Hold 'Big Chicken' accountable

May 18, 2010

Tough limits on animal waste runoff are a vital part of clean up plans for the Chesapeake Bay and a positive step toward restoring the country's largest estuary ( "Promises, Promises," May 16). But it's Big Chicken that should be held legally and financially responsible for the waste their animals create, not the farmers who raise the chickens, and not just taxpayers either. Perdue, for example, makes billions of dollars a year from slowly choking the life out of the Chesapeake Bay, yet taxpayers and small farmers contracting with Perdue carry the financial burden.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and the EPA will craft a plan for limiting Maryland's pollution by the end of this year. Will Big Chicken continue to get away with shirking responsibility for the waste created by the chickens they own and they profit from? This taxpayer's suggestion: it's time for Big Chicken to own their waste. Perdue and Tyson can afford to help farmers prevent runoff, and that's exactly what Governor O'Malley and the EPA should require.

Jenny Levin, Baltimore

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