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News Opinion Readers Respond

Poultry producers aren't paying their fair share [Letter]

Your recent report clearly pointed out that the poultry industry on Maryland's Eastern Shore is a big part of the problem of Chesapeake Bay pollution, yet it failed to call for concrete steps to hold polluters accountable ("Phosphorus reduction in bay losing steam in places," June 15).

The article made clear that there was a bill in the Maryland Senate this year that would have taxed large chicken companies five cents per bird to pay for their waste and do their part to clean up the bay. But it was never called up for a vote even though Maryland taxpayers recently saw a doubling of our "flush tax."

I don't mind doing my part to clean up the bay, but the poultry industry produces over a billion pounds of manure a year, so why shouldn't they be paying into the fund as well? The industry wants us to believe they are "doing all they can," while a billion and a half pounds of chicken manure piles up every year.

Max Balka, Baltimore

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