Thursday, May 9, 2019

Sen. Yaw To Introduce Bill To Regulate Application Of Lawn Fertilizer, Certify Applicators

On May 7, Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) announced his intent to introduce legislation to regulate the application of lawn fertilizer and to certify fertilizer applicators as a way to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient pollution in Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams.
Similar legislation-- Senate Bill 792 (Alloway-R-Adams)-- was introduced and passed by the Senate last session, but got bogged down in the House last session.  Lawn fertilizer bills have been pending in the General Assembly for more than 8 years.
“The health of Pennsylvania’s streams and rivers is of critical importance to our economic future and quality of life,” said Sen. Yaw.  “Unfortunately, thousands of miles of streams in the Commonwealth are impaired due to excess levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Excess levels of these nutrients are also significant contributors to the impairment of the Chesapeake Bay, whose watershed covers 50 percent of our state.
“For decades, Pennsylvania’s farmers have led the way to implement erosion and sedimentation controls, nutrient management plans and other best management practices on farms.” explained Sen. Yaw.  “More recently, wastewater treatment plants have begun to implement upgrades to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus emissions. Both sectors should be commended for their successful efforts.
“Unfortunately, as these sectors continue to implement nutrient reductions, high levels in urban and suburban storm water continue to grow. In the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, acres of turf now outnumber acres of corn,” He said.
“This legislation will reduce the environmental impact of fertilizer applied to turf areas, such as lawns, golf courses and athletic fields, while ensuring that all turf areas within the Commonwealth will be able to receive adequate nutrients so that adverse turf health will not result as an unintended consequence,” said Sen. Yaw.
Similar legislation has already been enacted in Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, and the industry has expressed a strong desire for consistency across the region and state.
Sen. Yaw serves as one of Pennsylvania’s representatives on the interstate Chesapeake Bay Commission and as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
He also recently announced plans to introduce legislation encouraging farm conservation excellence, require lead testing in school water supplies, establish third party permit reviews in DEP, address stream cleaning and create a nutrient procurement program.
Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) can be contacted by calling 717-787-3280 or sending email to:
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