There is still no decision on the Peerless Road CAFO water discharge permit from MDE, or any feedback that we are aware of to our comments provided at the meeting in Snow Hill on April 24 or provided in writing to Director Hilary Miller MDE during the comment period. Please note the activity and meeting on the Purnell Crossing Road CAFO below.
Upcoming Meetings and Events:
When: Tuesday October 23 / 7pm-8:30pm
Where: Ocean Pines LibraryWhat: Delmarva CAFOs - What if Hurricane 'Florence' Came Ashore Here?
Who: Kathy Phillips, Assateague COASTKEEPER and Maria Payan, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project
They will talk about the water quality and public health concerns when Hurricane Florence flooded the poultry and hog CAFOs in Eastern North Carolina.A discussion will follow about how Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland counties can do more to protect communities.
In recent years there’s also been an explosion of new industrial scale Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFOs) for poultry on the Lower Eastern Shore. These are huge factory style buildings, housing millions of birds, all across lower Delmarva on land that is low, wet, prone to saturation from high water tables and flooding during heavy rains.
We need to move these industrial operations out of flood-prone areas because we know that climate change is making storms more frequent and more severe, and that the waters are rising higher, and more often. It is time to smarten up and do the right thing.
When: Thursday, October 25 6pm
Where: Snow Hill Library 307 North Washington Street, Snow Hill
What: MD Dept of Environment Public Hearing on the CAFO permit application for APNA Farms, LLC 7732 Purnell Crossing Road, Berlin, MD
Background: This is the CAFO Permit that ACT and Environmental Action Center (EAC) contested in 2017 because MDE approved it without adequate manure and dead chicken storage, which could cause pollution to reach the Pocomoke River and affect nearby residences. ACT and EAC won their case and MDE was forced to pull the permit and require a new application from APNA Farms (Zaheer CAFO). The new permit application has now received preliminary approval from MDE and is open to public review and comment. ACT has reviewed the new Permit and again we have found it to be deficient and not protective of the Pocomoke River.
EAC and ACT will be presenting public comment on Oct 25 at the MDE hearing. The public is invited to attend, observe, give oral comment or submit written comment at the hearing.
This is of particular concern since it is unclear if anyone will have the responsibility to ensure that the storage building is built BEFORE any chickens are moved onto the CAFO! We also do not know what is being planned to protect the Pocomoke River from runoff during heavy rain, such as in the picture below from July.
More info will be available on ACT's website by Monday, Oct 22.
When: November 15 6-9:00 pm
Where: Seacrets Morley Hall, Ocean City
What: Assateague Coastal Trust's 8th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival Admission is $25/person and $30/person at the door. Doors open at 5:30pm. To purchase tickets and view all the event details, visit their events page at http://www.actforbays.org/act-events.html
Also in Lewes, DE on November 27
Protectors of the St Martin River
To All Town Home Owners:
On October 15th the parking lots of the townhouses and a couple individual drive ways that are a part of the town homes will be sealed. This entails all vehicles and trailers, plants, boats and whatever is sitting on the parking lot/drive ways MUST be removed. Please have items moved so that they will not have to be towed and or removed by others. This is will cost more money if we need to have items towed.
Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Jack Shook, President
St. Martin's by the Bay Homeowners' Association
Thanks to all home owners for an enjoyable swim season. We greatly appreciate your input into caring for our lovely pool. Special appreciation given to Joleen, Janie and Denise for doing such a wonderful job keeping our pool safe and clean.
The pool will close for all two legged swimmers at dusk on Sunday, September 16th.
Monday, the 17th will be a doggie swim day. Dogs must be sociable and have current vaccinations. Please contact Chris Shook at email@example.com for more information or if you would like to participate.
Ladies and Gents,
Here's an update on issues of interest to the Protectors of the St. Martin River. We are still waiting for responses to comments given to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) at the April 24 hearing and in writing by their deadline of April 30. We do not know yet when we might expect to hear from MDE.
1. On May 30, an Administrative Court judge ruled that MDE cannot approve a water discharge permit while exempting the Purnell Crossing CAFO from requirements for permanent storage structures for dead carcasses and manure. (In other words, that CAFO must have built permanent storage structures in order to be issued the permit.) The judge also ruled that MDE may not authorize windrowing (piling up of manure and litter material) inside the chicken houses as an alternative to manure storage. (Remember, we were told at the town hall meeting that this can be done for up to 5 years before the material is eventually cleaned out.)
These rulings give us some encouragement that MDE will not allow the Peerless Road CAFO water discharge permit to be issued as it currently stands because it allows temporary storage. We will have to wait and see. Our plans are still to contest any permit issued by MDE. We have 13 residents who live on Middle Branch and Shingle Landing Prong who have indicated their willingness to be appellants with us. Please email me if you would like to join that group.
2. Hopefully all of you were able to see WBOC's segment on the Protectors of the St. Martin River (aired in every newscast on July 2!) We were pleased that it was factual and presented our concerns and the reasons for forming the coalition very fairly.
We need to keep our concerns in the local papers through letters to the editor. We need new letter writers and can suggest topics if you need them! Please email Lori Insley at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be willing to write a letter for us! We try to space out sending in our letters so that they ALL get published!
3. We recently learned that the Streamgage in Showell, on Birch Branch, has been cut from MDE's budget and as of July 1 is no longer collecting data. This is the only stream flow gage/gauge in the Coastal Bays. It was a joint effort between the US Geological Service and MDE and the data has been used by several different groups. (You can see the solar panel part of it at the east side of the northbound lane of US 113 where it crosses over Birch Branch, just past the Peerless Rd./Shingle Landing Prong intersection.) Both Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) and Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) are looking for ways to renew the funding from other agencies of local or state government because they feel the data supplied by this gage/gauge is important. We will be adding our voices, as affected citizens -- Protectors of the St. Martin River, to their efforts. We will keep you informed.
4. As you know, if it weren't for Kathy Phillips of ACT, we would never have known about the proposed CAFO and there would never have been a public hearing in the first place! Please consider supporting ACT in it's mission of protecting the coastal bays and watershed of Delmarva:
ACT is hosting their annual FLOAT FOR THE COAST event on Friday August 17 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm starting from FishTales at 22nd Street Bayside. After Party begins at 2:00.
Registration is $10 and Kayak Rental is $15.
For more information go to http://www.actforbays.org/
To register go to http://bit.ly/2v9AxK7
Please join in the fun and raise some money for ACT!
5. Hopefully, soon we will be able to focus our efforts entirely on improving the quality of all of the Watershed areas of the St. Martin River. In working toward that end, here is a program being offered by MCBP to show us one area of our watershed that has been restored in a way that REDUCES NUTRIENTS flowing downstream! We need to learn more about projects like this one and the Bishopville Dam Removal and Restoration and begin to work toward more similar projects.
Join us at the Discover Your Watershed, Showell Preserve Program on Nov. 3!
Showell Preserve, MD
Saturday November 3, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm (FREE)
RSVP Addie Snyder at email@example.com or 410-213-2297 ext. 107.
Also, remember to join our Facebook page: Protectors of the St. Martin River!
Donations are still welcomed (send to):
Protectors of the St Martin River
P. O. Box 1621
Berlin, MD 21811
Thanks to everyone for your support,
Protectors of the St Martin River