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EPA to collect new data to verify Chesapeake Bay regulations

EPA has agreed to collect more data to verify the efficacy of current regulations concerning animal agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay region.

In a 2010 settlement agreement to a lawsuit brought by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and partners, the Environmental Protection Agency agreed, among other things, to promulgate a new national concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) rule to address pollution discharges from livestock and poultry farms.

According to the U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn. (USPOULTRY), CBF and EPA announced the details of a new agreement June 6 that arises from the 2010 settlement of CBF’s lawsuit.

In a statement, the U.S. poultry industry announced its support for the agreement, saying, "The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association support EPA’s collection of more data to verify the efficacy of the current regulatory program rather than developing further regulations that are not needed. This will help to assure that no false assumptions are made about the potential contribution of livestock and production to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

"The poultry industry recognizes that there are indeed challenges within this and other watersheds to reduce the level of nutrients in surface waters. All of animal agriculture has been working together to minimize its impact on these watersheds. By EPA’s own admission, the agricultural industry has made tremendous progress in reducing potential runoff and improving the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds throughout the country," the groups said.

"A recent study by the University of Delaware not only found that the amount of nutrient runoff in the Chesapeake Bay supposedly caused by chicken litter is much less than EPA’s outdated and overstated estimates, but that the concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous in the litter are far lower, too. The study concluded that new management practices, better growing environments, feed technology and genetics have improved efficiencies over the last 30 years," the USPOULTRY announcement concluded.

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