WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - A group known as "Concerned Citizens Against Industrial CAFOs" is still pushing to be heard in front of the Wicomico County Council regarding the proposed large poultry farm set to be built on North West Road just outside of Salisbury.
The group has organized meetings, spoke in the public comment section of county council meetings, and are now looking to be formally placed on the agenda. Group members tell WBOC they are not against the poultry industry, just against what the group says is a potentially harmful project.
"We understand we live in a rural community and we benefit greatly from farms, and mom and pop farms, and things of that nature. So we are not against the poultry industry itself. We are against the industrial-sized CAFOs," said group member Monica Brooks.
CAFOs, short for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, are also commonly known as factory farms.
A Virginia family wants to build 10 large chicken houses on the farm land at the corner of Naylor Mill Road and North West Road. However, the group of concerned neighbors wants the opportunity to present to the county council why they believe the project would be harmful. Also, the group wants to explain why similar projects should be put on hold while the right set of rules and regulations can be established.
However, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver said recently there are no immediate changes coming to the poultry industry in county. Culver said he is meeting with poultry companies and health department officials about the proposed project on North West Road and others, and until he has gathered all of the necessary information, no new laws or legislation is going to be proposed in the county.
Members of the concerned group believe some changes are needed now to protect the future.
"We are trying to prevent the paleochannel, which is a significant fresh water source of excellent water, from being contaminated. Not only now, but in the future," said member Rick Green,
The proposed poultry farm sits on top of the area's paleochannel.
County Executive Bob Culver said he has invited the secretaries from the Maryland Departments of the Environment, Agriculture, and Health and Mental Hygiene to Wicomico County to share facts and answer questions from concerned citizens. There is no date yet for when such a meeting would take place.