Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: EPA says PA behind in Chesapeake cleanup; Avian flu precautions

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 12, 2015 9:02 PM
Susquehanna enters the bay at havre de Grace 600 x 340.jpg

Photo by Scott LaMar/WITF

The Susquehanna River flows into the Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace, Maryland.

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, July 13, 2015:

Pennsylvania is not meeting its goals in the Chesapeake Bay cleanup.  That's according to a report from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA was especially critical of how far behind Pennsylvania is in controlling agriculture-based nitrogen and sediment running into the bay.

The report indicated to meet its goals, Pennsylvania would have to remove an additional 14.6 million pounds, or 22 percent of its loadings into the Susquehanna River, by the end of 2015.

Will Baker and Harry Campbell of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation appear on Monday's Smart Talk to discuss what the state must do to improve its cleanup efforts.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau disputes some of the EPA findings.  For example, the organization claims farmers who have taken steps voluntarily have not been counted.

The Farm Bureau's Mark O'Neill joins us along with Lebanon County farmer Bonnie Wenger on Smart Talk to address the bay cleanup and also precautions being taken in Pennsylvania to guard against avian influenza in poultry spreading to the state.

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  • Lisa img 2015-07-13 09:25

    While I agree that the water going into the Chesapeake Bay needs to be cleaned up chemically, I am not certain that keeping all sediment from going into the bay is feasible. I consider myself a naturalist and environmentalist and I am dismayed at the push for no-till farming to reduce sedimentation as the chemical load associated with the herbicides used in no-till farming most certainly is increasing with adverse affects to other parts of the eco-system as seen most dramatically in the decrease of monarch butterflies. As many people who live in the rural areas where farming occurs also use well water, the chemical load is increasing for the people who live there. We can smell it when the fields are sprayed with herbicides and if you can smell it, you are breathing it in with what unknown effects? Keep animals out of the water, practice contour farming, plant riparian buffers, but stop promoting no-till as a "good" solution to prevent sedimentation. As the natural process for an estuary is sedimentation, I really question the push to promote no-till farming.

  • Lisa img 2015-07-13 10:04

    For the caller who reported an issue with a corporate farm dumping manure into a stream, you can report this to your local conservation district, DEP and/or PA Fish & Boat Commission.

    http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/report_an_incident/6010
    http://pacd.org/your-district/find-your-district/
    http://fishandboat.com/inform.htm

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