|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|
707 Boston Ave.
Takoma Park, MD 20912
RE: Comments on proposed amendments to the VPA General Permit for Poultry Waste Management (9VAC25-630)
Dear Ms. Betsy Bowles,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to the VPA General Permit for Poultry Waste Management (9VAC25-630). Poultry waste has been identified as a major contributor to nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, significantly contributing to algae blooms, which deprive the Bay of oxygen critical to sustaining healthy fish and crab populations. Low fish and crab population have put many watermen out of business, and have depressed many towns along the Bay, that were once thriving when the Bay was in better health.
In order to revitalize the local economy in regions around the Bay in Virginia, and the entire Delmarva Region, it is absolutely critical that the Poultry Industry prevent chicken waste from entering into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Just as the Clean Water Act has greatly reduced the amount of human waste that enters American's waters untreated, we must not renew our efforts to ensure the Poultry waste does not enter America's waters untreated.
The burden of treating chicken waste should not fall on local growers, who do not even own the chickens, but somehow have become responsible for the chicken waste. The burden of treating poultry waste should fall on the large corporations that own the chickens, who have the financial resources to build treatment plants and institute other measures to ensure that poultry waste does not enter into our waters untreated.
Often times I visit friends in Chesapeake City, just south of Elkton DE, and across the water from Aberdeen Proving Grounds. I do not swim in the water for fear of elevated bacteria levels. I have a one-year old son who deserves a cleaner Bay - one that he can swim in and enjoy, not fear.
The good news is that with proper permitting and regulation from the State of Virginia, we can institute measures that will benefit all citizens of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware that use the Bay, not just benefit the Agribusiness Interests. Strong permitting regulations that prevent untreated chicken sewage from entering the Bay is desperately needed to bring back a thriving fishing and crabbing industry, to protect a treasured resource to millions of Americans, and to show the nation that America's Great Waters can be restored to health.
Thank you for considering these comments.
Takoma Park, MD