May 19th amazing testimony was heard in opposition to mulch, compost, topsoil industrial facilities moving into Western Howard County on farmland in HoCo Ag Preserve, Maryland Ag Preserve and RC zoned areas. Farmers came out against this move and against the industrial wealthy businessmen who successfully changed the laws last summer during HoCo Comprehensive Zoning Amendment process literally changing the definition of farming at 10PM at night!! Residents testified concerned about safety, traffic, noise, odor, quality of life changed and house values declining. Woodbine resident testified about getting sick after the 7 years Bonner/Hughes mulching facility they named "Oak Ridge Farms" moved to Ag Preserve land neighboring their homes. One farmer said their animals were sick. A Johns Hopkins cancer researcher testified about the effects of such an industrial facility in a rural community including the deterimental health effects of wood chip dust, a carcinogen and respiratory conditions from fungi and bacteria.
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It fails to show that there were hundreds of supporters against industry on farms and only 20 people or less for this move. Those testifying FOR this issue included farmers or land owners who hoped to financially gain from putting industrial operations on farmland. A couple of farmers were concerned the laws might affect their true farming operations (composting, mulching on and for their farm), but DRPS assured them that we are farmers and we are pro-farmer and would not write any law that would take away a farmer's right to farm his land. Our only goal is to stop big industrial and commercial business from moving onto farmland to pay cheaper property taxes while harming our health, safety, environment and quality of life.