Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has submitted a plan that he said will help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. His plan includes a one-year delay on proposed regulations that would limit the amount of chicken manure farmers can use on their fields.
“Protecting the bay is a shared responsibility, and placing disproportionate burden on any one region or any group is simply unfair,” Hogan said during a news conference surrounded by members of his Cabinet. “Like everyone else, I want to clean up the bay, but I reject the idea that we must destroy a way of life on the Eastern Shore in order to make that happen.”
The plan from Hogan, a Republican, which is a compromise to rules submitted by his predecessor, Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, includes an immediate ban of additional phosphorus on fields that test the highest for it, a test of phosphorus levels on farms across the state and additional money to help the state Department of Agriculture prepare for the new rules, the Washington Post reported.
O’Malley’s regulations were never implemented because Hogan stopped them in one of his first acts as governor.
Environmentalists, who had been pushing for the new manure regulations for several years, were caught off-guard when Hogan stopped the regulations. Their criticism of Hogan intensified after he called for the repeal of mandated stormwater management fees that pay for cleaning pollution from rainwater before it reaches the Chesapeake Bay.