A Conversation with Senator Brubaker
Brubaker Bill Would Improve Water Quality, Reduce Run-Off Pollution
In recent years, the state has made significant strides in reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As Chairman of the multi-state Chesapeake Bay Commission, I am very proud of Pennsylvania's efforts to preserve this vital natural resource, and I am committed to helping communities meet federal pollution reduction goals to preserve this treasure for future generations. I introduced legislation recently that would protect water quality not only in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, but also in communities across the Commonwealth by reducing run-off pollution from non-farm fertilizers.
Senate Bill 1191 would set limits on the application of fertilizer to turf areas such as lawns, golf courses and athletic fields. The bill would also require all professional fertilizer applicators to be certified in proper application techniques and best management practices to prevent the overuse or misapplication of fertilizers, which contributes to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in rivers and streams. These measures would help reduce one of the state's main sources of water pollution.
The legislation would not apply to agricultural operations since the industry is already required to comply with more stringent pollution reduction mandates. The agriculture community deserves a great deal of credit for their contributions to meeting the state's pollution reduction goals. Pennsylvania's farmers have led the way to implement erosion and sedimentation controls, nutrient management plans and other best management practices on farms to reduce pollution. Actions by Pennsylvania farmers are reducing an average of 1 million pounds of nitrogen to the Chesapeake Bay every year. In contrast, loads from urban and suburban lands continue to grow, and the acres of turf in the watershed now outnumber the acres of corn.
My legislation would bring residential homeowners closer to the pollution reduction practices for agricultural operations and make it easier for the state and local communities to meet federal pollution reduction goals. Reducing nutrient loads at their source is more cost-effective than installing costly best management practices to capture pollution later.
Water quality is an important measure of a community's quality of life, and we should place a high priority on reducing pollution in our waterways. Similar legislation has already been enacted in the neighboring states of Maryland and New Jersey, and I am hopeful we can follow suit and enact reasonable pollution reduction measures in the near future.
Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Illness
Hot summer weather can lead to a number of dangerous heat-related illnesses, such as heat fatigue, dizziness, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Prolonged exposure to dangerous temperatures can lead to serious health consequences, so it is important to take the proper precautions to avoid the effects of these dangerous conditions.
If you suspect that someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate advises you to get that person out of the sun and into a shady, cool place. Offer fluids such as water or fruit juices and encourage the individual to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water.
An individual with a body temperature above 104 degrees is likely suffering from heat stroke and may show symptoms including confusion, combativeness, strong rapid pulse, lack of sweating, flushed skin and faintness. If you suspect heat stroke, call 911 as soon as possible.