FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2015
Contact: Dawn Stoltzfus, The Hatcher Group, (410) 562-5655 cell
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition (MCAC) today released a statement about a new report showing Maryland continues to over-apply manure while at the same time reducing water quality monitoring on the Eastern Shore:
“Today’s report released by the Environmental Integrity Project is further proof of the excessive phosphorus pollution from agriculture that is harming our waters. The problem is not only that there is over-applying of manure, but also the deep level of cuts to water quality monitoring federal funding that helps us accurately measure the health of our waterways.
“In October 2014, MCAC submitted public comments to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) questioning whether the state should continue to permit more large-scale animal feeding operations due to the continued rise of phosphorus pollution into our waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
“We support the call for a moratorium on new animal feeding operations in Maryland until there is full implementation of the Phosphorus Management Tool.
“The agriculture industry acknowledges we have too much manure on the Delmarva peninsula, and one of their major questions is what will we do with all the excess manure? Given this problem, why is Maryland permitting more chicken houses, which will generate more manure? The cumulative impacts of tons more manure from additional chicken houses into a system already unable to manage the existing levels of manure is unsustainable.
“For the sake of our tourism industry, our fishermen, clean water and our public health, we also urge the federal government to immediately restore funding for water quality monitoring. To not do so at a time when there is a rapid increase of the number of chicken houses on the Eastern Shore and there is already an overabundance of phosphorus pollution in our waters is unacceptable.”
The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition is working to improve Maryland waterways and protect public health by reducing pollution, and increasing transparency and accountability, from agriculture and other associated sources of water degradation.
Its partners include: Anacostia Riverkeeper, Audubon Naturalist Society, Assateague Coastal Trust, Blue Water Baltimore, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Clean Water Action, Environment Maryland, Environmental Integrity Project, Gunpowder Riverkeeper, League of Women Voters of Maryland, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Potomac Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Maryland Chapter, South River Federation, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, West/Rhode RiverkeeperDownload this press release (PDF)