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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 8, 2019 12:20 PM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expanding the Use of Mushroom Compost
I will soon re-introduce legislation (last session’s SB 917) to amend section 1503 of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, to expand the definition of “compost materials" to include spent mushroom substrate (SMS). SMS, also referred to as “mushroom compost”, is the composted organic material remaining after a mushroom crop is harvested. SMS is registered as a PA Preferred Product by the PA Department of Agriculture and already utilized by PennDOT in roadside reclamation and commercial redevelopment projects. The bill was voted favorably out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee last session but was not considered by the full Senate prior to the end of the 2017-18 Legislative Session. Previous sponsors included Senators Rafferty, Argall, Hutchinson, Costa and Stefano.

According to the September 2014 Green Paper produced by the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee (JCC), over 2 million cubic yards of SMS are produced annually in Pennsylvania and “finding local, beneficial uses of SMS as a value-added product is a top concern.” The report cites numerous commercial applications of SMS such as: wetland material, storm water management basins, highway site remediation, parking lot islands, filtration socks and erosion control and also notes the potential “market” for its use in mine reclamation projects, and the reclamation of natural gas wells and pipeline right-of ways.

My legislation expands the use of compost products as best management practices to include pipelines and related facilities, including compressor stations and pipeline valve systems, for the transportation of natural gas and its derivatives and any other product transported through pipelines and well pads and related facilities for the extraction, production or storage of natural gas and oil.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB256