MD general assembly passes agriculture, water quality tracking bill
BERLIN, Md. – Local environmentalists are praising the Maryland General Assembly, after they passed a bill that would help the state monitor water quality, and agriculture practices across the eastern shore. Senate Bill 546 would change law so industrial chicken operations have to pay a fee and obtain a permit before they begin construction in designated areas. Something supporters say would help give homeowners ample notice before these CAFOs are built. The legislation would also restore water quality monitoring at six sites on the eastern shore, after they were discontinued back in 2013 due to budget cuts.
“This is a very good thing for the eastern shore’s rivers, for our coastal bays, for the Chesapeake bay this just ties up a lot of loose ends and issues that needed to be resolved,” said executive director of the Assateague Coastal Trust, Kathy Phillips.
Advocates add that many aspects of the bill make improvements that the environmental community has been working on for years. The bill now awaits a signature from Governor Larry Hogan before it becomes law.