The time to curtail phosphorus in the Chesapeake Bay is now ("Phosphorus rules delayed," Nov. 22). Delaying the new rules limiting the spread of phosphorus-laden poultry manure will only exacerbate a situation that has gone on far too long. Large poultry companies need to be held accountable for the fact that they are the largest single source of pollution in the bay. The 1.5 billion pounds of manure that is produced cannot ecologically be disposed of in such a small area adjacent to the bay without the devastating effects that we are already seeing.
The O'Malley administration's decision to delay new regulations may be politically motived. Governor O'Malley has already shown his true feathers when it comes to the poultry industry in Maryland. His close ties to Perdue and his non-support of the lawsuit by a University of Maryland environmental law clinic are evidence of his artifice. I'm sure with his national political ambitions, he does not want to be seen as an enemy to agriculture. That certainly would not play well at the Iowa caucuses.
While I and my fellow citizens are doing our part via the "flush" tax and the "rain" tax, large poultry companies are getting a free ride. It is time to put legislation in effect that will make them pay their fair share to help clean up the bay. Perhaps if they were forced to pay their fair share, they would be more interested in discovering ways to dispose of chicken manure that did not result in further pollution of our nation's largest estuary.
Wayne R. Carson, Baltimore-
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