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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 14, 2015 12:45 PM
From: Representative David H. Zimmerman
To: All House members
Subject: Cosponsorship - Anaerobic Digester Legislation
In the near future I intend to introduce legislation which will address recent efforts by the Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) to enact regulations restricting the size of anaerobic digesters on farms.

Last year, the PUC began a rulemaking process to restrict the size of anaerobic digester systems. The Lancaster County delegation, along with many other members of the General Assembly, as well as the Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, all filed comments discouraging the PUC from their efforts.

The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (“AEPS”) already provides sufficient size limits for these systems. The new, more restrictive limitations, could severely undermine the good work that digesters are doing to help meet important environmental goals (such as meeting Chesapeake Bay water quality standards) as well as remove an important revenue source for farming operations.

Simply put, anaerobic digesters are a key, environmentally appropriate technology to help agriculture operations remain viable – both in meeting other environmental rules as well as providing a valuable revenue source.

My legislation would also prohibit size restrictions for systems that burn methane from the anaerobic digestion of organic materials from yard waste, such as grass clippings and leaves, food waste, sewage sludge as well as landfills.

I would welcome your support of this important legislation.

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Introduced as HB1349