Agreement aims at reducing animal waste into Chesapeake Bay - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Agreement aims at reducing animal waste into Chesapeake Bay

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 5 Arrested after Shots Fired in Princeton

    5 Arrested after Shots Fired in Princeton

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:58 AM EDT2014-08-21 05:58:50 GMT
    Several people are arrested on Wednesday night, after dozens of shots are fired on Courthouse Road near Crestview Drive in Princeton.
    Several people are arrested on Wednesday night, after dozens of shots are fired on Courthouse Road near Crestview Drive in Princeton.
  • Suspect Connected to Murder Investigation is Captured

    Suspect Connected to Murder Investigation is Captured

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:49:27 GMT
    Murder Suspect Desean Farley CapturedMurder Suspect Desean Farley Captured
    Desean Farley, a suspect in a Beckley murder investigation, was captured by the U.S. Marshal Service in Wisconsin. Farley s believed to be the man who shot and killed a person at Willbrian Apartments on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
    Desean Farley, a suspect in a Beckley murder investigation, was captured by the U.S. Marshal Service in Wisconsin. Farley s believed to be the man who shot and killed a person at Willbrian Apartments on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
  • How to avoid the back-to-school plagues

    How to avoid the back-to-school plagues

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:43:26 GMT
    During the school year children seem to bring home every type of illness, but there are a few things you can do to prevent your child from catching all those pesky illnesses.Washing hands is the universal way to avoid the spread of germs but there are a few ways you can prevent your child from getting sick when they come in contact with those germs.
    During the school year children seem to bring home every type of illness, but there are a few things you can do to prevent your child from catching all those pesky illnesses.Washing hands is the universal way to avoid the spread of germs but there are a few ways you can prevent your child from getting sick when they come in contact with those germs.

STEVE SZKOTAK, Associated Press

 

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement Wednesday to ensure that dairy farms, poultry growers and other farm animal operations are on track to reduce pollution flowing into the bay.

The foundation said the agreement is intended to ensure that the multi-state, EPA-led restoration of the Chesapeake Bay is achieved by 2025.

The multi-part plan is aimed at ensuring compliance with measures that limit manure and other pollutants from entering streams that ultimately feed into the bay. They include fencing off streams to keep cattle from fouling their waters and management plans for feeding operations and manure.

To ensure the bay's so-called pollution diet is followed, the agreement calls for inspections to ensure animal feed operations are heeding anti-pollution rules, a review of permits for large animal operations to make sure they're doing the job and adjustments to plans if necessary.

"We believe that well-managed farms are one of the best ways to protect water quality," said Kim Coble, the foundation's vice president for environmental protection and restoration. "Working with the USDA and the states, EPA's on-farm inspections and increased oversight of state regulations will bring us closer to protecting water quality in local rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay."

Agriculture is the largest source of pollution to rivers and streams that feed the bay, according to the foundation.

The announcement was met with disappointment by some environmental groups, including The Pew Charitable Trust.

"Pew is extremely disappointed that instead of strengthening national rules to protect all of our waterways from livestock waste, the EPA is conducting more assessments," said Seth Horstmeyer, who directs the group's efforts to reform industrial agriculture.

Environment America expressed similar sentiments, contending the EPA was "balking" at setting tough new standards to protect the bay from factory farm pollution.

In a statement, the EPA said it is not proposing revisions to regulations governing large-scale farms.

Instead, the EPA said, it will work with states and farmers "to continue the significant progress made since 2010 in approaches and actions to reduce water pollution from animal agriculture."

"This alternative approach will more quickly and comprehensively address environmental issues posed by animal agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay watershed," the statement said.

The bay's restoration involves six states and the District of Columbia within the with the 64,000-square-mile watershed. The states are Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York.

The federally directed clean-up plan, put in place after years of neglect by the states, is intended to limit pollution from urban landscapes, sewage plants and other sources. The pollution has given rise to oxygen-robbing algae blooms and sediment, which can cloud water and bury underwater grasses, oysters and other species.

The bay's pollution has created vast "dead zones" and decimated blue crab and oyster stocks.

The agreement announced Wednesday stems from the settlement of the foundation's 2010 lawsuit to compel the states to reduce pollution. Since the settlement, however, the EPA has been challenged for imposing new regulations, including court challenges from state and national farm lobbies.

Coble said the agreement should not require a protracted rule-making process and can be implemented under EPA's existing authority.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press