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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan Fails to Meet Goals

Wednesday, September 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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In August EPA rejected Pennsylvania’s required plan for reducing the pollution it sends to the Chesapeake Bay. As the largest contributor to Bay pollution, such as agricultural runoff and municipal sewage, Pennsylvania is under pressure to meet its share of Bay cleanup goals.

The Pennsylvania plan would meet only 73% of the goals set for Bay cleanup by the 2025 deadline. Further, the plan as submitted would require an additional $324 million a year to implement through 2025, yet the new 2019 state budget provides only $6 million in new funding for Bay cleanup and takes $16 million from green infrastructure funding that reduces Bay pollution.

What this means to the nursery and landscape industry is increased pressure for new state regulatory programs, such as legislation to control the application of turf grass fertilizer. A bill regulating the application of turf grass fertilizer died at the end of the last legislative session in 2018. A new bill has yet to be introduced.

PLNA has been working with the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the PA Department of Agriculture, which would implement the legislation, and the General Assembly to develop a bill that would meet Bay goals and be efficient to implement. PLNA supports the best management practices (BMPs) for the application of turf grass fertilizer but is seeking an easy and effective way to implement them.

PLNA’s current intelligence is that a bill will be introduced by Senator Yaw (R-Lycoming) who is a member of the federal Chesapeake Bay Commission. The bill language will likely be that which died at the end of the legislative session last year in Senate Bill 792. For PLNA’s analysis of the bill go to the June 2018 edition of e-News.

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