In preparation for another battle over fertilizer ordinances, the Florida Association of Counties has voted to make protecting fertilizer restrictions one of its top three issues going into the 2013 legislative session.
“We’ve been told it’s imminent,” Sarasota County commissioner Nora Patterson, said of the potential legislation to limit local control of fertilizer use, according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune. The issue is whether local governments can pass tighter regulations than the state’s minimum recommendations to help meet the more stringent criteria for nitrogen in surface waters recently approved by state and federal agencies. Sarasota County passed the state’s first fertilizer ordinance in 2007 with officials promising to push for repeal if they saw lawns dying for lack of nutrients. To date, only one complaint has been made but the sick grass was probably caused by overwatering, not under fertilizing. Since then, the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa as well as Pinellas and Manatee counties have passed ordinances that limit the use or sale of nitrogen fertilizer during the summer rainy season.
Reprinted from Bay Soundings (Baysoundings.com)