The poultry industry in the Chesapeake Bay watershed is growing – especially in the hotspots of south central Pennsylania, the Shenandoah Valley, and parts of the Eastern Shore – and the poultry waste problem is expanding even faster. Because meat companies are engineering birds to become ever heavier, broilers in this region produced 16 percent more manure in 2017 than in 2007. This means more ammonia and more runoff.
The Environmental Integrity Project’s analysis of the most recent science suggests that EPA has been underestimating the amount of nitrogen entering the Bay from broiler air pollution by at least a million pounds annually. Overall, the runoff and ammonia pollution from poultry operations are sending about 24 million pounds of nitrogen into the Chesapeake Bay each year.