EPA Will Not OK Nutrient Reductions From Manure Treatment Tech Under SB 994
On June 19 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that practices and technologies that are not approved by EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program will not be allowed to be counted toward meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones.
The manure treatment technologies at the heart of Senate Bill 994 (Vogel-R-Beaver) now pending in the Senate are not approved by EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program.
Harry Campbell, Executive Director of the PA Office of Chesapeake Bay Foundation, wrote to all members of the Senate Thursday saying it would be imprudent to move ahead with any consideration of Senate Bill 944 in light of this new information.
The text of the letter follows--
Yesterday (June 19) the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that practices and technologies that are not approved by EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program will not be allowed to be counted toward meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones.
In a presentation by EPA to the Chesapeake Bay Program Trading and Offset Workgroup, EPA staff stated that only pollution reduction practices that are approved by the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program will be acceptable in counting towards the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint (i.e., TMDL).
Manure treatment technologies, like the expensive, capital-intensive technologies behind the introduction of Senate Bill 994, are not currently accepted by EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program and will not be able to be counted toward meeting Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones.
Given limited resources and thousands of Pennsylvania impaired streams, we believe that emphasis on established clean water programs and pollution reduction practices that are currently accepted by EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, are fundamental to Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs), and help meet local water quality impairment while providing a large number of additional benefits—like reduced flooding, drinking water protection and improvement, improved herd health, and community revitalization—must be the Commonwealth’s core focus.
We have offered proposed amendments to Senate Bill 994 to Sen. Vogel’s office that we believe will significantly and positively increase the demand for real and marketable pollution reduction credits in the current trading marketplace and deal with other flaws in the bill.
Given this new information, we believe it would be imprudent to move ahead with any consideration of Senate Bill 994 before the complex issues raised in the bill are thoroughly explored with the bill sponsors and other stakeholders. There are many ways we can innovate and advance our common goals if we choose to work on them.
CBF continues to urge members to oppose Senate Bill 994 as currently written and we continue to stand by all the earlier comments we made on the bill in our June 17 letter to you.
H.L. Campbell III, Pennsylvania Executive Director
Let Senators Know How Your Feel!Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Pay More, Get Less, Senate Bill 994, Act Now!