Yesterday, February 24, MACo Policy Analyst, Natasha Mehu, testified opposing SB 257, Agriculture- Nutrient Management-Phosphorus Management Tool to the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. SB 257 would codify proposed regulations that limit the amount of animal and poultry manure, sewage sludge and phosphorus- containing fertilizer that would be applied to agricultural lands.
Essentially, this bill would impose significant costs on agriculture highly impacting the Eastern Shore. Additionally, this bill would increase the costs and challenges for local governments to properly dispose of sewage sludge.
The written testimony explains:
MACo supports addressing agricultural phosphorus runoff in a timely and informed manner. Agriculture should not be exempted from reducing the pollution it generates. However, MACo is concerned about the grave consequences the proposed PMT would have on Maryland’s agricultural industry and the ability of local governments to properly dispose of sewage sludge.
Instead of the proposed PMT, MACo supports working with both the environmental and agricultural communities to devise a refined PMT that lessens the negative economic burdens while still reducing phosphorus contaminated agricultural runoff.
For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.