Tuesday 26 September 2017

“For a period of time, the river would be out of compliance with the state’s own water quality standards,” said Pat Calvert, Upper Riverkeeper for the James River Association. “Our concern is that human life and aquatic life are not protected by the discharges that would be coming out of the end of the pipe.”

"We believe it can be reduced to zero, what comes out of the end of the pipe," said Calvert. "The technology is there to fix it. It’s affordable, achievable, proven technology. They’re supposed to be using best available technology, and we’re asking the state require that."

READ MORE: NBC12.com, Febraury 25, 2016

All that feces being produced saturates the Eastern Shore with phosphorus and nitrogen, said Betsy Nicholas, executive director of the organization Waterkeepers Chesapeake.

“A little bit of chicken manure can be great. You can use it as a fertilizer,” she said. “But when you have too much, it runs off into our waterways, causing excess pollution.” Nicholas said the pollution can kill fish, create algae blooms, and even affect the waterways that provide drinking water to the Baltimore and Washington metro areas. The new bill would require the companies that own the birds to clean up the waste in an environmentally friendly way.

READ MORE: WYPR 88.1 FM, February 23, 2016

Virginia environmentalists and fishermen protested the state's approval, saying water from the ash ponds might be unhealthy for humans and detrimental to wildlife.

"All the concerns we raised were basically ignored," said Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper for the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, a watchdog environmental group. The riverkeeper and Prince William County's Board of Supervisors also have appealed the state's decision.

READ MORE: Baltimore Sun, February 16, 2016