Lawmakers in Westchester County, New York, voted to ban phosphorus fertilizers in an attempt to improve the region’s water supply. The ban hopes to reduce runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus into bodies of water like the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, where the chemicals feed algae that can suffocate aquatic life. The law will also regulate the use and sale of fertilizers.
Lawn care professionals in the area will not be affected until 2011, when the ban takes affect. The law will outlaw fertilizing lawns from Dec. 1 to April 1, when the ground is frozen and more susceptible to runoff. Fertilizer will also not be allowed within 20 feet of a body of water.
The ban will not include new lawns, vegetable gardens or agricultural uses.