Senator Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) chairs a Senate Majority Policy Committee public hearing on Wednesday. Senator Elder Vogel, left, is prime sponsor of Senate Bill 724. Courtesy of the Pa. Senate
The Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee held a public hearing recently to discuss possible solutions on how the state can comply with federal mandates on run-off pollution.
The main focus of the hearing was SB 724, introduced by state Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Dist. 47), which would facilitate the creation of a watershed improvement program as an affordable means to address potential federal government regulation in the future.
State Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Dist. 47) Contributed photo
During the hearing, representatives from the agricultural industry testified. Mike McCloskey, a National Milk Distributors Association member, testified in support of Vogel's bill and said it would help farmers and producers seek voluntary solutions that are economically sound and environmentally friendly. A southern Pennsylvania farm has offered its support for the bill because it would allow herd sizes to increase and provide the tools necessary for the industry to operate within federal guidelines and regulations.
Phil Durgin, executive director of the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, reviewed a 2013 report that summarized the issue of nutrient reduction and potential consequences should the state fail to meet requirements.
SB 724 was referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on April 14 and remains under consideration.