Maryland's Public Information Act & Nutrient Management Plans
"Confidential" business plans for farmers, or what we refer to as Nutrient Management Plans, go against the Maryland Public Information Act, preventing public access to necessary information to safeguard our rivers from nutrient pollution that exceeds permitted limits. Currently, citizens only have access to nutrient information about Combined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or what others commonly refer to as "factory farms". Confidentiality eliminates our ability to monitor which farms are following their plans, or track who is illegally polluting our rivers and streams. We challenged the Maryland Departments of Agriculture's (MDA) ability to do this in state circuit court.
Status Update: After a not-so-victorious run on the state level, we have decided to proceed with a federal constitutional (first amendment) claim in the case to achieve certain informational disclosure.