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NEWS
June 8, 2012
Contrary to the views of one reader ("Maryland fertilizer regs leave a bad odor," June 7), proposed regulations recently submitted to the Maryland Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review are not about "demonizing manure. " These regulations, worked on by stakeholders for more than a year, attempt to reduce the use of any organic source of nutrients - including wastewater sludge and processing waters, as well as manures - in ways and at times where it is more likely to impact surface and ground waters.
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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | July 27, 2014
The project seemed simple enough - build a waste-to-energy plant on the Eastern Shore fueled by poultry manure, keeping it from flushing into and polluting the bay, while creating green jobs and boosting Maryland's fledgling renewable energy industry But 18 months after it was heralded by Gov. Martin O'Malley, the $75 million project has been stymied after prospective sites and a potential partnership fell through. Now state officials are weighing giving Green Planet Power Solutions, the California-based company chosen to build the 13.4-megawatt plant, a nearly $35 million subsidy on top of what the state previously agreed to pay for its power.
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NEWS
June 30, 2010
The Maryland Farm Bureau balks at environmentalists' efforts to classify manure as a pollutant. They say that farmers value the manure as a resource and use it in lieu of chemically enhanced fertilizer. The simple fact remains that when too much manure is applied on land, it can become a significant source of phosphorus pollution that's killing local streams, creeks and the bay itself. Up to a certain point, manure can indeed be a helpful resource. But once the soil is saturated, no more manure should be applied.
NEWS
By Bob Gallagher and Joanna Diamond | June 17, 2014
It's not easy telling the next governor of Maryland that he or she needs to start thinking right now about manure, but the winner of this fall's election won't have any time to waste. Toxic algal blooms and intersex fish are two examples of the threat the agriculture industry poses. We like to think of our farms as open space and natural operations that provide the food we need. But without proper pollution controls, not all 21st century farms are environmentally benign. Unfortunately, that threat is well documented in Maryland.
NEWS
November 22, 2013
Reducing runoff from over application of manure is not just about preventing algal blooms and dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay ("Farm pollution rule withdrawn," Nov. 18). High levels of nitrogen and phosphorous, antibiotic resistant bacteria and animal drug residues in ground water pose a risk to human health. This is especially important on the Eastern Shore where a higher proportion of residents rely on water from private wells, which are not monitored by government agencies. Research by the U.S. Geological Survey has shown that surface and ground water quality in the Delmarva region is highly impacted by the disposal of 42 million cubic feet of manure from the 523 million chickens grown there each year (numbers according to a Delmarva Poultry Industry 2009 Fact Sheet)
BUSINESS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2010
Supermarket shoppers in Maryland can't miss the signature blue-and-gold Perdue label on chicken and turkey in the meat section. The Salisbury-based company is the nation's third-largest seller of poultry. That makes it a prime target of environmentalists, who contend "Big Chicken" is fouling the Chesapeake Bay by not taking care of the animal waste produced by the flocks raised for it on thousands of farms across the Delmarva Peninsula. But in supermarkets with garden sections, consumers are likely to run across another product with links to Perdue, one that even environmentalists like — organic fertilizer, made with manure from some of the fowl grown for Perdue and other companies.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2012
Maryland and other Chesapeake Bay states struggling to clean up the degraded estuary should do more to encourage projects that convert farm animal manure to energy, a new report says. The report released Thursday by the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative advisory body, suggests more than a dozen policy changes aimed at boosting development of manure-based energy projects. One proposal, for example, would require utilities to purchase a certain amount of such power, as they must now from solar and wind facilities.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | October 22, 2012
It was arguably Ronald Reagan's favorite joke. In one version, two kids -- one an optimist, the other a pessimist -- rush downstairs on Christmas morning. The pessimistic kid gets a new bike and weeps that he'll probably break it soon. The optimistic kid is presented with an enormous pile of manure and squeals with delight: "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!" In fact, the joke took on a life of its own in the Reagan White House. Whenever bad news came in, someone would remark, "There's got to be a pony in there somewhere.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | May 25, 2012
Autopsies showed that deaths of a father and his two teenage sons found in a Kent County manure pit Thursday were accidental. Maryland State Police said Glen W. Nolt, 48, Kelvin R. Nolt, 18, and Cleason S. Nolt, 14, all of Peach Bottom, Pa., died of suffocation during a farming accident. Their bodies were recovered from a pond of liquid manure at Centerdel Farm, a 200-acre dairy farm in the 12000 block of Vansant Corner Road in Kennedyville. Multiple injuries contributed to Cleason Nolt's death, police said.
FEATURES
By MIKE KLINGAMAN | April 10, 1994
I'm going grocery shopping for my garden. It may take severa trips; I'm running low on staples. The potting shed is bare of basics like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium -- the agricultural equivalent of bread, milk and toilet paper.My soil is hungry, and I must feed it.This is no easy task. Certainly it is more arduous than a trip to the grocery store. When I shop for myself, I take coupons and checkbook. When I shop for the garden, I take pitchfork and pickup.When the garden's tummy starts growling, I don't go to the farmer's market.
NEWS
March 14, 2014
I was appalled to read Tim Wheeler 's report on efforts to reduce farm pollution ( "Senators seek to stall pollution regulations," March 10). University of Maryland scientists say we already have far too much manure on many fields. So why are we putting off decreasing excess manure? It makes no sense. The article refers to "nutrients" and "inventory," but let's be clear what that means: Billions of pounds of manure are choking the life out of the Chesapeake Bay. I had a good laugh when I read that the economic impact study referred to in the article will be done by the "Franklin Perdue School of Business.
NEWS
By Bill Satterfield | March 14, 2014
In a commentary published March 6 in The Baltimore Sun, Why is O'Malley giving poultry polluters a free ride?, the authors, both of the Food & Water Watch organization, claim that the chicken companies operating on Maryland's Eastern Shore are the "bay's biggest polluters" and that they are getting a free ride on the backs of the taxpayers. Also, they claim that chicken manure, a heavily regulated and locally produced organic fertilizer, is the cause of "massive pollution" of the Chesapeake Bay. The facts speak otherwise.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2014
Key senators have put language in the state budget bill that would stall Maryland's efforts to limit one of the Chesapeake Bay's main pollutants, phosphorus. The amendment by the Budget & Taxation Committee would prohibit the state from issuing new regulations on phosphorus, pending the results of an economic impact study. And when that is done, the committee would have 45 days for review and to recommend further action. Sen. James N. Mathias Jr., an Eastern Shore Democrat who sought the budget restriction, says he wants to shield the state's farmers and the poultry industry from potentially very costly and disruptive regulations.
NEWS
February 23, 2014
Once again, Gov. Martin O'Malley has tried to show that he can be a player on the national stage and a potential presidential candidate. At a recent "Taste of Maryland" dinner, Mr. O'Malley tried to show Republican voters that he can move to the right by evoking memories of President George H.W. Bush's "read my lips" promise not to raise taxes and by threatening to veto the Poultry Fair Share Act, which would require large poultry producers to help...
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2014
I recently purchased several truck loads of composted horse manure for my garden. Why are there so many rocks in it? The rocks didn't come from the horse. Ideally, the company that supplied the manure should be familiar with how it was composted. Big composting productions use large machinery to turn the manure as it composts to keep it properly aerated; sometimes this is done on a macadam or gravel surface and rocks can get mixed in. If the amount is objectionable, voice your dissatisfaction with the supplier.
NEWS
By Rena Steinzor | December 26, 2013
If you own a car in Maryland, you know the experience. Every two years, you get a light brown envelope from the Motor Vehicle Administration with a bill for your automobile registration fee - $77.50 per year as of July, and more if your vehicle weighs two tons or more. Nobody particularly likes paying registration fees, but we do it. And somewhere in the back of our minds we recognize, grudgingly perhaps, that like driver's license renewal fees, registration fees help offset the cost of making sure vehicles on Maryland's roads are safe, that their polluting emissions are within acceptable limits, and that the people who drive them are licensed to do so. So far as I know, there's no way I could to get the MVA to waive my registration fee. If I want to drive my car, I have to pay. Fair enough.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | July 27, 2014
The project seemed simple enough - build a waste-to-energy plant on the Eastern Shore fueled by poultry manure, keeping it from flushing into and polluting the bay, while creating green jobs and boosting Maryland's fledgling renewable energy industry But 18 months after it was heralded by Gov. Martin O'Malley, the $75 million project has been stymied after prospective sites and a potential partnership fell through. Now state officials are weighing giving Green Planet Power Solutions, the California-based company chosen to build the 13.4-megawatt plant, a nearly $35 million subsidy on top of what the state previously agreed to pay for its power.
NEWS
By Gerald W. Winegrad | December 15, 2013
Thirty years ago, the governors in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; the mayor of D.C.; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator signed the first Chesapeake Bay Agreement, solemnly pledging to stem the flow of pollutants and bring the bay into compliance with the Clean Water Act. As a state senator, I optimistically witnessed this event and thought the job would be done in a decade. But today - after more detailed pledges to reduce nutrients, sediment and toxic chemicals - we are still far from meeting these commitments.
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