MDA Withdraws Phosphorus Management Tool Regulations - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

MDA Withdraws Phosphorus Management Tool Regulations

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MARYLAND - The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) says it will withdraw its proposed regulations to implement the new Maryland Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) from consideration by the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR).

This action also reportedly cancels the AELR hearing on the regulation scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 20. 

According to reports, as a result of concerns identified in the public meetings and public comment process, MDA is withdrawing the regulations. Many farmers were worried the new regulations could prohibit the use of chicken manure on farm fields, which tends to be high in phosphorus.

The department will reportedly consider all comments and critical issues raised by stakeholders, develop an approach that addresses concerns raised to date, and resubmit a new proposal to AELR in 2014 that includes a phased implementation schedule for the new tool.

MDA officials say the Phosphorus Management Tool replaces the Phosphorus Site Index to reflect the most current research by University of Maryland scientists in collaboration with regional and national experts. The tool would help farmers determine how much fertilizer they can apply to fields, mainly, so excess phosphorus does not run into nearby waterways. Revising and updating the tool is reportedly an element of Maryland's WIP, the federally mandated document that outlines specific steps the state will take to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.

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