State Senator Requests Hearing for Phosphorus Regulations

An October 25 Cecil Whig article reports that Maryland Senator Steve Hershey has requested the Joint Committee for Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review hold a formal hearing on proposed phosphorus regulations.  The regulations would create a Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) that could severely limit the ability of farmers to spread chicken manure or sewage sludge on their fields.

 “It became evident to me at the public briefing in Easton last week that an attempt was being made to push the new regulations through to implementation without answers to vital questions regarding the economic impact of these regulations on Maryland farmers. It was confirmed that neither an economic impact study nor a farm-by-farm cost benefit analysis was conducted during the development of the PMT,” Hershey said.  …

Hershey said he has suggested a simple compromise of rolling out the PMT over 18 months or two planting cycles, allowing the present and the new regulations to run side by side to provide sufficient time to correctly determine the actual economic impacts.