AWMS) address these variables and help producers with the needed remedies for their particular situations in accordance with Local, State, and Federal laws and regulations.

Background Documents: