Poultry Farmers Fined Over Issues with Annual Report - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Poultry Farmers Fined Over Issues with Annual Report

WILLARDS, Md.- The Maryland Department of the Environment recently fined 104 farms across the state for failure to submit or properly complete an annual report that provides details on how the environment is being protected from chicken waste.

Lee Richardson is a fifth-generation poultry and grain farmer, and a day in his shoes is not easy.

"Between the chickens and the grain, we stay pretty busy from sunup to sundown," he said.

Richardson is one of three people, including his father, who care for more than 100,000 chickens on his farm. Every year, farmers like Richardson are required to submit an Annual Implementation Report, or A.I.R. The nutrient management plan details the amount of generated chicken waste and how farmers are storing it.

“We have manure sheds that protect it[the environment],” Richardson said. “We have concrete pads under the chicken houses to protect the environment. Of course, you've got the trees that are planted on the outside too.”

Richardson said he did everything he needed when the time came to report his efforts, but he still received a letter of violation due to an error with paperwork.

“What I missed was that I was suppose to attach the actual sheet [manure analysis lab report] that had this information on it, so it was like a duplicate. I didn't realize it," he said.

He said the A.I.R. can be difficult to complete, and the requirements can be tough to keep up with.

" It's a lot of paperwork over different times, and you've got people that know nothing about a farm making these reports," he said.

The Maryland Department of the Environment sent violations to 89 farmers, who were fined $250, for submitting incomplete reports, according to Jay Apperson, a spokesperson for the department. He said 15 farmers received $500 fines for failure to submit a report at all.

“I'm kind of shocked that it was that many fines levied and that many out of compliance,” Richardson said. “ Of course, I thought about my own non-compliance, and thought well, if everybody did the same thing I did, it makes a high number.”

The next report is due March 1, 2014.
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