Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. Pens Letter To Governor O'Malley - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. Pens Letter To Governor O'Malley Over PMT

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CAMBRIDGE, Md.- A letter has been sent straight to the top in Maryland. One week after the phosphorus management tool report was released, the Delmarva Poultry Industry has written a letter to Governor Martin O'Malley.  DPI is asking the governor not to promulgate the regulation.

Executive director Bill Satterfield sent the letter Thursday, Nov. 13. In it DPI Inc. reiterates that farmers are at leaset 130 % ahead of their clean up the bay plan.  They say there has been no comparison showing just how effective the tool will be compared to work done to clean up wastewater treatment plants and the like.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation though says the tool is based on 10 years of research, and if the tool is not implemented, the state will miss the deadline on it's Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, which calls for a 48 percent reduction in phosphorous by 2025.

Farmers say more time needs to be taken.


"What I would like to see done is more science.  Right now it was the cheapest study the Department of Ag could get done, the University could get done for the Phosphorous Management Tool.  We need to slow the train down." said Charles Wright of Mardela Springs.

Governor O'Malley's office sent the following response in response to our request for comment:

"We just received the letter and upon review, we will provide a response."

The office offered for background that they plan to meet with leaders from the farming community next week.

The full letter from Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. is below:

"Dear Governor O'Malley,

I am writing to you on behalf of Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., the 1,800-member trade association for the Maryland Eastern Shore chicken industry, to urge you NOT to move forward on promulgating a Phosphorus Management Tool regulation.

If Maryland farmers were not making progress with their state-determined goals of preventing the movement of nutrients to the Chesapeake Bay, yet another regulatory requirement might be in order. But the state's farmers are making progress The Chesapeake Bay water quality improvement milestones show that Maryland agriculture is at 130% of where it needs to be at this time. Once the Chesapeake Bay Model is recalculated in 2017 to use more accurate data, we believe it will show that Maryland farms are even further ahead than what is being shown now with the model's incomplete, out-of-date, and inaccurate data.

While you and the state of Maryland have included implementation of a Phosphorus Management Tool regulation in the state's Watershed Implementation Plan, at the strong instance of EPA, according to Secretary of Agriculture Hance, there are no data indicating how much less phosphorus will enter the bay through the use of the tool. Additionally, there are no data showing how the costs of preventing phosphorus movement to the bay through the use of this tool compares on a per-pound or per-ton basis compared to other practices, such as septic system, wastewater treatment plants, or stormwater management upgrades.

The economic analysis completed by Dr. Memo Diriker at Salisbury University shows there will be millions of dollars of expenses for the state's farmers, but no indication of the off-setting environmental benefits. And those increased farmer costs could be even higher if some of the farm cost-share practices you and your government have supported disappear because of budget considerations.

Governor, our farmers are making progress ahead of schedule as shown by the most recent analysis from the Chesapeake Bay Program office. But as reported by the U.S. Geological Survey, water quality improvements due to better on-the-farm practices might not show up for years because of the slow movement of sub-surface water. Let's allow the results of these earlier practices to show results before adding on another layer of mandates.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,

Bill Satterfield
Executive Director"

 

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