Responding to a report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), groups representing Maryland poultry farmers say restoration goals for the Chesapeake Bay are being met ahead of schedule.
The EIP assessment of a decade’s worth of data concluded that no improvement had occurred and said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may be overestimating reductions in farm pollution.
But Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. (DPI) and the Maryland Farm Bureau called the EIP report flawed propaganda in a long rebuttal that addresses its contentions point by point.
They note EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program office found that Maryland finished 2012-13 ahead of schedule with reductions exceeded by more than 3.5 million pounds for nitrogen, by nearly 147,000 pounds for phosphorus and by nearly 90 million pounds for sediment. The progress puts Maryland farmers on track to reach 2017 and 2025 EPA goals, the groups said.
The limited monitoring results included in the EIP study show that even after a decade of continued urban sprawl in the watershed, phosphorus levels have not increased. This definitely indicates success of the efforts that are underway.
DPI and the farm bureau agreed with EIP on one point, that the EPA’s model for assessing the bay uses outdated data and needs to be fixed.