03-05-2009, 02:34 PM
Member Since: Jan 2002
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Nutrient Management Plans Made Public
Reports detailing pollution flowing off of farms are public government records that can be released for public scrutiny, a county court has ruled. |
Environmentalists, farmers and state agriculture officials have been tussling for a year now over whether the reports, called nutrient-management plans, should be open for public review. The region's riverkeepers first sued agriculture officials in 2008 and the two parties struck a deal over when and how to release the plans.
But farmers who didn't want to make the plans public struck back with a lawsuit of their own.
A ruling on Feb. 10 from county Circuit Court Judge William Mulford II said the state must treat the farmers' plans as public documents. The state is allowed to block out identifying information for plans less than 3 years old, but plans more than 3 years old generally must be released in full, according to the judge's order.
Environmentalists said the ruling will help them identify pollution sources that harm the Chesapeake Bay.
Bloom where you're planted.
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