Sunday 19 May 2019

Waterkeepers' Statements on Chicken House Moratorium

Waterkeepers Chesapeake was among several groups calling for a moratorium on new chicken houses on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in response to Environmental Integrity Project’s report released September 8, 2015, More Phosphorous, Less Monitoring. Waterkeepers Chesapeake and local Waterkeepers released statements:

Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director, Waterkeepers Chesapeake: "Until the poultry industry and the government bodies that regulate it can prove that our waterways, our tourism industry, and the blue crabs and wildlife that define who we are can be safe from any harms of an expanded poultry industry, we must stop the construction of new poultry operations on the Eastern Shore. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is calling on the state to immediately issue a moratorium on new poultry house construction.” Read full statement.

Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastkeeper, said: “The level of industrialization of our rural areas due to the intensity and density of these large scale animal feeding operations prompted residents in Somerset County, in 2014, to ask for a moratorium on all new poultry operations while imploring their elected officials to protect the health and safety of their communities through zoning changes and adoption of health ordinances. The Environmental Integrity Project’s report substantiates the concerns of these citizens that their rural communities are being industrialized without proper oversight, and a moratorium is needed until the situation can be brought under control.” Read full statement.

Timothy Junkin, Director of the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, said: “The Environmental Integrity Project report on phosphorus overloads highlights a profound and worsening pollution problem in Maryland, and particularly on the Eastern Shore.  New chicken houses should not be allowed until strict regulations are in place requiring new operators to dispose of their chicken waste in a way that does not add any phosphorus pollution to the Chesapeake or her tributaries.”