Rodricks wrong on bay pollution

Columnist needs to do his homework on phosphorous management tool

It is time for those writing for The Sun's editorial pages to check their facts. Columnist Dan Rodricks writes that poultry farmers are allowing their chicken manure to run into the Chesapeake Bay ("Larry Hogan has a chance to be a green governor," Dec. 13.

Mr. Rodricks quotes the Environmental Integrity Project that claims Maryland farmers are saturating their fields with phosphorous-laden chicken manure at three times the level of what the crop requires. In addition, he criticizes Gov.-elect Larry Hogan for not doing his homework when it comes to poultry-related pollution.

The person that needs to do his homework is Mr. Rodricks. He needs to contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture so that he can be told all Maryland farmers are required to submit a nutrient management plan that only allows them to apply phosphorous at a rate that will be utilized by the crop and eliminate the risk of run-off.

He would also that realize farmers must be licensed to spread poultry manure.

The "new rules" that Mr. Rodricks refers to is the Phosphorous Management Tool or PMT. The PMT is a theoretical equation that evaluates the risk of phosphorous entering tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

The PMT is still theoretical, not proven, and it needs to be tested prior to implementation.

Henry Holloway, Darlington

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