Polluted Runoff from Agricultural Lands

Our Waterkeepers are working to reduce agricultural pollution in the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay and coastal watersheds. As the largest source of pollution, reducing agricultural pollution is essential to meeting the pollution reduction goals of the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan (TMDL).

Our priorities are:

Pushing for greater transparency and accountability for the agricultural industry.

Insisting that states improve regulation of industrial factory farms known as CAFOs.

Keeping excess poultry manure from polluting our waterways.

Building a fair and just food system through our Fair Farms campaign, a movement of Marylanders of all stripes, working together for a new food system — one that’s fair to farmers, invests in homegrown, healthy food, and restores our waterways instead of polluting them.


Latest Posts

Opening Briefs Filed in EPA Lawsuit on Slaughterhouse Regulations

Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice on August 3 filed the opening brief in our challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s final agency decision not to revise the effluent limitation guidelines for slaughterhouses and associated effluent limitations and not to publish pretreatment standards to control pollution discharges into the nation’s waters under the … Read more

Pipeline Development on Maryland’s Eastern Shore Could Lead to Expansion of Industrial Poultry Facilities

Communities fighting against pipelines want sustainable agriculture and clean energy (Berlin, MD) Chesapeake Utilities is proposing to bring fracked gas from Delaware across the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and Eastern Correctional Institution (ECI) in Somerset County. The Del-Mar Pipeline would supply industrial poultry facilities, businesses, and residential … Read more

Webinar: Supporting Sustainable Farmers During a Pandemic & Beyond

The coronavirus pandemic has shined a light on the precarious nature of industrial agriculture and how the few companies dominating this sector often leave out contract farmers and essential workers at all levels of the supply chain. A resilient, equitable local and regional food system is more important than ever. This crisis offers us an … Read more

Court Allows Slaughterhouse Pollution Lawsuit to Move Forward

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled on Wednesday that a lawsuit can proceed challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to update national standards to control water pollution from slaughterhouses. Wednesday’s decision, in a lawsuit filed by community and conservation groups late last year, deferred for later consideration an argument by the … Read more

Poultry Industry Ammonia Air Pollution Adds More Nitrogen to Chesapeake Bay than all MD or PA Sewage Plants

Fatter Birds and Lack of Emissions Controls Contribute 12 Million Pounds of Nitrogen to Bay Annually FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 (Earth Day) Press contact: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, (443) 510-2574 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org Washington, D.C. — A new study concludes that ammonia air pollution from the Chesapeake region poultry industry contributes about … Read more

Fair Farms Campaign 2020 Legislative Wins!

Fair Farms blog. In order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Maryland General Assembly decided to adjourn a few weeks early, on March 18th. We’re thankful that our elected officials acted quickly to protect public health, while also accomplishing a tremendous amount in a short period of time. Thanks to their steadfastness, and … Read more

Fair Farms Campaign 2020 Legislative Priorities

With a new year comes new priorities for the Fair Farms campaign to focus on in the Maryland state legislature. We hope that you will be an involved participant in the legislative process this session. Write and call your legislators, submit testimony, and support bills by talking with family and friends and encouraging them to … Read more

Public Interest Groups Sue EPA to Curb Slaughterhouse Pollution

EPA’s Decision Not to Update Pollution Standards Allows Slaughterhouses to Continue Discharging Unhealthy Amounts of Pollution into the Nation’s Waterways EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 10 am, Wednesday, December 18, 2019 Media contacts: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, (443) 510-2574 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org Nydia Gutierrez, Earthjustice, (212) 284-8030 or ngutierrez@earthjustice.org Washington, D.C.— Eleven conservation and community groups, representing … Read more

Act Now! Protect Communities from Pollution from Chicken Manure!

In Maryland, there are hundreds of large industrial poultry operations, sometimes called factory farms. Regulators call them concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs. Every five years, the state permit for these operations comes up for renewal. We need your help to submit comments on this permit by December 27, 2019. The Maryland General Permit for … Read more

Bay Cleanup Activists Praise Vote to Move Ahead with Poultry Manure Pollution Rules

MDA Committee Votes Against Proposed Delay for “Phosphorus Management Tool” Sought by Farmers Annapolis, Md. – A Maryland advisory committee voted today to recommend that Governor Hogan’s Administration move ahead with poultry manure regulations meant to stop the over-application of chicken litter to farm fields and reduce pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of … Read more