MD Dept. Of Agriculture finalizes proposed changes to Manure Management Regulations - to take effect October 15
ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 5, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that the Final Notice to Adopt its revised nutrient management regulations is published in the October 5, 2012, issue of the Maryland Register. The regulations will go take effect October 15, 2012. They are designed to achieve consistency in the way all sources of nutrients are managed and help Maryland meet nitrogen and phosphorus reduction goals spelled out in its Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.
The final regulations include one technical, non-substantive change in the provision that refers to nutrient application setbacks and the department’s consideration of new practices developed by the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service and the University of Maryland. MDA revised the provision to add “and other land grant universities”.
To read the Final Notice to Adopt, visit the Maryland Register. A copy of the final regulations is available on MDA’s website. A Frequently Asked Questions document is available online.
The Nutrient Management Advisory Committee has been working on the revised regulations for nearly two years. The new rules were originally introduced last October; however, due to overwhelming feedback, Governor Martin O’Malley asked that the proposed regulations be placed on hold to provide an additional opportunity for stakeholders to further discuss the proposal as well as input from his BayStat Scientific Panel. The regulations were revised and published in the Maryland Register on June 29. MDA then held a series of four public meetings across the state in July to provide information to farmers, environmental interests, local governments and other stakeholders on the proposed changes to Maryland’s Nutrient Management Regulations and offer an opportunity for public comment.
Established in 1998 to develop and refine regulations and requirements for Maryland's Nutrient Management Program, the 16-member Nutrient Management Advisory Committee includes representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, MDA, University of Maryland, Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Farm Bureau, Delaware-Maryland Agribusiness Association, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, commercial lawn care companies, the biosolids industry, as well as local governments and the state legislature. For more information, see previous blogposts on July 10 and August 20, 2012.