The Maryland House of Delegates is debating a proposal to study whether large poultry farms are polluting the air in the state. The proposed legislation would establish an eight-person committee to design a study tracking air quality in areas in the state that have a higher concentration of agricultural operations.

The committee would include experts in regulatory compliance, air pollution, sampling, statistics, toxicology and epidemiology. The committee would then submit a plan for public comment and scientific peer review, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.

Motivation behind the study is not only to determine whether air pollution problems are caused or exacerbated by large poultry farms, and if so, whether it is playing a factor in human health.

Delegate Robby T. Lewis, D-Baltimore, who sponsored the House bill, said it enables the Maryland Department of Environment to ask if air quality is a concern at large animal feeding operations, adding that “it starts with a question and ends with results.”

At this point, the proposal has more support among Republicans, but little support from Democrats. Governor Larry Hogan’s administration has not taken a stance on the proposal, but state environmental officials fear that the quick timeline of the measure could sacrifice accuracy and not generate any “useful conclusions.” A similar piece of legislation was introduced in the Maryland Senate by Senator Richard Madaleno, D-Montgomery.