HARRISBURG - Senator Michael Brubaker (R - Lancaster) has circulated a sponsorship memorandum seeking co-sponsors for a redraft of last session's SB 1191, a bill to regulate the application of lawn and turf grass fertilizer. SB 1191 died in committee last session, due mainly to a lack of science behind many of the bill's provisions.
PLNA has had an opportunity to review the new draft of the bill and, although improved, it continues to have provisions that are not based on the best available scientific research and will cause companies who provide lawn care services unnecessary additional expense in delivering their services. And because the bill is not based on sound science, PLNA's analysis, using the Chesapeake Bay Commission's own data, indicates that the bill may even make Bay conditions worse.
After failure of the bill during the last session, the Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC) convened a group of experts called the "Expert Panel to Define Removal Rates for Urban Nutrient Management". The CBC is a federally created agency whose mission is to develop Chesapeake Bay policies. In late winter 2013, this panel issued a report, the Expert Panel Report (EPR) to document the research and develop policy recommendations for the CBC. Much of what the expert panel found was what PLNA had been advocating throughout the past two years: healthy, thick turf grass reduces runoff and pollution, Thin, sickly turf grass increases pollution.
For a full analysis of the draft bill, search for previous PLNA e-News articles using the keyword "fertilizer." A copy of the draft bill can be downloaded by clicking here. The bill has not yet been formally introduced as of this writing.