Maryland has withdrawn a permit for a large organic chicken farm in Cecil County after its neighbors appealed the decision, saying it would leave manure-laden runoff unchecked.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