Press Statement
January 22, 2015

CBF: Sad Day for Maryland

(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), issued this statement following Governor Hogan's withdrawal Wednesday of the Phosphorus Management Tool and nitrogen oxides (NOx) reduction regulations:

"This is a sad day in the long fight to make Maryland waters clean enough for swimming and fishing. Governor Hogan's decision has hurt the rivers and streams on Maryland's Eastern Shore where 228,000 tons of excess manure will continue to be applied to farm fields each year, and to wash off into nearby creeks and river. The new governor rolled back 10 years of progress when he withdrew the Phosphorus Management Tool, a common sense, science-based solution to the manure crisis.

"Agriculture is the largest source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, and is also the cheapest to reduce by far. Many farmers deserve credit for their efforts to stem pollution from their barn yards and fields. But just as those who live in our cities and suburbs are doing more to clean the Bay, so must farmers.

"Businesses with technologies to help reduce phosphorus pollution from poultry manure are ready to come to Maryland and help ease the burden of excess manure. But these technologies  will only have a significant impact if farmers are required to not apply excessive amounts of phosphorus to their crops. Regulations create demand for problem-solving technologies that otherwise would languish.

Don't let Gov. Hogan backtrack on the Bay!"Additionally, by withdrawing regulations that would have reduced pollution from coal-fired power plants, Governor Hogan's decision also has put corporate interests above the people of Greater Baltimore. Nitrogen oxides are linked to ozone which can be harmful to children and sensitive adults. As a greenhouse gas, nitrogen oxides are 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Also, nitrogen from coal plants and vehicles adds millions of pounds of harmful pollution to the Bay each year. The power industry used the same hardship argument in 2006 when the legislature approved the Maryland Healthy Air Act. In the years afterwards, electricity prices dropped, and the industry prospered.

"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation welcomes the opportunity to work with the Administration to ensure farmers have the resources they need to implement the PMT, and all residents see cleaner water. But we can't compromise on science, or accept further delays on cleaning up Maryland's rivers, streams, and the Chesapeake Bay."

 

phosphorus pollution by source
Learn more about phosphorus levels in Maryland and the Phosphorus Management Tool.

 

Map showing industrial-scale chicken farms on Maryland's Eastern Shore. ProgressiveReform.org
Phosphorus levels on the Eastern Shore

This map from ProgressiveReform.org, which shows soil phosphorus levels on Eastern Shore fields on which farmers spread manure, illustrates why the phosphorus management tool is so desperately needed. Click to view a larger map on Progressive.org's website.

Read the entire statement: Why we need the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT)

 

 

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