Friday 24 November 2017

Press Statements (59)

 Advocates Say New Rule to Limit Manure Represents Biggest Opportunity for Clean Water in 30 Years (Annapolis, MD) – A Salisbury University economic study shows a new rule to better manage manure would be comparable to, or cost less than, other Chesapeake Bay pollution-reduction efforts, said a coalition of nonprofit organizations working to reduce pollution and increase transparency from agriculture. The study provided an overall cost estimate for the agricultural industry to implement the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) using a phased-in approach, which advocates say shows the new rule is workable. The science-based PMT would reduce pollution by limiting manure applied to farm fields already contaminated with excess phosphorus levels. The rule would improve water quality, protect public health reduce harmful algae blooms. “Phosphorus pollution from manure is getting worse, not better in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland waterways. If this continues, Maryland will jeopardize the decades of progress we’ve made to clean up our waters,” said Joanna Diamond of Environment Maryland. Experts say the new manure rule is one of the biggest opportunities to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local waters in more than 30 years. “It is past time to stop studying this issue and time to start acting,” said Bob Gallagher, of West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc. “Rarely can a single initiative achieve such huge pollution reductions in one fell swoop. The new phosphorus rule, like the phosphorus detergent ban of the 1980s, is one of those opportunities to really make a difference.” When compared to other pollution…
The state must make an important decision about how to regulate manure generated by large poultry and dairy farms that pollute the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland waters. Manure waste, like sewage and toxic air emissions, is regulated because it causes harm by contaminating our water. The reality is that our pollution-reduction practices have not done enough and phosphorus pollution — of which more than 50 percent comes from manure — is rising. Maryland’s animal farms produce an enormous amount of poultry waste, enough to fill M&T Bank Stadium two times annually. It is all Marylanders’ responsibility to ensure manure does not harm our beautiful rivers, streams, drinking water and the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment, jointly with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, holds the regulatory responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen. Today, the department is considering renewal of the permit that governs Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. As with other permits and regulations that seek to protect the environment and public health, this commonsense permit is under threat by strong special interest groups. The Department of the Environment states the CAFO permit is required to protect water quality. With layer after layer of manure being spread on fields already oversaturated with phosphorus pollution, the state needs the strongest permit possible. The latest data provided by farmers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state Department of the Environment, compiled by the Environmental Integrity Project, shows manure from poultry farms on the Eastern Shore is being overapplied to…
Lots of people are talking about the Conowingo Dam lately. Political rhetoric and misinformation is flowing faster than the Susquehanna River in flood stage. Our coalition has developed a new website to share the facts about the Susquehanna River, the Conowingo Dam, and the federal relicensing process currently under way. Please visit ConowingoDam.org -- your new credible source for information on this important issue.   Our coalition is Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Waterkeepers Chesapeake and American Rivers. Let us know if you would like to join this effort. Contact chris(at)thehatchergroup.com.