WASHINGTON (EPA) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson traveled to Lititz, Pa., August 3 where she toured a local dairy farm and held a roundtable discussion with local farmers and leaders. She was joined by Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Brubaker and EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin.
Jackson’s visit to Lititz is part of President Obama’s administration-wide commitment to an economically strong and healthy rural America. EPA is working closely with rural communities to protect air and water quality and the health of their residents. Jackson has recently travelled to rural areas in central California and northwestern Iowa to highlight sustainable farming practices and innovative farming techniques.
"In recent years Warwick Township and Lancaster County as a whole have served as models for conserving natural resources and building sustainable rural communities. We're here to talk with the area farmers, business owners and local leaders about how we work together to strengthen their environment, their health and their economy," said Jackson. "The livelihoods of the people here depend on clean air, safe sources of water and healthy lands. Hearing directly from farmers and the people who work with them about common-sense solutions is essential to ensuring the viability of farming operations and protecting soil and water quality."
Jackson visited Jeff Balmer, owner of a 60-head dairy farm that is using a variety of best management practices to protect water quality in the community and further downstream, while making the farm more efficient. The administrator also participated in a roundtable discussion with Brubaker and other local farmers and leaders where they discussed the common goal of clean and healthy water. The administrator pledged to continue communicating directly with farmers and other stakeholders in communities like Lititz to protect the water all Americans rely on as parties work together to ensure the success and health of rural communities.
The town of Lititz is part of Pennsylvania’s Warwick Township, an area that was recognized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as Conservationist of the Year last year due to efforts to protect water quality in their community. The township continues to be very active in working with the farming community to protect ground water supplies and has undertaken steam restoration projects.