Gov Rendell Wants Milk Fee Decision Reversed

05.08.09 | Terry Diener

Governor Ed Rendell has asked a court to overturn a state board decision that ruled out an extra charge on packaged milk produced in Pennsylvania and sold in New Jersey. Rendell and Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff filed a lawsuit last week in Commonwealth Court that challenges the Milk Marketing Board's April 1 decision.

At issue is whether to add the so-called "over-order premium fuel adjuster" on the New Jersey-bound milk. The extra fee increases how much processors -- the middlemen who sell to groceries and other outlets -- have to pay to farmers.

Earl Fink with the Pennsylvania Association of Milk Dealers trade association, which voted Thursday to intervene in the case, said the market is sensitive to tiny changes in price, and the extra fee would put Pennsylvania dealers at a competitive disadvantage to other states that feed the massive New Jersey market.