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No on Agriculture Secrecy

Stop Agricultural Secrecy

In the last few years we've made a lot of progress in restoring the Chesapeake Bay, but Maryland is about to take a big step backwards.

The so-called "Ag Certainty" bill would exempt agricultural operations which meet certain minimal criteria from future regulation for 10 years.   Incentivizing farmers from reducing pollution is good in concept, but this is bad in practice.

No Transparency

Worse, the public does not have access to the information explaining what an agriculture operation is actually doing to meet their goal. Without transparency, our research institutions can't even study and verify that the practices being implemented are actually reducing nutrient loads to the Bay.

Without transparency, we can't verify that the program is working.  The only thing we're certain of is that this program is unfair and ill-advised.   Farming is an important part of Maryland's history and future, but that doesn't mean they should get a free pass while the rest of us pay!

No Equity

In 2017, Maryland has to re-evaluate its progress on cleaning up the Bay, and if it is not on track, it will find new ways to reduce pollution. But if these operations are exempt, more of the burden will fall on everyone else. We are all doing our part, no one deserves a 10-year free pass.

Insufficient Oversight and Enforcement

Here's the bottom line.  Maryland Department of Agriculture is understaffed and overcommitted.  So in this bill the Department of Agriculture privatizes the inspection and compliance process.   This policy is a house of cards, and our local rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay will pay when it comes tumbling down.   Tell your legislator to vote NO on SB 1029, Ag Certainty.  

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No on SB 1029 - Ag Secrecy Bill

Dear [Decision Maker],

Please oppose SB 1029. In the last few years, Maryland has made significant steps towards restoring the Chesapeake Bay, but I am concerned we are about to take a big step backward.

Every person and every sector is stepping up to do its part. Taxpayers contribute through the flush fee. Counties are reducing stormwater runoff. Developers are required to offset new loads. Why should the agricultural sector get a free pass while the rest of us pay?



Farmers do deserve certainty, but not more than the rest of us. We are all in this together, and we all need to pitch in to protect the Bay.

Please oppose SB 1029.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

 


  

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