Virus Outbreak Washington State

Egg-producing chickens stands in a pasture at Wilcox Family Farms, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Roy, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SALISBURY (AP) — Maryland is appealing a court decision that said the state must start regulating ammonia air pollution from chickenhouses.

The case is one that could have far-reaching implications for the Eastern Shore’s poultry industry, the Salisbury Daily Times reported Wednesday.

The court ruling issued last month came in a lawsuit filed by the environmental group Assateague Coastal Trust over the state’s permit rules for animal feeding operations. The group argued the rules should include ammonia, a byproduct of chicken waste that can eventually contribute to algal blooms.

“Assateague Coastal Trust thinks it’s a shame that (the Maryland Department of the Environment) has decided to appeal the Court’s ruling; we hoped they would spend this energy protecting Maryland’s waters and community health, instead of going through the appeals process,” Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips said in a statement.

The state argued that regulating airborne pollution under the Clean Water Act would lead to confusing red tape and set a bad precedent, according to the newspaper.

The industry group Delmarva Chicken Association said in a statement that the appeal would “provide an opportunity to correct the unjustified, sudden insertion of air emissions regulations into a water quality permit.”

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md..

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