EPA-Backed Turf Grass Fertilize Bill is Back
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
HARRISBURG – The federal EPA-backed bill to regulate the application of turf grass fertilizer is being re-introduced in this session of the General Assembly by Senator Richard Alloway (R–Franklin County).
Last session’s version of the bill, SB 1149 sponsored by Senator Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster), died at the end of the session without a vote by the full Senate. Senator Brubaker retired from his Senate seat in November of 2014.
Senator Alloway takes the place of Senator Brubaker on the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a multi-state federal commission charged with improving water quality in the Bay. The EPA provides staff support to the Commission and is pushing this legislation through the Commission.
This Bill Same as Last
According to Senator Alloway’s legislative director Melissa Knepper, this year’s bill will be the same as last year’s bill with two minor changes. The bill is SB 563, but as of e-News deadline, the bill was not yet available on the Senate website. It should be available later this week by going to www.pasen.gov and searching for SB 563.
With little change to last year’s bill, PLNA will likely take the same position on the bill, which is:
No Environmental Benefit
First, the bill as written would provide no environmental or water quality benefit to the Chesapeake Bay, and actually may have a detrimental impact on Bay water quality. EPA’s own data show as much.
It will Cost You Money
And second, the bill would impose real costs on the lawn care industry for no environmental benefit. You will be required to obtain a new certification to apply fertilizer and the new application limits may require that you change your fertilization programs, making more visits to your lawn care clients to achieve the same results.
For more information on the bill, see the PLNA e-News article of February 26, 2014.
PLNA is now meeting with legislators to outline our concerns with the latest version of the legislation. Please stay tuned to e-News for updates.