Following extensive debate about the far-reaching proposed regulations governing phosphorous and affecting poultry manure, the Maryland Department of Agriculture has withdrawn the effort.
The department said it would continue to meet with stakeholders to revise the regulation that will significantly change when and how Maryland farmers can apply chicken litter as manure. Officials expect to resubmit the proposal in 2014.
Friday’s decision follows public hearings in October where farmers, poultry manure transporters and agriculture advocacy organizations voiced strong opposition to the tool.
Looking forward to eventual implementation of some similar approach, the Department offered a statement:
“The O’Malley-Brown Administration remains committed to adopting the PMT through rule making and developing an approach that further considers comments raised by policymakers and citizens alike,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance in a statement. “MDA is confident that the PMT science is sound, based on 20 years of evolving federal and state research to better understand soil phosphorus and managing risk of loss to our rivers and streams.”