An innovative manure treatment project on a Lancaster County farm will help reduce nutrient run-off into the Chesapeake Bay as part of Pennsylvania's continuing efforts to improve the bay's health.

Kreider Farms, a 2,200-cow dairy in Mount Joy, Lancaster County, today unveiled a micro-aerobic digestion project that provides on-farm treatment of manure that will significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that might otherwise flow into the Chesapeake Bay.

"Pennsylvania's agriculture industry is committed to developing innovative approaches to meet our goals in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "By continuing to work together with state, federal and private partners, we can help restore the water quality of the bay and ensure future generations can benefit from this natural treasure."

When the project is fully implemented in October of this year, the technology will create enough biomass to power approximately 2,700 homes.

The technology used by Kreider Farms is a biological process designed to facilitate the growth of large populations of naturally-occurring bacteria that are responsible for the conversion of the nitrogen and phosphorus in the waste stream.

"The Kreider project is a prime example that our efforts must move away from paper and plans and be about people and projects, which equates to progress for Pennsylvania's environment and agricultural community," said Department of Environmental Protection executive deputy secretary, John Hines.

The Department of Environmental Protection will verify nutrient reductions. Municipal sewage treatment plants and communities may use the offsets as an alternative, sometimes more cost-effective, solution for reducing nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment discharges.

Pennsylvania committed to protect the Chesapeake Bay by reducing nitrogen run-off by 7.3 million pounds and phosphorus by 300,000 pounds. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's latest report card, Pennsylvania has fulfilled its commitment in animal waste-management systems.

The $7.5 million project was completed by Bion Environmental Technologies Inc. and funded in part by PENNVEST.

For more information about Pennsylvania's efforts to improve Chesapeake Bay health, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on "DEP Programs A-Z," and then, "Chesapeake Bay."