Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Newly-elected Maryland governor vows to fight farm runoff regulations in Chesapeake Bay

Newly-elected Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said his first order of business when he takes over office in January is to fight new farm pollution regulations intended to limit runoff in the Chesapeake Bay, Timothy B. Wheeler reports for The Baltimore Sun.
Hogan indicated at the Maryland Farm Bureau's annual convention that he planned to slow down or stop the controversial rules Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration proposed last month, Wheeler writes. "The rules, which could take effect just before Hogan takes office Jan. 21, would curtail Shore farmers' widespread use of poultry manure as fertilizer." (Chesapeake Bay Executive Order graphic: Phosphorus in Chesapeake Bay )

Hogan told supporters, "The first fight will be against these politically motivated, midnight-hour phosphorus management tool regulations that the outgoing administration is trying to force upon you in these closing days.We won't allow them to put you out of business, destroy your way of life or decimate your entire industry."

Proposed rules "would limit how much phosphorus-rich fertilizer farmers can spread on their fields," Wheeler writes. "Many croplands on the lower Shore, the heart of the state's poultry industry, are saturated with phosphorus from repeated use of chicken manure to raise corn, soybeans and other crops. Levels of phosphorus, one of the pollutants responsible for the bay's fish-suffocating 'dead zone,' are rising in Shore rivers that drain farm fields." (Read more)

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