24 August, 2010

Organic Fertilzer on Track to Be Outlawed in New York

Yes indeed. The ever thinking thought provoking government in Albany has outlawed fertilizers coning phosphorous in fertilizers exceeding .5% in content. Phosphorous is deemed responsible for algae blooms in major water bodies. Many soils are already sufficient in phosphorous for necessary plant growth so the elimination of the element in chemical fertilizers is no big deal. However it will deal a death blow to organic fertilizers. Even compost has some phosphorous in it. Does this mean your backyard compost pile is at risk? Could be under give an inch take a foot process. It is very easy to rid a box of Miracle Gro of phosphorous. But to rid a glorious bag of organic plant food or bird guano of phosphorous is preposterous. Here is a comment from the state senator who voted in favor of this nonsense:
Especially take note of this line:Violators of the new law would receive a written warning and educational materials
Buffalo, NY – New York State Senator Antoine Thompson (D-parts of Erie & Niagara Counties) changes the Environmental Conservation Law regarding the amount of phosphorus used in household products.  

Senate bill S3780, sponsored by Thompson prohibits the sale or distribution of dish washing detergent containing more than 0.5% of phosphorus.  The bill, signed into law by Governor David Paterson on July 15th, also prohibits the application of phosphorus fertilizer on lawn or non-agricultural turf.
Studies show that one pound of phosphorus can produce 500 to 700 pounds of algae, which reduces oxygen in water, causing fish and shellfish to die.

Thompson calls excessive phosphorus a growing threat to our environment.   "By reducing levels of phosphorus entering the environment, communities could save significant cost, because they would not be required to install as much storm water treatment systems in impaired watersheds."

The amendment to the Environmental Conservation Law goes into effect January 2013.  Violators of the new law would receive a written warning and educational materials for the first violation. However, repeat offenders could be fined up to $250.00.

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