|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|
332 River View Rd. Rileyville, Va. 22650
I live in Page Valley on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. I have been very concerned in the last few years about the fish kills and have been following the state agencys' efforts to uncover the causes. It has never been a question to me and many others who live here that the large chicken farms and their disposal practices of poultry litter upstream are a major contributing factor in the declining health of the river in recent years.
This beautiful river has had the honor of being the best Smallmouth Bass fishery in Virginia. I've heard legendary stories of record days catching trophy Smallmouth and experienced some of them myself. But those days are now gone, and if we don't pass this regulation maybe they're gone for good. It is also a river with a hallowed place in history, the subject of a beautiful Civil War ballad, and deserves to be protected and preserved for generations to come.
The large factory farms are the true culprits in the litter disposal practices that are affecting the river's health. I realize this regulation would be difficult for small family farms to deal with, and I hope it is possible to offset in some way any difficulties they would have in complying with the regulation. There must be some way to protect the health of the river without putting local farms out of business.
As I said, I believe it is the factory farms who are at fault here. They are not regulated enough, and their practices hurt everyone. Many of the recent food recalls are also due to the unhealthy conditions in the overcrowded, under-regulated factory farms. Small family farms are not in danger as much from this regulation as they are from the industrial farms and their practices. Because of their size, the impact of their unhealthy and inhumane practices on the environment and on the small farms who must compete with them is devastating. It is truly a matter of life and death. They must be regulated. The health of the Shenandoah River, Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay are at stake. Thank you for you efforts.