Tuesday, May 17, 2016

PA Begins Farm-to-Farm Search for Bay Crimes

Farm-to-farm inspections to begin soon as part of Chesapeake Bay cleanup 'reboot'
Officials, including the Pennsylvania secretaries of agriculture and environmental protection, shared the details of the state’s new “reboot” in its long and struggling efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
. . .
At the heart of it will be farm-to-farm inspections to make sure farmers have state-required manure-management plans and erosion and sediment control plans.

Such basic farm-management plans have been state law since 1972 but have been little enforced until now. Now, officials want to create “a culture of compliance,” as Quigley put it.

The state hopes conservation districts in the 41 counties in the Susquehanna watershed will make the inspections. It’s a voluntary request and comes with additional financing.

Thompson said that though the local conservation district board is cautious and has concerns about a fundamental change to its mission, it is “leaning” toward acceptance.

Farmers found to be in violation or , or are polluting local streams, would have a 90-day grace period. After that, the state could pursue enforcement, including fines.
How long until they begin house-to house searches? 

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