Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1716
       By Senator Bracy
       11-01391-19                                           20191716__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to fertilizers; amending s. 403.9336,
    3         F.S.; providing legislative intent regarding the use
    4         of specified slow-release fertilizers in helping
    5         control water pollution and enhancing overall water
    6         quality; amending s. 403.9337, F.S.; requiring, rather
    7         than encouraging, county and municipal governments to
    8         adopt and enforce the Model Ordinance for Florida
    9         Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes;
   10         specifying that county and municipal governments must
   11         require the use of specified slow-release fertilizers;
   12         defining the term “estuary runoff area”; providing
   13         additional requirements for counties and
   14         municipalities within estuary runoff areas;
   15         authorizing county and municipal governments to adopt
   16         additional standards if certain criteria are met;
   17         providing an effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Section 403.9336, Florida Statutes, is amended
   22  to read:
   23         403.9336 Legislative findings and intent.—
   24         (1) The Legislature finds that:
   25         (a)Nitrogen pollution has become a problem due to the
   26  volume of fertilizers applied to residential lawns. Fertilizers
   27  applied during the summer rainy season cause nitrogen to wash
   28  into the waterways and cause additional pollution and harm to
   29  the marine animals within those waters.
   30         (b)The use of fertilizers that contain a slow-release
   31  nitrogen component will help control water pollution and enhance
   32  overall water quality.
   33         (c) The implementation of the Model Ordinance for Florida
   34  Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes (2015) (2008), which
   35  was developed by the department in conjunction with the Consumer
   36  Fertilizer Task Force, the Department of Agriculture and
   37  Consumer Services, and the University of Florida Institute of
   38  Food and Agricultural Sciences, will assist in protecting the
   39  quality of Florida’s surface water and groundwater resources.
   40         (d)The Legislature further finds that Local conditions,
   41  including variations in the types and quality of water bodies,
   42  site-specific soils and geology, and urban or rural densities
   43  and characteristics, may necessitate the implementation of
   44  additional or more stringent fertilizer management practices at
   45  the local government level.
   46         (2)Therefore, the Legislature intends to increase the
   47  quality of Florida’s water resources through the use of the
   48  Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban
   49  Landscapes (2015) and the application of fertilizers that
   50  contain a slow-release nitrogen component.
   51         Section 2. Section 403.9337, Florida Statutes, is amended
   52  to read:
   53         403.9337 Model Ordinance for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer
   54  Use on Urban Landscapes.—
   55         (1) Each All county and municipal government governments
   56  shall are encouraged to adopt and enforce the Model Ordinance
   57  for Florida-Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes (2015)
   58  or an equivalent requirement as a mechanism for protecting local
   59  surface and groundwater quality.
   60         (2) Each county and municipal government shall require the
   61  use of fertilizers that contain at least a 50-percent slow
   62  release nitrogen component for residential lawn use.
   63         (3)(a)In addition, each county and municipal government
   64  within an estuary runoff area shall implement and enforce a lawn
   65  fertilizing holiday to ban the application of fertilizers on
   66  established residential lawns from June 1 through September 30
   67  annually. Each such government may develop criteria to be used
   68  in determining which lawns are considered established. For
   69  purposes of this section, the term “estuary runoff area” means
   70  any part of a county or municipality where stormwater runoff
   71  flows to an estuary, as defined in s. 373.403.
   72         (b)Each county and municipal government within an estuary
   73  runoff area shall identify setbacks from water bodies within
   74  those areas and shall prohibit the application of fertilizers on
   75  residential lawns within those setbacks.
   76         (4)Each county and municipal government located within the
   77  watershed of a water body or water segment that is listed as
   78  impaired by nutrients pursuant to s. 403.067, shall, at a
   79  minimum, adopt the department’s Model Ordinance for Florida
   80  Friendly Fertilizer Use on Urban Landscapes. A county or
   81  municipal local government may adopt additional or more
   82  stringent standards than the model ordinance if the following
   83  criteria are met:
   84         (a) The county or municipal local government has
   85  demonstrated, as part of a comprehensive program to address
   86  nonpoint sources of nutrient pollution which is science-based,
   87  and economically and technically feasible, that additional or
   88  more stringent standards than the model ordinance are necessary
   89  in order to adequately address urban fertilizer contributions to
   90  nonpoint source nutrient loading to a water body.
   91         (b) The county or municipal local government documents that
   92  it has considered all relevant scientific information, including
   93  input from the department, the institute, the Department of
   94  Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the University of Florida
   95  Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, if provided, on the
   96  need for additional or more stringent provisions to address
   97  fertilizer use as a contributor to water quality degradation.
   98  All documentation must become part of the public record before
   99  adoption of the additional or more stringent criteria.
  100         (3)Any county or municipal government that adopted its own
  101  fertilizer use ordinance before January 1, 2009, is exempt from
  102  this section. Ordinances adopted or amended on or after January
  103  1, 2009, must substantively conform to the most recent version
  104  of the model fertilizer ordinance and are subject to subsections
  105  (1) and (2), as applicable.
  106         (5)(4) This section does not apply to the use of fertilizer
  107  on farm operations as defined in s. 823.14 or on lands
  108  classified as agricultural lands pursuant to s. 193.461.
  109         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.