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Category: State Agencies

Protecting the Privacy of Nutrient Management Plans

From the Maryland Farm Bureau On Monday, May 5th the Maryland Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case concerning the release of Nutrient Management plan information that dates back to 2008. Maryland Farm Bureau has been involved in this litigation on behalf of our members in an effort to preserve the intent of the confidentiality provisions of the 1998 Water Quality Improvement Act. The 1998 law was the result of compromise on all sides. Our side compromised by agreeing to bring all farmers under the nutrient management requirement, rather than just target livestock operations, as is the case in other states. In return, the legislature agreed that the program would be regulated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture rather than Environment and that nutrient management plans that are submitted to MDA would be kept confidential. In 2008, the Waterkeeper Alliance filed a Public Information Act request with MDA to gain access to NMPs. Maryland Farm Bureau intervened in court to prevent the release of identifying information. The court ruled that farmer data was confidential. In 2010, the Waterkeeper Alliance filed a follow-up PIA demanding the NMPs and requested the Court hold the Secretary in contempt for not releasing the documents. Farm Bureau went back to court, won a temporary injunction, and argued the finer points of the PIA and NM laws. The Circuit Court and the Court of...

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New Marketing Opportunity for Equine Events

If you organize an equine-related spectator event in Maryland, then you will appreciate the relationship that the Maryland Horse Industry Board has established with the Maryland Office of Tourism. The result of this partnership is a special section on visitmaryland.org for promoting horse events. It is easy to include your event on the site! First go to¬†visitmaryland.org.   Select “Find Events” (see illustration)                     Search on “horse” to narrow the type of events; and then select “Add Events.”           Last step: create an account! (Don’t worry, there is not cost to set up an account.) ¬†After that, enter as many events as you would like!  ...

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