EPA releases evaluation of Maryland animal agriculture programs
The general synopsis was that Maryland's state programs are "robust and well-implemented," the EPA said.
The assessment is one of six being conducted in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by the EPA.
As part of its responsibility to keep in line with the Clean Water Act, EPA officials do intermittent reviews of state programs. In evaluating programs in Maryland, officials rated the implementation of federal and state regulatory programs and voluntary incentive-based programs to meet the nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution reduction commitments.
Results from this assessment, as well as ongoing Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load TMDL evaluations, will be used to ensure that Maryland has the programs, policies and resources necessary to make successful its vision to meet the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.
Findings of the evaluation included:
- Maryland’s Nutrient Management Program has broad coverage, regulating over 5,400 farms throughout the state, including both crop and livestock farms
- Maryland’s Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Program is well-implemented and requires permit coverage for approximately 570 farms out of about 5,400 farms regulated by the state Nutrient Management Program
- Maryland has developed an Agricultural Certainty Program to further encourage farmers to implement agricultural conservation and maintains the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share Program which provides funding to farmers to implement required conservation practices.
Along with the Maryland results, the EPA has also released findings from animal agriculture programs in Delaware and West Virginia.
The reports are available at: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/tmdl/ChesapeakeBay/EnsuringResults.html.