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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

PLNA Meets with PDA, Legislative Staff on New Fertilizer Bill

Wednesday, March 27, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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HARRISBURG - Last month, PLNA Chairman Ted Ventre, President Cathy Corrigan and Government Relations consultant Gregg Robertson met with officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and legislative staff from the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to begin work on a new draft of the fertilizer bill.

Bill Dies in Committee

Last legislative session, the fertilizer bill died in committee (S.B. 792) after PLNA had expressed concerns about the costs of the bill to the industry and made recommendations for streamlining the way the environmental best practices in the law were implemented.

S.B. 792 would have set up a completely new registration system, testing and fees for those companies and individuals that apply fertilizer for hire. This new system would be costly, not only to the industry but also to PDA.

PLNA Recommends Low-Cost Solution

Rather than setting up a completely new regulatory system just for fertilizer, PLNA has recommended that the environmental best practices in the bill be incorporated into Category 7 (Lawn and Turf Grass) of the existing pesticide program. This would simply require adding these best management practices, which fit onto one page, into the study materials for Category 7 and adding a few more questions to the Category 7 pesticide certification exam.

Since it is common practice to apply regulated pesticides along with fertilizer in the lawn care industry, companies and individuals already have their Category 7 certifications. Adding to the Category 7 study materials and exam would cause little disruption to the lawn care industry and almost no additional cost.

PLNA Supports Lawn Fertilizer Best Management Practices

PLNA believes that the best management practices in S.B. 792 for applying turfgrass fertilizer are sound practices that should be followed by those applying fertilizers. Click here to download those BMP’s. PLNA’s objection is simply the creation of an entirely new regulatory program to implement these environmental goals.

A draft of the new legislation is not yet available, so we do not know at this time whether this common-sense approach to this new regulatory requirement will be a part of the new bill.

Support a Common-Sense Approach

Call your state Representative and Senator and ask them to support a common-sense, less costly approach to implementing these regulatory requirements for lawn care companies.

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