Senate Lawn Fertilizer Application Bill To Be Considered By Committee June 26
The bill was introduced Wednesday by Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Adams), one of Pennsylvania’s representatives on the Interstate Chesapeake Bay Commission.
“The health of Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers is of critical importance to our economic future and quality of life,” said Sen. Alloway. “Unfortunately, thousands of miles of streams in the Commonwealth are impaired due to excess levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Excess levels of these nutrients are also significant contributors to the impairment of the Chesapeake Bay, whose watershed covers 50 percent of our state.
“For decades, Pennsylvania’s farmers have led the way to implement erosion and sedimentation controls, nutrient management plans and other best management practices on farms,” explained Sen. Alloway. “More recently, wastewater treatment plants have begun to implement upgrades to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus emissions. Both sectors should be commended for their successful efforts.
“Unfortunately, as these sectors continue to implement nutrient reductions, the loads from urban and suburban stormwater continue to grow,” noted Sen. Alloway. “In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, acres of turf now outnumber acres of corn.
“This legislation will reduce the environmental impact of fertilizer applied to turf areas, such as lawns, golf courses and athletic fields, while ensuring that all turf areas within the Commonwealth will be able to receive adequate nutrients so that adverse turf health will not result as an unintended consequence,” said Sen. Alloway.
“In addition to setting clear standards for the application of fertilizer to turf, the bill will also require all professional fertilizer applicators to be certified in proper application techniques and best management practices,” said Sen. Alloway. “This legislation is specifically focused on the lawn care industry and will not apply to agricultural production.
Similar legislation has already been enacted in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, and the industry has expressed a strong desire for consistency across the region and state.
The meeting will be held in the Rules Room of the Senate Off the Floor, which means there is no set time for the meeting. It could be called any time after the Senate convenes Monday.
Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and can be contacted by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to: SenatorSchwank@pasenate.com.
[Posted: June 23, 2017]
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