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State CAFO permit process halted in Maryland


January 29, 2009
By Marg Land

January 29, 2009, Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of the
Environment (MDE) received two legal challenges to its proposed new
general permit for discharges from animal feeding operations, halting
finalization of the plan.

January 29, 2009, Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has received two legal challenges to its proposed new general permit for discharges from animal feeding operations, halting finalization of the plan.

The challenges, one from the Waterkeeper Alliance and the second from a poultry producer, came in before the January 20, 2009 cutoff period.

“This permit, which would have been final on January 21, 2009, is now on hold due to a legal challenge,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “The challenges, one contending that the permit is not strong enough, the other contending it goes too far, illustrate the various views on this regulatory proposal.”

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The MDE is encouraging all livestock and poultry farmers who would fall under the new state CAFO permit to move forward and plan to submit the required documents by the Feb. 27 deadline.

“We want to make sure that no one finds themselves out of compliance or penalized,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Roger Richardson.

Permit application requirements continue for medium and large animal feeding operations that discharge to surface water of the state or propose to discharge. These operations have a duty to apply under federal rules as a CAFO.

When legal challenges to the Maryland AFO permit are resolved, farm operations that fall under the permit will have 90 days to submit their permit applications.

For more information, visit www.mde.state.md.us.


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