Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Update

Posted: September 4, 2005

A review of Act 49

In 2004 Governor Rendell signed into law the Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Act, or Act 49. The act calls for all who transport or apply manure on a commercial basis to be certified. The law contains the following definitions:

"Commercial manure broker." A person that is not working for or under the control of an agricultural operator and that assumes temporary control or ownership of manure from an agricultural operation and arranges for transport to and utilization at an importing operation or other location.

“Commercial manure hauler." A person that transports or land-applies manure as a contract agent for an agricultural operator or commercial manure broker under the direction of the operator or broker.

The law states that no commercial hauler or broker may transport or land-apply manure on behalf of an agricultural operation, regardless of where the manure is generated, unless the individual is certified. All commercial haulers and brokers who apply manure generated by a farm that has an approved Nutrient Management Plan (CAO, CAFO or volunteer operation) must apply the manure in accordance of the plan provisions. For some farms this means completion of Nutrient Balance Sheets will be necessary. Commercial haulers and brokers must also maintain records of all manure they broker, transport or land-apply.

Comment Period and Timeframe

Currently, the PA Department of Agriculture is drafting the regulations that will outline the educational component of Act 49. Regulation development should be completed later this year. When the regulations become available there will be a 30-day public comment period. This will be the last chance for the agricultural community to influence the regulations. If you are interested in reviewing the regulations and would like information on how to make comment, please contact me at the number or email address below.

The law gives the date of February 26, 2006 as the date by which all commercial haulers and brokers must be certified. There will only be a small window of time between regulation implementation and the required certification date. We expect the required education to take place at several locations in January and February of 2006.

For the past five years Penn State has conducted a voluntary Manure Hauler Certification program. The voluntary program will be adapted to meet the regulations. Unfortunately, those who have become certified under the voluntary program will need to attend the required course. This program will operate similarly to the Nutrient Management Plan Writers Program; Penn State will supply the educational components while PDA houses many of the administrative operations of the act and dispenses the actual certification.

Robb Meinen, Penn State Senior Extension Associate