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Turf Industry Coalition Calls For Statewide Fertilizer Regulation

Previous tide bloom in the Indian River Lagoon region. Photo by St. Johns River Water Management staff.

A new coalition representing Florida’s turf industry is calling for a statewide standard on fertilizer use that would replace local ordinances aimed at protecting fragile waterways.

The group calling itself Floridians for Water Quality Protection says the local measures are inconsistent, confusing and have failed to protect waterways from toxic algae.

Mac Carraway is executive director of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation Inc., which is a coalition member that in January sued Naples over its fertilizer ordinance.

“They ignore the professional qualifications and training. They ignore decades of best practices that our people have funded and implemented. In effect really those ordinances treat all drivers like drunk drivers.”

Across the state 13 counties and nearly 90 municipalities have adopted fertilizer ordinances that are widely supported by environmental groups from the Sierra Club to Florida Springs Council.

The coalition is getting push-back from at least one environmental group.

Cris Costello of the Sierra Club says the coalition has another motive.

“They’re the same turf growers and agri-chemical industry folks who have been fighting against pollution controls at the local level in one way or another since 2007.”


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