10-11 a.m. Tuesday, March 9 In Capitol Rotunda

Good morning.
Iím happy to see that the weather has moderated somewhat.
However, in many ways, our communities are being frozen to death.

Five years ago, communities throughout the Commonwealth were treated to the Big Chill:
The passage of Act 38 Ė The Agriculture Communities and Rural Environment law -
better known as "ACRE".

This law put the big chill on local governments and self determination.
ACRE says you can run your communities, but only within the corporate confines
defined by Harrisburg and the state Attorney Generalís office.

Itís wrong and fundamentally undemocratic on many levels.

But I also say it was built on lies, lies, lies.
When ACRE was being deliberated upstairs, I had an amendment ready that said
the measure would have zero affect on local ordinances restricting sludge spreading.

Bud, Bud, Bud, they told me.
The bill already says ACRE wonít diminish the authority of local governments to regulate sludge.

It still does.
But that hasnít stopped the Attorney Generalís office
from going after municipalities with a legion of lawyers.
We have seen big government and their corporate caddies chop away at local governments,
from East Brunswick, Packer and Shrewsbury townships.

We wonít be fooled again.
I wonít be fooled again.
We need to fix ACRE and put these toadies for the waste industry
and bad science out to pasture.

Only 64 other House members joined me in voting against ACRE in 2005.
In the Senate, only one senator had the wisdom to vote against it.

Sludge is not rocket science. Itís bad science.
Even the EPAís Inspector General said that the EPA cannot assure the public
that land application practices protect human health and the environment.

Sludge spreading is not a normal agricultural practice.
Sludge remains unwanted, scientifically suspect and linked to health problems.
I donít thatís anyoneís idea of normal.

Iíve fought for stronger sludge rules for many, many years.
I hope the time has finally come that Pennsylvania stops risking
the health of its citizens in favor of corporate profits.

We have to stop business as normal in Harrisburg, and we have to fix ACRE.
Thank you so much for this rally and for inviting me.

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