Bay Journal

Topics: Pollution

Manure management questions stall plans for MD poultry farm

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Maryland has withdrawn a permit for a large organic chicken farm in Cecil County after its neighbors appealed the decision, saying it would leave manure-laden runoff unchecked.

The Maryland Department of the Environment notified Zion Acres Poultry in June that the permit won’t be approved without more detailed information about how the company will stop polluted stormwater runoff from entering groundwater and nearby streams.

The Cecil decision represents a rare victory for Maryland activists who oppose poultry operations that they see as too big to safely contain the farms’ air and water emissions. And it deals a blow to agribusiness companies that have sought in recent years to marry organic practices with increasingly industrialized farm footprints.

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Anacostia River gets its first passing grade

Decades of work to improve the health of the Anacostia River are beginning to pay off, according to a report released Wednesday by the Anacostia Watershed Society. The river earned a “D-minus” on its annual report card, its...


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About Pollution

Nutrient pollution, the nitrogen and phosphorus that originates from farms, wastewater treatment plants, stormwater runoff and air pollution, is a major source of pollution to the Chesapeake. In the Bay, they spur growth of algae blooms which block sunlight needed by important underwater grass beds. When the algae dies, they are decomposed in a process that depletes the water of oxygen needed by other species.

Sediment eroded from the land and streambanks degrades stream health and reduces water clarity. Toxins and other chemical contaminants also pose a direct threat to fish throughout the Bay and its watershed.

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