Lake Beseck Environment Committee launches the LakeSmart Home Program! Learn more at the Breakfast Gardening Workshop on April 22, 2017!
Check out photos of the Storm Drain Stenciling Project that helped to raise awareness about storm water runoff in the event gallery link, below...
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New Legislation Limits Use of Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizers
Increasingly the detrimental effects of phosphate on bodies of water, such as lakes are becoming more apparent. The Connecticut General Assembly's Environment Committee, introduced legislation this year that limits the use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizers. Senate Bill 254 reduces the effects of phosphate fertilizer runoff on the state's waters. This law tries to limit phosphate contamination by restricting the use of phosphate.
So what is phosphorus and what does it do?
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection provides this explanation: “Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element that is essential to support plant growth. When present in excessive amounts, phosphorus contributes to a process called “eutrophication” that can impair both aquatic life and recreational use of Connecticut’s water resources. Eutrophication, or nutrient enrichment, is a serious threat to water quality in Connecticut. Excessive loading of phosphorus to surface waters as a result of discharges from industrial and municipal water pollution control facilities (WPCF) or nonpoint sources such as runoff from urban and agricultural lands, can lead to algal blooms, including blooms of noxious blue green algae, reduction in water clarity, and in extreme cases, depletion of oxygen, fish kills, and other impairments to aquatic life.”
The bill becomes law on January 1, 2013 and is summarized as follows:
No person shall apply fertilizer, soil amendment, or compost that contains phosphate to an established lawn, except when: (1) A soil testing method approved by the Commissioner of Agriculture and performed within the previous two years indicates the soil is lacking in phosphorus, or if (2) fertilizer, soil amendment or compost containing phosphate is used for establishing new grass or repairing a lawn with seed or sod.
If these exceptions are met there are further restrictions: No fertilizer, soil amendment, or compost that contains phosphate shall be applied to any lawn during the period beginning December 1st and ending March 15th of the following year; to any portion of a lawn that is located 20 feet or less from any brook, stream, river, lake, pond, sound or any other body of water, except if fertilizer, soil amendment or compost is applied with the use of a drop spreader, rotary spreader with a deflector or targeted spray liquid, application may occur on a lawn not less than15 feet from a body of water. No fertilizer, soil amendment, or compost that contains phosphate shall be applied to any impervious surface that prevents or restricts absorption of storm water such as porous paving, paver blocks, gravel, crushed stone, decks, patios etc.
Any person in violation of this law shall be assessed a civil penalty by the Commissioner of Agriculture of $500. The law does not apply to property classified as agricultural land, or a golf course.