What’s Coming in Pennsylvania in 2014…
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
HARRISBURG - Stay tuned to PLNA e-News for continuing coverage of important issues in the coming months of 2014. Here are some of the state issues we will be keeping an eye on in 2014.
Implementation of the High Tunnel Legislation - With the passage of Acts 144 and 130, PLNA will be monitoring the implementation of the new laws to be sure that counties are not taxing high tunnels. PLNA members should check their real estate tax records to be sure that high tunnels are not included in their property tax assessments and call PLNA is they have problems.
For more information on the new high tunnel laws, click here.
Passage of HB 1440 to Exempt High Tunnels from the Uniform Construction Code - A bill clarifying that high tunnels are not subject to the Uniform Construction Code (UCC), HB 1440, remains stalled on the Senate floor with no vote scheduled. HB 1440 passed the House unanimously and was reported out of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee unanimously without amendment last June. It needs only a vote of the full Senate to be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.
Click here to send an email to your state senator urging them to vote "yes” on HB 1440.
Lawn Fertilizer Regulation Bill SB 1149 – In late October 2013, Senator Brubaker introduced his bill regulating the application of lawn fertilizers in Pennsylvania and the regulation of professional fertilizer applicators, SB 1149.
PLNA is opposed to the bill as written because it is not based on sound science, may actually cause further degradation of the Chesapeake Bay and will cost the industry millions in compliance costs. For more information on PLNA’s position on the bill, click here.
To review a copy of the bill please click here. Email any comments on the bill to Gregg Robertson at grobertson@PLNA.com.
Pa. Fish and Boat Commission Proposes to Ban All Aquatic Plants, but for a "White List” – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is proposing to ban by regulation all obligate aquatic plants in Pennsylvania, except for a list that they would approve.
The notion of an aquatic list white list seemed to die after it first surfaced two years ago, but was recently resurrected by David Spotts, the PFBC’s director of environmental services. Spotts was speaking at the December meeting of the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council in Harrisburg.
PLNA plans to meet with the PFBC in February to discuss the impact of such a regulation on both the industry and the PFBC staff.
Department of Agriculture Proposes New Noxious Weed Law - The Department of Agriculture is proposing an overhaul of the state’s Noxious Weed Law. The current Noxious Weed Law controls a limited number of plant species deemed to be "noxious," including Canada thistle, multi-flora rose and marijuana. The propagation, transport or sale of plant species deemed to be noxious is prohibited and property owners with stands of the weeds are required to remove them at their own expense.
The current draft of the new law has some provisions which could be troublesome, including expansion of the power of the agriculture secretary to declare plants "noxious,” the lack of a defined role for industry input and lack of a public comment process for plants nominated for the noxious weed list.
A new draft of the legislation is expected in late January. For more information on the current draft, click here.