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Emergency Fertilizer Regulations Withdrawn In Maryland

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Excess phosphorus in area run-off encourages algae growth and pour water health in the Chesapeake Bay.
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Excess phosphorus in area run-off encourages algae growth and pour water health in the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland's Agriculture Department has withdrawn its request to seek emergency status on proposed regulations on fertilizer use aimed at reducing Chesapeake Bay pollution.

The department announced it was pulling back the request just two days before a legislative panel was scheduled to take up the proposal.

The department sought emergency status because officials wanted to get the regulations in place in time for the fall planting season. The proposals are based on new research, and are aimed at reducing the amount of phosphorous that gets into the state's waterway and encouraging the growth of algae.

Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance says the department will meet with stakeholders and resubmit the proposal next month.

Critics contend the regulations would prevent farmers from using locally-produced organic fertilizer.

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