PA Legislature releases significant report on benefits of nutrient reduction program

A Pennsylvania Legislative and Budget Committee study could reduce costs and improve quality of life for Pa. tax and water utility rate payers.

MANHEIM, PA, Jan. 31, 2013 -- The Pennsylvania Legislative and Budget Committee released a study last week that could significantly reduce costs and improve quality of life for Pennsylvania tax and water utility rate payers.

The study concluded that adopting a competitive bidding program for verified nitrogen reductions could reduce Chesapeake Bay compliance costs to Pennsylvania taxpayers by as much as 80 percent. The proposed policy initiative enables low cost verified nitrogen reductions from agriculture, primarily livestock, to replace high cost municipal and stormwater reductions to comply with the federal Chesapeake Bay federal mandate.

Ed Schafer, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture noted, “Local livestock operations like Kreider Farms have already been approved to provide verified nitrogen reductions from livestock and could produce a significant impact on lowering the costs to Pennsylvania tax and rate payers for watershed clean-up efforts.”

Of even greater importance to Pennsylvania than the cost savings to comply with the federal mandate, by enabling such projects, is that Pennsylvania will significantly reduce agriculture’s nutrient impacts to all its interior fresh water resources as well as the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Ron Kreider, president and CEO and the third-generation family leader of Kreider Farms, said, “We installed Bion Environmental Technologies’ equipment to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous flowing into the watershed. This provides significant improvements to our local public health and quality of life, and stimulates economic activity in our communities.”

The existing approach for nutrient reduction has proved to be unaffordable and provides little or no benefit to local rural interior communities. The Legislative Study shows that a new direction is needed to provide watershed clean-up that is affordable and provides real tangible benefits for tax and rate payers, the environment, the fresh water recreational industry and agriculture.

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