In the News
November 29, 2008
Anglers seek clean bay, unlike the Chesapeake
By KIRK MOORE, STAFF WRITER (APP.COM)
Collapsing shellfish populations, shrinking sea grass beds and murky water are a story line that link New Jersey's Barnegat Bay to Chesapeake Bay, America's largest estuary.
Now the Chesapeake's accelerating crisis might show what lies in store for Barnegat Bay if cleanup efforts falter.
A steep decline in the storied Chesapeake blue crab fishery has Maryland and Virginia cutting fishermen's catches, in hopes of reducing the take of female crabs by 34 percent and help arrest the crash.
Lawsuits are flying, as fishermen and environmental groups charge the federal Environmental Protection Agency failed to follow up an interstate agreement to clean up nutrient pollution by 2010.
"We're suing the EPA. Now they want to stretch it out 10 more years," said Larry Simns, executive director of the Maryland Watermen's Association.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, joined by the Maryland and Virginia watermen's groups and others in the region, filed notice in federal court in October of plans to sue the EPA for failing to meet goals set in a 2000 compact — a regional agreement to end pollution that at the time was widely hailed as a model.
"There have now been three agreements and three failures, and while government may be well-intentioned, more delay is unacceptable," said former Maryland state Sen. Bernie Fowler, a longtime activist on bay affairs and now a party to the coming lawsuit.
Federal and state authorities have worked since the 1970s to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake's huge watershed, engaging everyone from industries in Virginia's Tidewater region to Amish farmers far inland along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. But mounting suburban development has been the bay's undoing, as more nitrogen compounds from fert ilizer and other sources drizzle into tributary streams with every rainfall. Like fertilizer on a lawn, excess nitrogen in the bay fuels plant life, mainly microscopic phytoplankton that bloom and die, sucking dissolved oxygen out of bay waters as they decay.
Summer 2008 brought the fourth-worst occurrence of "dead zone" oxygen depletion on record, contends the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, citing scientists' reports.
That coincided with grim news from crab assessment experts, who estimate the crab population at 120 million animals, far less than the 200 million thought needed to rebuild the population.
"The pollution has done as much harm to the crab and the watermen alike," said Ken Smith of the Virginia Watermen's Association. "There's a huge misperception there about what overharvesting is. Even with the WM obeying regulations and even with reducing effort, overfishing occurs and it's because of water quality."
As a first step to cutting the catch of female crabs, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted to shut down that state's winter crab dredge fishery. The captains of 53 boats idled by the decision are being offered work at $300 a day dredging up lost crab traps and other sunken debris, using Virginia's $10 million share of federal emergency aid for the crab industry, said commission spokesman John Bull.
In New Jersey, the EPA and state Department of Environmental Protection are just coming to grips with Barnegat Bay's nitrogen overload, after=2 0monitoring stations this summer detected oxygen depletion in the bay's northern reaches near Brick and Mantoloking.
Low dissolved oxygen is a water quality factor that can trigger regulatory action by the DEP, and one that until this summer had not shown up, despite abundant biological evidence of the bay's decline, including diminished eelgrass beds and a sharp decline in clams.
The EPA-funded Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program and the DEP have hosted discussions on ways to lower nutrient loading in Barnegat Bay, and EPA regional administrator Alan J. Steinberg has urged the Ocean County Board of Freeholders to impose some limits on fertilizer use in the watershed. That could happen in the form of a county sanitation ordinance that would be enforced by the county Health Department, county Planning Director David McKeon has said.
In October, the estuary program hosted a presentation from officials with Suffolk County on Long Island, which has a law prohibiting most fertilizer applications from November through April, when dissolved nutrients are most likely to build up in surface and ground water.
But environmental groups Save Barnegat Bay and the Sierra Club want Ocean County to go a step further, and allow the sale of only slow-release fertilizer in the watershed. That's a more effective way to limit nitrogen emissions from suburban lawns, contends Willie deCamp, the president of Save Barnegat Bay, who has been showing the groups' model ordinance to municipal and county elected officials.
Ultimately, those advocates and some scientists say, what will be needed are state regulations setting total maximum daily loads, or TMDLs, for nutrients in the bay's tributary streams. Those limits would become the standards for determining when a stream has a pollution problem, and tracing it upstream to sources in the watershed. That would be the legal forcing method to rebuild faulty stormwater drainage systems.
At a Nov. 20 meeting in Washington, the Chesapeake Executive Council said it would set short-term goals with a two-year review period in an effort to spur a cleanup.
Part of that reform, EPA officials said, will be setting a bay-wide TMDL by December 2010 that will establish pollution caps for rivers in the 64,000 square-mile Chesapeake watershed.
This is considered fertilizer in Pennsylvania.
Introducing Little Chance
What we do know: This is a female dog with short reddish brown fur. Her body type was of a short, long-bodied dog her legs were chondrodysplastic (short thick legs). We know that she died and her body was thrown in the compost heap and spread on the commercial breeders' growing fields. We don't know how she died. No bullets were recovered from what was left of the body, she could have died many ways, only some of which might be disease or at the hands of the Puppy Miller in his drowning tank. We also know that many other dogs were composted right along with this one. The pictures of the fields, if you look closely show many bones and skulls and clumps of bodies, leaching right into the roots of the corn stalks.
We know this is an "ACCEPTED PRACTICE" in Pennsylvania. Minutes from numerous zoning hearings show that when asked what is done with the dead dogs, time and time again the breeders explain that they will be composted and placed on the growing fields.
When asked how they plan on disposing of the feces and urine again they say it would be removed from under the cages and spread on the growing fields. This might be an accepted practice in Pennsylvania, but the health problems associated with these practices are widely understood in the health community and you only need to do a internet search on dog feces to learn about the many health risks.
The pictures and facts in the preceding information only segment are from public records and a very expensive forensic report on Little Chance. All of the zoning hearings are public record and the pictures themselves were introduced and filed along with a lawsuit which is also public record available to anyone who does a courthouse search.
We invite the public to do such searches, there is valuable pertinent information out there that citizens living in and around Puppy Mills need to know.
Good luck and stay well.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
Definition by the Environmental Protection Agency
Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. AFOs congregate animals, feed, manure and urine, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures, fields, or on rangeland.
Borough council members, who were concerned the biosolids might contaminate municipal wells, ratify the deal.
March 18, 2008 By Michelle Park Reading Eagle http://list.web.net/archives/sludgewatch-l/2008-March/003552.html
Kutztown, PA - The Maxatawny Township farmers who sparked concern because they were using sewage sludge and slaughterhouse waste for fertilizer have agreed to stop.
Kutztown Borough Council ratified an agreement with farmers Elmer Zimmerman, Ammon Zimmerman Sr. and Ammon Zimmerman Jr. at its meeting Tuesday night. It stipulates that the farmers cannot have the sludge and waste materials delivered to their farms without the written consent of Kutztown. If they do, borough officials can pursue legal action, Borough Manager Jaymes A. Vettraino said.
The farmers can spread the materials that already have been delivered to their properties, he added. Reached by phone Tuesday, a woman who said she was Ammon Zimmerman Jr.’s wife confirmed the agreement. She said the materials were spread mostly on two farms. “We decided we can’t have sludge and good neighbors, so we picked the good neighbors” said the woman, who would not give her name.
The biosolids have been spread on at least one of the Zimmerman farms since 2006, said Mark D. Reider, the state technical service director for Synagro Technologies Inc., the Houston-based company that hauls and spreads the materials.
A public outcry began last August when neighbors found out the biosolids were being applied. Since then, Kutztown and Maxatawny Township officials have publicly said they wanted the farmers to stop using the materials.
Vettraino said the concern in Kutztown was that the materials could contaminate the borough's well water supply, which serves about 20,000 people. The wellheads are about 1,000 feet from the farms. “We certainly appreciate ... their offer to discontinue,” he said. Maxatawny Township resident Bernadette A. Ward does, too. She lives next to one of the farms. “That’s really good news for us” she said. “It means with summer coming up, we’ll be able to go outside ... without having that horrendous, horrendous smell.”
Ward, however, is concerned the agreement is merely a Band-Aid. "There's nothing to stop another farmer getting into an agreement with Synagro," she said, noting that neither the township nor the borough can force a farmer to stop using biosolids.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regulates the land application of biosolids in the state. Reider said he thinks the Zimmermans have ended their participation with Synagro as a result of newspaper articles and harassment by neighbors. “It’s always up to our farmers to participate in our program,” he said, adding that Synagro does not require contracts. “That’s the way it goes.”
Please read these important articles concerning your health:
- Carcass-disposal change sparks health concerns
- E-Coli by the Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases (DFBMD)
- Dog Waste Poses Threat to Water
- EPA Report on Ground Water and Drinking Water
- FOX News: Amish Farmer Says Milk Law Contrary to Religious Beliefs
- Warning Letter to Lancaster County Residents
- Probing cancer clusters: 'A rough road to hoe'
- Digestive Disorders