Bill Exempting Milk Hauling from Travel Bans Advances

A Farm Bureau-supported bill that would allow milk to continue to be transported from farms to processing plants during weather-related commercial travel bans has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly’s new session.

The state House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, in a 20-5 vote, sent House Bill 186 to the full chamber for consideration. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Marty Causer of McKean County, would exempt haulers transporting milk from farms to processing plants from weather-related travel bans.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau believes the measure is needed to ensure that farmers are not at risk of losing thousands of dollars in lost production due to restrictions on the movement of raw milk. Because milk is perishable and on-farm storage is limited, raw milk must be transported in a timely fashion or dumped. Milk haulers are accustomed to driving in poor weather and on rural roads and typically have their vehicles equipped with safety features to aid in winter driving.

The measure was passed by both the House and Senate last session but was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.