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US Plant for Chicken Waste Problems



13 January 2012, at 3:47pm

US - “ECOCORP, Inc.’s planned manure-to-energy plant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is just another band-aid for the state’s broken corporate agriculture system and its unsustainable practices," according to Food & Water Watch Executive, Director Wenonah Hauter.

“While the massive amount of chicken waste on the Eastern Shore is indeed a problem, this plant is not the solution. The fact is, too much waste is produced in too small an area of land, much to the detriment of local watersheds.

The state of Maryland is seeking companies to build a 10-megawatt facility that will turn animal waste into power. Dubbed Clean Bay Power, the initiative would double the amount of renewable energy purchased by the state, bringing it to about 30 per cent. The winning bid will be announced in early 2012, and the plant would be operational by the end of 2015.

Ms Hauter continued: “Ultimately, this same system that is creating waste is also harming small and mid-sized farmers, while corporate agriculture giants such as Perdue reap the financial benefits of industry concentration. Rather than hatching hackneyed schemes to address the industry’s waste, lawmakers in Maryland should be examining the unchecked power of Big Ag.

“As a major integrator for Maryland’s poultry industry, Perdue is notorious for avoiding responsibility for the waste produced by their independent growers, who are beholden to unfair and abusive contracts with the company. Both the environment and poultry farmers lose when Big Ag writes the rules and avoids responsibility for the waste their products produce.

Ms Hauter concluded: “Rather than implementing a system that allows Big Ag to continue its unsustainable practices, policy makers in Maryland and Washington, D.C. should instead force Big Ag to take responsibility for its own messes, and create a more level playing field for independent farmers.”