New permits for chicken farms are kicking up controversy on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Since 2014, Accomack County has seen a surge in the number of applications for the poultry houses.One of the disadvantages of living in agricultural areas is that people often try to do agriculture in them, and it can be smelly and inconvenient. If you don't like it, go live in the city.
Residents in an area just north of Exmore said two farms popping up have them concerned for their health.
In a house off Pungoteague Road, you’ll find Carlene Zach. It’s where she’s lived happily for years with no real worries until last year.
“Last January, the neighbor across the street informed me permits have been pulled for large chicken houses right here,” Zach said. “Right in our neighborhood.”
Zach quickly joined other nearby homeowners to try and fight it.
“The concern to us is the pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and the areas around us,” she said. “Not only that, but the loss of use of our farms.”
The property is just down the down the creek from Carlene Zach. According to property records, it’s divided into two parcels.
Work has already begun on one of the sections to build 12 houses. In the 12 houses, the chicken farm can house more than 500,000 chickens. The second parcel will have the same number of houses.
“All this feces and all this runoff is going to be going directly down into our sole source aquifer,” Zach said.
The group has filed many complaints with the county to try and stop it. Most recently they filed, along with the Chesapeake Bay Coalition, statements with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
The DEQ responded just this week to the environmental concerns voiced by residents.
“As far as they’re concerned, everything is in order,” Zach said.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
That's What Happens When You Live in the Country
New chicken farms raise a stink on Eastern Shore