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Senator says deal close on fertilizer rules

Stakeholders are nearing an agreement on how the state will regulate fertilizer and phosphorous pollution.

Sen. Paul Pinsky told the Senate on Wednesday that representatives of the agricultural and environmental communities, as well as members of Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration had been meeting to reshape fertilizer regulations.

Pinsky spoke during discussion of his bill that would establish deadlines for the adoption and implementation of fertilizer regulations.

Phosphorous pollution caused by excess fertilizer on Eastern Shore poultry farms is a concern for the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

But farmers say the regulations proposed by former Gov. Martin O’Malley would hurt their business.

Last month, Hogan introduced his Maryland Agriculture Phosphorous Initiative, which he said built on his predecessor’s regulations, but pushed back the seven-year implementation schedule by one year.