Heather Hansen, our golf course lobbyist in Olympia, has filed the following report:
HB 1489 – “Restrictions on fertilizer containing phosphorus” has passed the legislature. The only step left if for the Governor to sign it.
As passed, it will ban the use of fertilizer that contains phosphorus from sale or use on turf. It will not affect fertilizer labeled for other purposes. Exemptions are provided for newly established turf, repair of damaged turf and turf with a soil test that shows it needs phosphorus. The act will be administered by the WA Department of Agriculture, however, they will have no authority to issue penalties.
Bagged fertilizer labeled for use on turf, must be phosphorus free. Bulk fertilizer or fertilizer labeled for use on trees, shrubs, gardens, vegetables, etc. will not be affected. Sod farms and all production agriculture is exempt.
In order to buy or sell bagged fertilizer labeled for use on turf that contains phosphorus, the bag or tag will have to include directions for use on newly established turf from seed or sod or for repairing turf via over seeding or patching, etc.
It will be legal to sell fertilizer with phosphorus to those with a soil sample showing they need it. It remains to be seen if it will be readily available in most stores.
There is no exemption for organic fertilizer. The intent section was removed.
The act takes effect January 1, 2013.
To read the full text of the bill click here.
Remember that only underlined language and Section 2 are new, the rest is existing language.