January 14, 2018
Legislation Would Study Air Emissions from Industrial Animal Farms
Everyone deserves the right to know if the air they breathe could be making them sick. While the state of Maryland monitors air pollution from cars and factories, the same cannot be said for one of Maryland’s largest industries that also emits pollutants- industrial animal agriculture. Maryland’s Community Healthy Air Act (SB 133/HB 26) aims to change that.
The Community Healthy Air Act is proposed legislation that would require the Maryland Department of the Environment to conduct a one-time study that identifies air pollutants emitted by industrial animals farms and assesses any potential public health risks. The bill does not regulate poultry operations or farms in any way.
Thousands of industrial chicken houses on Maryland’s Eastern Shore emit harmful air pollutants including ammonia, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and endotoxins. These pollutants have been found to be damaging to both public health and our waterways.
Introduced by Senator Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) and Delegate Robbyn Lewis (D-Baltimore City), this common-sense legislation will let public health officials and neighboring communities know what exactly is in the air, whether it complies with air quality laws and regulations, and if further action is required. This bill was crafted in response to the concerns of Eastern Shore community members living near these large poultry houses. They simply want transparency regarding what is in the air and assurance from the government that their health isn’t being compromised.
Maryland’s General Assembly needs to hear from YOU on this bill. Contact your state legislators and ask them to support the Community Healthy Air Act.