Pa. manure haulers must get certified

SALEM, Ohio – Pennsylvania’s commercial manure haulers must now get special certification to do their jobs.

Pa. Gov. Edward Rendell signed the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Act into law June 28.

Rep. Allan Egolf, R-Franklin/Perry, sponsored the legislation, which establishes a manure hauler certification program through the department of agriculture, state conservation commission and the nutrient management advisory board.

Pennsylvania’s department of agriculture must establish the program within 18 months.

How it works. The new law says no commercial manure hauler or broker may transport or land-apply manure for any farm unless they have completed the certification program and maintain that license.

Training includes sessions on laws and regulations that pertain to manure application, nutrient management plans and nutrient balance sheets, and recordkeeping.

Commercial haulers and brokers are required to develop nutrient balance sheets for the land where they apply manure, and to keep track of the manure they handle.

Applicators will also undergo training on safe hauling and application, equipment calibration, nutrient runoff and setbacks from water and property lines, the law says.

Fines. Those found without certification can be assessed penalties up to $500 the first day and $100 each day after.

If the state finds violators haven’t harmed the public or environment, they can opt to issue a warning instead.

Support. “The new law helps assure that manure exported from CAFOs is applied at an appropriate rate and manner to avoid environmental degradation, while allowing for the proper utilization of nutrients beneficial to crop needs, ” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Guy Donaldson.

A key provision of the law is a state preemption of local ordinances and actions that attempt to impose more stringent requirements on manure haulers and brokers.

“The uniformity in the administration, handling and transportation of manure provided in this legislation is essential to the future of agriculture in the commonwealth,” Donaldson added.

Commercial manure haulers must complete the certification process within 18 months.

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