Senator Pinsky Introduces Phosphorus Management Tool Bill

A February 4 Baltimore Sun article reported that Maryland Senator Paul Pinsky has introduced legislation (SB 257) that would codify proposed phosphorus management tool (PMT) regulations that would limit the spreading of animal and poultry manure on soils that already contain a certain amount of phosphorus.  Phosphorus is one of the key nutrients responsible for polluting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The proposed regulations, which were pulled by Governor Larry Hogan shortly after his inauguration, have generated significant controversy in the agricultural community, especially for the poultry industry on the Eastern Shore.  From the article:

The legislation mirrors regulations drawn up by Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration that were aimed at reducing farm phosphorus pollution of the Chesapeake Bay.  …

“We’ve got to move this ship out of port,” Pinsky said Tuesday. “The bay’s not getting any cleaner.”  …

A study done by Salisbury University projected that phasing in the phosphorus restrictions over six years would cost farmers $22.5 million, even with the state increasing farm subsidies by $15.5 million to ease the transition.

The article also noted that House Environment and Transportation Committee Chair Kumar Barve may also consider PMT legislation.

In his February 4 “State of the State” Address, Governor Hogan indicated that he will convene representatives from the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the agricultural communities to seek a new solution to the issue.\

Previous Conduit Street PMT Coverage