|Action||Develop requirements that will address concerns regarding transfer and off-site management of poultry waste in the Commonwealth.|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/21/2009|
To: Jeff Kelble
From: Mark Myers
I have been boating, fishing and observing nature on the Shenandoah and Potomac watersheds since moving to Virginia in 1983. The fish kills and general decline of the Shenandoah over the past four or five years have been very distressing to me. Here I am not just talking about the decline of the fishing but the overall quality of life in and around the river. Two weeks ago I floated the North Fork of the Shenandoah above Covered Bridge with two friends and we saw first-hand that even that far up in the watershed, the river is not healthy. Aside from seeing several dead fish, we saw numerous live fish with lesions and in poor health. Pictures of that trip have been forwarded to you by others in the party. To see such a wonderful resource in such ecological distress is truly heartbreaking for someone who loves rivers; but even for those who do not enjoy using the resource directly, there must be an understanding that sick rivers are indicative of a larger problem that will affect everyone in the long run.
When you see a rivers system decline so abruptly you have to look for causes. The loophole in the 1999 legislation that you cite in your white paper, and the resulting unregulated application of such large quantities of poultry litter so close to the river, is clearly a major factor. Let's face it: poultry litter has the same effect whether it is left in piles by the growers who produce it, or applied to fields by farmers down the road in the same watershed. Your proposal to bring these secondary users under the same regulation as the originators of the litter makes sense and follows the spirit of the original regulations. I wholeheartedly support your proposal and would like to be kept informed of discussions that take place with state legislators and others in a position to advance the spirit of the proposal. Please let me know if I can express my support directly to anyone in particular, and of course I want to know of any instance where my vote can have an effect as well.
12128 Quorn Lane
Reston, VA 20191