In 2014 and 2015, massive industrial poultry houses, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have begun to pop up like mushrooms across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. These aren’t your mom and pop poultry farms. Scores of permits have been applied for (and approved) for operations that house more than a quarter million, half million, or even more chickens per flock. This equates to more than 1.25 to 2.5 million chickens per year at a single facility. This also equals thousands of tons of waste per year, requires many millions of gallons of freshwater required to operate these facilities, and produces tons of air pollutants in any given year.
The EAC is working with local residents, Riverkeepers and MDE to address the growing pollution issues associated with the increasing density and magnitude of poultry operations on the Eastern Shore.