Sunday 23 September 2018

Hogan administration eyes relaxing Maryland farm pollution regulation

Dairy farmers, wastewater agencies seek easing of winter ban on spreading nutrient-rich wastes on fields

The only objection voiced at the meeting to the changes came from the audience. Jeffrey H. Horstman, executive director of the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, said that the rule had been compromised enough. In 2012, he said, environmentally oriented lawmakers introduced the manure restrictions as legislation, and the department and farmers pushed instead for regulation to increase flexibility. Then, he said, the farmers received four more years to comply.

“I’m not sure if this is a compromise, a rollback, or a (reneging) on the deal,” Horstman said. “A unilateral rollback of this regulation would be detrimental. And a lot of people have gone out and met these regulations. So, don’t (renege) on the deal. I know it’s not all about making it easy for farmers. It’s also about protecting our environment.”

READ MORE: Bay Journal, July 6, 2016