God, Guns, and Fertilizer

One bill moving around NC legislative halls looks to keep the regulation of fertilizer out of the hands of local jurisdictions with Senate Bill 734 which seeks the following:

“No county, city, or other political subdivision of the State shall adopt or continue in effect any ordinance, rule, regulation, or resolution regulating the use, sale, distribution, storage, transportation, disposal, formulation, labeling, registration, manufacture, or application of fertilizer in any area subject to regulation by the [Agricultural] Board”.

Many governments have looked at limit phosphorus in fertilizers as a low-cost solution to improving water quality.  Why?  Because most soils in the area have sufficient levels of phosphorus to sustain healthy lawns, it’s not necessary for most lawns to add additional phosphorus to already saturated soils.  Runoff of excess phosphorus is one of the key contributors to eutrophication in our state’s waters.

Indeed, as of two years ago 11 states had passed laws to restrict the application of phosphorus in fertilizers.  Some of these states have used labeling and signage to help make it known to the consumer why the fertilizer requirements have been put into place.

Giving municipalities low-cost tools they can use to reduce pollution in our environment seems like a straight forward solution.  S.B. 734 keeps that from happening and should be abandoned.

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