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Model Nitrogen Fertilizer Ordinance A Step Toward Sustainability Willie deCamp & Michael Borgatti Save Barnegat Bay 906-B Grand Central Ave., Lavallette,

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Presentation on theme: "Model Nitrogen Fertilizer Ordinance A Step Toward Sustainability Willie deCamp & Michael Borgatti Save Barnegat Bay 906-B Grand Central Ave., Lavallette,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Model Nitrogen Fertilizer Ordinance A Step Toward Sustainability Willie deCamp & Michael Borgatti Save Barnegat Bay 906-B Grand Central Ave., Lavallette, NJ, NJDEP Fertilizer Work Group Trenton, NJ. October 28, 2008

2 Dispelling Misconceptions SBB ordinance does NOT ban all nitrogen Impractical, unnecessary, non-scientific Fertilizer is a significant, but not the primary, source of N in Barnegat Bay. Multi–pronged solutions are vital. SBB ordinance will not end eutrophication. But it will greatly reduce total N. Fertilizer & landscapers are not “bad”! In fact:

3 Basic Requirements Eliminates products with greater than 30% total N Emphasizes high percentages of slow release nitrogen (at least 40% of the N) Only allows sale of those products allowed for use No application outside the USDA growing season. (Nov. 15 to March 1)

4 Other Elements Exempts Golf Courses and Farms Recommends soil testing Recommends no more than four applications per year

5 Advantages of a two-tiered application model If you use more slow release, you are allowed more N Accommodates professionals & homeowners who feel their lawns benefit from more N Makes many organic fertilizers eligible

6 Practicality & Enforceability Simplicity: The only products available for sale are those permitted for use. No “fertilizer police”. Enforcement upon homeowner would arise only in the context of out-of-season application or application on hard surfaces or during rain. Registration of Landscapers Landscapers know certification could be revoked.

7 Standing on solid legal ground 1 - County Environmental Health Act (CEHA) allows nitrogen to be regulated by the County as a contaminant. 2 - Under NJ law an ordinance will be upheld if the science is “reasonably debatable”. 3 - Similar to laws in NY, FL, and MN that have been upheld. 4 – Does not violate restraint of trade or interstate commerce protections

8 Developing Conservative Estimates: Key Steps 1. SBB reviewed the relevant scientific literature, including Ayers et al 2001; Hunchak-Kariouk and Nicholson 2001; Castro et al. 2003; Guillard and Kopp 2004; Kennish et al. 2007; Muholland et al SBB examined existing legislation Florida, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey. 3. Interpreting Industry data Scotts, U.S.D.A., U.S. Census.

9 Step 1: Examine the Science “23-34% of ground-water sample[s]…were above the EPA recommended.71 mg/l N criteria for rivers and streams.” (Weiben, 2007) “Human activities associated with urban and agricultural land uses are the principle factors adversely affecting aquatic health throughout New Jersey” (Ayers et al. 2000) M. Serfes, NJDEP, NJGS. NJ Water Monitoring Council Meeting September 6, 2007.

10 Step 2: Look at the Law SBB (County) Florida (State) Suffolk,NY (County) Controls Point of Sale ? YesNo*No Addresses Residential Lawns ? Yes No Consistent throughout Jurisdiction ? YesNoYes * Controls product labeling specifically

11 Application ScenarioTotal lbs. N app/yr. (% of total sold in state) 50% Minimum Compliance (2.5 lb N/1000 sq ft) 1,867,220 (4.1) 100% 1 lb. N/1000 sq. ft1,493,776 (3.3) 50% 1 lb. N/1000 sq. ft746,888 (1.6) Average 1,369,295 (3.0) Step 3: Analyze industry and USDA data ABCABC

12 16.8%1.7%9.3% 313,69331,742172, ,95425,394138, ,47712,69769, ,04233,330126,660 Step 3: Continued Application Stats 50% Minimum Comp. (2.5 lb N/1000 sq ft) 100% 1 lb. N/1000 sq. ft 50% 1 lb. N/1000 sq. ft Avgerage Leaching Rates Guillard & Kopp 2004

13 Thank you. We would enjoy speaking with any of you further. Michael Borgatti Willie deCamp

14 Farming: A small Factor

15 Components of a Good Ordinance

16 Basic Requirements Home Lawn Care

17 Step 2: Look at the law Florida adopted the most comprehensive fertilizer law in the nation Florida strengths Strong scientific backing Statewide Stakeholder cooperation Florida weaknesses Nearly impossible to enforce Very hard for the homeowner to understand and comply with Allows 100% water soluble N SBB’s ordinance is an improvement on Florida Stronger scientific backing Easy to enforce. Point of sale requirements Uniform everywhere Simple for homeowner Requires “slow release”, but allows significant fast acting Seasonal restrictions are supported by NJ Model Fertilizer ordinance & science (Guillard)

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