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Hate Crimes on the rise in the United States. Also on the Wednesday rundown: a big hearing in Denver on a proposed rollback of methane limits; plus find out about "Give to the Max Day."

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Breaking News: New Federal Scrutiny of Poultry Poop ...

PHOTO: The EPA and Chesapeake Bay Foundation are announcing a deal to reduce pollution from animal feedlots in the Chesapeake Bay region. Photo credit: EPA
PHOTO: The EPA and Chesapeake Bay Foundation are announcing a deal to reduce pollution from animal feedlots in the Chesapeake Bay region. Photo credit: EPA
June 6, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's livestock and poultry farms are facing new federal scrutiny. Under an agreement announced late Wednesday between the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EPA must audit state rules regarding how farms manage pollution and step up inspections of the farms themselves.

Kim Coble, CBF vice president for environmental protection and restoration, said manure and other discharges from animal feeding operations account for about 60 percent of the pollution in rivers and streams in more rural areas of the state.

"By ensuring that these large animal-feeding operations are meeting pollution reductions," she said, "we are definitely going to help improve the local water quality in rivers and streams, as well as the water quality to the bay."

Coble emphasized that one of the key aspects of the deal between the CBF and the EPA is that information from audits and inspections will be made available to the public. It also requires the EPA to review the nutrient management plans of larger operations and ensure they achieve water quality goals, she said.

"We know, in some cases, that farmers write a plan but don't implement it. This is an area the EPA will be focusing on in Maryland," Coble added.

The agreement is part of an EPA-led effort to cut pollution and restore the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD