Marylanders Divided Over Farm Pollution Reprieve

Jun 4, 2013

Credit Don Rush

If they agree to mitigate water pollution Maryland farmers will get a 10-year reprieve from the state in implementing new water quality regulations.

The choice is the result of legislation under the Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program approved during the last session.

But farmers do have questions about how the new law may work.

Worcester farmer Brooks Clayville, who is also a member of the county’s Planning Commission, told the Salisbury Daily Times that he is not sure how the state will ever administratively run the program.

And there is even disagreement within the environmental community.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation supports the law and believes it will have a significant impact on water quality sooner than later.

But 23 environmental groups including the Assateague Coastal Trust say they believe this is bad policy.

As for the Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Buddy Hance, who supports the bill, says he believes that the legislation will encourage farmers to cut pollution.