A University of Georgia study looked at particulate matter levels in the air 100 feet away chicken house ventilation fans. They found the levels were statistically indistinguishable from ambient air1 — in fact, lower than typical particulate levels in urban areas.1,2
We know the same study found ammonia levels at typical setbacks from chicken houses do not exceed OSHA and EPA odor detection thresholds.1,2 Ammonia levels around the houses were less than 1 part per million, 94 percent of the time; ammonia’s odor is undetectable below 5 parts per million.1
Long-running air quality monitoring in the heart of Delmarva’s chicken-producing region shows air here is cleaner, with lower particulate levels, than the EPA’s standard for particulate matter, and cleaner than air in our region’s urban areas.2
In Wicomico County, where there are hundreds of family-owned chicken farms, the adult asthma rate is in fact lower than Maryland’s average.3
Chesapeake Bay Program data show a steady decrease in atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to the Bay’s tidal waters since 2005.7 Farmers and other stakeholders are being responsible when it comes to the environment, and their hard work is paying off.
1. B. D. Fairchild M. Czarick L. A. Harper J. W. Worley C. W. Ritz B. D. Hale L. P. Naeher. (2009, October). Ammonia concentrations downstream of broiler operations. The Journal of Applied Poultry Research,18(3), 630-639.
2. Delaware Annual Air Quality Report (2016). Delaware DNREC, 20-23.
3. Wicomico County Health Indicators. (2008). Maryland Department of Health. 4-5.
7. Nitrogen Loads To The Chesapeake Bay. (2017). Chesapeake Bay Program.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) require facilities to report releases of hazardous substances that are equal to or greater than their reportable quantities (RQ) within any 24-hour period. Following a hazardous substance reportable release, a facility owner or operator must notify federal authorities under CERCLA and state and local authorities under EPCRA. Visit EPA’s website to learn more.
GMOs Helping to Improve Air Quality