Thursday 22 February 2018

Press Statements (61)

Advocates say burden of excess manure disposal should not be on small farmers, taxpayers (Annapolis, MD) Waterkeepers Chesapeake and several local Waterkeepers are amoung a broad coalition of environmental groups that are banding together during the 2016 Maryland General Assembly to support legislation requiring poultry companies to take responsibility for the manure their chickens produce. Excess manure can saturate farm fields and pollutes local creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay if not handled properly. The legislation will seek to protect Maryland farmers and taxpayers from costs that should be borne by the large poultry companies. Legislation set to be introduced in the coming days will require poultry companies to remove and properly dispose of all poultry litter for which a chicken grower does not have state-approved plans. Agriculture is the single, largest source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland waterways. About 44 percent of the nitrogen and 57 percent of the phosphorus polluting the Bay comes from farms, and much of that comes from animal manure. But dollar for dollar, reducing pollution to the Chesapeake Bay from farms is far cheaper than reducing it from any other source: sewage plants, stormwater systems and septic systems. The issue is urgent. The amount of excess chicken manure in Maryland could soon be even greater. Large industrial farms are expanding – including 200 new poultry houses now permitted for construction on the Delmarva Peninsula. This includes about 70 in Somerset County, with Wicomico and Worcester counties also experiencing considerable new growth.…
Fair Farms campaign showcases sustainable farmers who “farm against the grain.” Annapolis, Md. (December 9, 2015) - A network of nonprofit organizations, farmers, consumers and businesses publicly launched a new campaign today, seeking to reform a Maryland food system that they say lacks adequate fairness, transparency and accountability. Participants say the Fair Farms campaign seeks to invest in homegrown, healthy food while restoring local waterways. Supporters are working to showcase successful models of sustainable farming and call consumers to action regarding existing practices that jeopardize clean water, soil quality and public health. "At Grand View Farm, we set out to prove that wholesome food can be produced in a way that regenerates the land, respects nature and the needs of the animals and reestablishes a lost visceral connection between consumers and their food," said Nick Bailey of Grand View Farm in Forest Hill, Maryland. "We should all strive to be part of a food system that enables the consumer to participate and make responsible decisions based on that connection." Fair Farms has a Farmer Advisory Council, made up of 12 farmers, that provides feedback and guidance on campaign goals, objectives, strategies and opportunities to support the sustainable farming community. More than 40 green businesses, community nonprofits and sustainable farms have signed on as partners to the campaign. "This campaign is not about environmentalists versus farmers," said Betsy Nicholas, executive director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. "Fair Farms is about working together to reform a food system that is out of balance. We shouldn't be…
Groups Urge Court to Reverse Approval of Cove Point LNG Export Facility Federal regulator approved construction of massive $3.8 billion liquefied natural gas export facility on the Chesapeake Bay without considering all environmental and safety impacts (Washington, DC)  Several groups have filed arguments against the continued construction of the Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on the Chesapeake Bay at Lusby, Maryland. In September 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized the controversial LNG export facility despite widespread criticism of FERC’s Environmental Assessment (EA) for Dominion Cove Point. Since that time, Dominion has been constructing the massive $3.8 billion facility on the Chesapeake Bay. Groups and residents across the Bay region say that FERC’s decision fails to address the LNG export facility’s role in speeding fracking across the region, polluting the Bay, worsening the climate crisis, and threatening the health and safety of nearby residents in Calvert County. On Friday, November 20, 2015, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Potomac Riverkeeper, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and several local groups represented by the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center filed an amicus brief in support of petitioners EarthReports, Inc., et al.’s challenge to FERC’s decision to license Dominion’s LNG export facility. They argue that FERC’s EA is impermissibly narrow in geographic scope and ignores significant project-related environmental impacts. “We are happy to finally to get our day in court despite the fact that the construction of the LNG export facility has continued unabated. For far too long, FERC and our public officials…