Pro­posed chicken farm has too many con­cerns

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -


Thirty-six years ago, I moved to within a half mile of what is cur­rently the Horst farm. At that time, the prop­erty was op­er­ated as a dairy farm. I pur­chased the prop­erty ac­cept­ing the fact that there would be oc­ca­sional odors as­so­ci­ated with the spray­ing of ma­nure on fields. But now the Horst fam­ily is seek­ing ap­proval to op­er­ate a chicken farm on this prop­erty.

While I ba­si­cally agree with the “right to farm” law, I do not agree that this law should al­low a farm opera- tion the right to im­pact neg­a­tively the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity of over 200 houses within one mile. The Mary­land Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment ad­mits that “the ef­fects on air out­side the chicken houses are un­clear.” A Ce­cil County Health Depart­ment re­port states that the chicken farm “has been de­signed to min­i­mize health im­pacts on neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties,” im­ply­ing there will be neg­a­tive health ef­fects for the lo­cal res­i­dents. A Johns Hop­kins Cen­ter for a Liv­able Fu­ture let­ter raises “nu­mer­ous in­her­ent risks” as­so­ci­ated with liv­ing in the vicin­ity of such an op­er­a­tion.

Are the Horsts, the Ce­cil County gov­ern­ment and the Mary­land Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment go­ing to guar­an­tee that the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity will suf­fer no neg­a­tive im­pacts on air, ground and wa­ter qual­ity?

There are too many un­knowns for this pro­ject to pro­ceed.

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