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PENNSYLVANIA STATE REP. COY'S NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT BILL PASSES SENATE

 HARRlSBURG, Pa., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- State Rep. Jeffrey Coy's nutrient management bill today passed the Senate after being stalled there for the past two sessions.
 "This is a very important day for the agriculture community and for those involved in efforts to clean up Pennsylvania's waterways and the Chesapeake Bay," Coy said. "We were able to reach a compromise and we think that, for the most part, it is something that everyone can live with."
 Coy's bill would require that farmers who operate high concentration animal operations submit nutrient management plans to local conservation districts for approval and to be filed.
 A nutrient management plan is simply a proposal of how nutrients are disbursed on farmland. Local conservation districts are groups of farmers, citizens and other agriculture experts who direct local agriculture and conservation practices.
 "For farmers who already have nutrient management plans in place, and many do, this is just taking it one step further to put the plans down on paper," Coy said.
 Coy added that not all Pennsylvania farmers would be affected by this bill, but all could benefit from incentives in the bill.
 The bill includes a section providing for the limitation of liability which allows farmers who have a nutrient management plan submitted to be exempt from lawsuits for damages arising from management or utilization of nutrients on the farm.
 Coy said that local ordinances would be pre-empted by the regulations for nutrient management, once those regulations were put into place.
 Among the many agriculture and environmental groups that support the bill are the Pennsylvania Farmers' Association, Pennsylvania State Grange, Pennsylvania Farmers Union, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation District Directors, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Sierra Club and the Pennsylvania Agronomic Products Association.
 BAY FOUNDATION HAILS PASSAGE OF NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT BILL
 Lamonte Garber, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) agricultural policy specialist, hailed the Senate's unanimous passage today of the Nutrient Management Act. "This is the most important step Pennsylvania has taken to prevent non-point pollution to state waterways and the Chesapeake Bay," Garber said.
 The Nutrient Management Act, sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Coy of Franklin County, would require large livestock operations to manage their manure and fertilizer to prevent pollution of ground and surface water.
 Garber also said that gaining the approval of the state legislature would have been impossible without the cooperation of the farming community. "This is more than just a landmark environmental initiative. It's proof that farmers and environmentalists can work together to solve mutual problems. This bill is about farming efficiently and farming productively. When that happens both the environment and agriculture benefit," he said.
 CBF President William C. Baker said that Pennsylvania's Nutrient Management Act is a model. "The Act's sponsor, Rep. Jeffrey Coy, deserves everyone's congratulations for tirelessly working on behalf of farmers and the environment to craft an excellent program. The Nutrient Management Act gives Pennsylvania a necessary tool in the effort to meet the Chesapeake Bay Agreement's 40 percent nutrient reduction goal. We urge the other Bay states to follow Pennsylvania's lead," said Baker.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/5/93
 /CONTACT: Jean DePietress of the House Office of Democratic Legislative Information, 717-787-6526, or Melinda Downey of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 717-234-5550/


CO: Pennsylvania Senate; Chesapeake Bay Foundation ST: Pennsylvania IN: AGR ENV SU:

MJ-MK -- PH037 -- 5078 05/05/93 17:28 EDT
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Date:May 5, 1993
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