MEDIA STATEMENT ON REPORTS OF GOVERNOR HOGAN
STOPPING LONG-DELAYED PHOSPHORUS RULES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2015

Contact: Dawn Stoltzfus, The Hatcher Group, (410) 562-5655 cell

 

Coalition Says Governor’s First Act on Bay Worrisome

(Annapolis, MD) – The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition released the following statement in response to reports that newly elected Governor Hogan has stopped the Phosphorus Management Tool from becoming law by pulling regulations from the Maryland Register:

We’re deeply disappointed about reports that Governor Hogan has blocked one of the biggest tools to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local waters in more than 30 years.

Governor Hogan had the opportunity to move forward a long-delayed tool to reduce pollution from manure. Instead, he stopped the regulation to implement the Phosphorus Management Tool, adding another chapter to the history of ping-pong politics and capitulation to the agricultural industry.

Governor Hogan has sent a very worrisome signal indeed. Just hours after being sworn in as Maryland’s governor, reports say he has turned his back on clean water and sound science. He has ignored Maryland’s leading agriculture scientists, who have been working on updating this tool for more than ten years and who have repeatedly stated how its adoption is needed, now.

Phosphorus pollution from manure is getting worse, not better in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland rivers. The Governor’s action is a threat to the health of Maryland families and to our economy that depends on clean water.

 

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The Phosphorus Management Tool would reduce pollution by halting the excessive uses of manure on farm fields already contaminated with too much phosphorus. Phosphorus pollution causes algae blooms that threaten public health; kill underwater grasses; harm aquatic life like blue crabs, oysters and fish; and create an enormous “dead zone” in the Bay.

Maryland’s 2010 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) committed the state to updating the Phosphorus Management Tool in 2011. According to the Chesapeake Bay Program,
Maryland’s agriculture sector is just 51 percent of the way toward meeting its 2017 goal to reduce phosphorus.

Agriculture is the single largest source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland waterways, and more than half of Maryland’s phosphorus pollution comes from farms with failed manure management systems.

View the infographic “How Manure is Contaminating Maryland Waters & the Chesapeake Bay” as well as a fact sheet for more information about the Phosphorus Management Tool.

 

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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.

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 – Maryland Pesticide Network Education Fund – National Wildlife Federation, Mid-Atlantic Regional Center – Potomac Riverkeeper – Sierra Club, Maryland Chapter – South River Federation – Waterkeepers Chesapeake – West/Rhode Riverkeeper

Download this press release (PDF)