Differences Between O'Malley's and Hogan's Phosphorous Management Tools
ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Two Phosphorous Management Tools are now making their way through the Maryland State Capitol: former Gov. Martion's O'Malley's, which is being championed by Sen. Paul Pinsky and Del. Stephen Lafferty; and Gov. Larry Hogan's PMT, which he proposed Monday night. Here are the differences:
O'Malley's PMT is set to be implemented by 2021, Hogan's pushes that deadline a year back, which he says allows farmers more time to adjust. O'Malley's bill would slowly phase in the lower phosphorous limit over 6 years. Hogan's will force farmers with excessive phosphorous levels to stop using chicken manure immediately.
Additionally O'Malley's regs required an impact analysis before implementation, Hogan's administration plans to do 10-12 on site economic evaluations of farms.
And in addition, Hogan plans to require an evaluation of all farms to make sure they are keeping up with regulations before forcing them to the next level of regulation. As well, every six years, soil samples will be sent to the Maryland Department of Agriculture to track phosphorous levels statewide.
Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder says these changes strike a good balance between the farmers and the environmentalists.
"It's absolutely a good balance, and what I think it shows is it shows a commitment on the part of MDA to continue to work towards a solution in this matter," Bartenfelder said.
But some have their concerns about deviating from the original timeline.
"I haven't heard anything from farmers that they need another year or two beyond that. The transition is laid out and the bill should allow farmers to reach that goal in six years, not in seven," Lafferty said.
Hogan plans to publish the regulation for public comment on April 3.