EPA Overestimates Chicken Manure Claims in Chesapeake Bay: New Study

February 9, 2012

NEWARK, Del. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has overestimated the amount of chicken manure that is in the nutrient runoff that enters the Chesapeake Bay, according to new University of Delaware study.

Researchers at the university, led by James Glancey, concluded that not only is the amount of chicken manure much less than what EPA estimates but the nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations are also far lower.  The study factored in new management practices, feed technology and genetics that improved efficiencies over the last 30 years.

Estimates conducted by EPA blame chicken manure for six percent of all nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake, which were used in determining an EPA mandated Watershed Implementation Plan to reduce nutrient runoff into the bay by 2020.

The study’s findings, however, state EPA is overestimating the quantity of manure by about five-fold and in terms of concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous, the study suggests a roughly two-fold overestimate.

The EPA Chesapeake Bay Workgroup plans to review the study this month.

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