After decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.

Glendening, Scientists: Untreated Manure Poisons Chesapeake Bay

(Posted by Dawn Stoltzfus.)

On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, members of the Senior Scientists & Policymakers for the Chesapeake Bay made their case for reducing pollution from agriculture at a hearing before the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. Former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening provided a strong statement (PDF) in support of SB 594 (co-sponsored by Senators Paul Pinsky and Brian Frosh):

SB 594 would mandate better management of the hundreds of thousands of tons of raw chicken, pig, and cattle manure that is put on farm land. SB 594 would require the same regulations required of treated human sludge, a position shared by our Senior Scientists and Policymakers for the Bay of which I am a member. The bill is a reasonable approach to protecting the bay’s waters and our groundwater.

Dr. Bill Dennison, another member of our group, testified in person. Read his testimony here (PDF). Dr. Lynton Land, a scientist with expertise in soil science now living in Virginia, also submitted written testimony, available here (PDF). 

Members of the farming community and environmental organizations also testified in favor of the bill (PDF), and we saw the usual opposition from the Farm Bureau and poultry industry. We’ll keep you updated on the fate of both of these bills throughout Maryland’s 2012 General Assembly session.

Listen to a recording of the hearing, provided by the Maryland General Assembly.

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