Poultry industry fights environmental regulation

Posted by Christine, January 17, 2011

Tom Philpott wades into the EPA’s attempts to regulate poultry pollution in Chesapeake Bay. The industry won’t take this requirement to clean up its act without a fight:

“I’ve long argued that chemical-intensive commodity agriculture could never flourish without the right to pollute freely and stomp on surrounding communities and landscapes. Evidently, Big Ag’s greatest champions agree with me.

“Take the Chesapeake Bay. Once one of the nation’s most productive sources of wild food, the area has become a virtual wasteland after decades of serving as a “toilet” (as the environmental NGO Waterkeepers puts it)  for the poultry industry, which has unconscionably concentrated itself right in the Chesapeake watershed.

“Finally, after years of bumbling inaction, the EPA has belatedly come up with a set of rules that would force vast chicken factories to monitor and — gasp! — limit the amount of algae-friendly, heavy metal-laden chicken “litter” (that is, shit, feathers, and bedding) that ends up in the Bay.”