Local fertilizer ordinances safe… for now
To the editor
Both the Senate and House bills that threatened local fertilizer ordinances failed to win passage in the closing moments of the 2010 Florida Legislative session on Friday. Local fertilizer laws remain intact today without the threat of preemption by the state.
Fertilizer runoff is one of the most harmful pollutants PURRE and others are working to reduce. This is a victory for now but in the fight for clean water, we can never rest on a victory in one battle. And this one was close: The language containing amendments that would have overturned the strong rules regulating fertilizer pollution adopted by so many Florida counties and cities was only withdrawn from the Senate version of the bill (SB382) at the 11th hour. The House companion bill (HB 1445) still contained the preemption language and could have been sent back to the Senate. Luckily, that never happened.
This is a fight that will have to be watched closely even as we work to convince even more municipalities and communities to adopt stricter rules, higher standards and better practices for fertilizer use.
Again, thank you to all who sent letters and emails and made phone calls. It made a difference.
Michael J. Valiquette
Chairman, PURRE Water Coalition