BILL REQ. #: H-1427.2
|State of Washington||62nd Legislature||2011 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 02/15/11.
AN ACT Relating to protecting water quality through restrictions on fertilizer containing phosphorus; amending RCW 15.54.270, 15.54.470, and 15.54.474; adding new sections to chapter 15.54 RCW; creating a new section; and providing an effective date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 (1) The legislature finds that:
(a) Phosphorus loading of surface waters can stimulate the growth of weeds and algae and that this growth can have adverse environmental, health, and aesthetic effects;
(b) Turf fertilizer contributes to phosphorus loading. Limits on turf fertilizer labeled as containing phosphorus can significantly reduce the discharge of phosphorus into the state's ground and surface waters;
(c) Turf fertilizer containing no or very low amounts of phosphorus is readily available and maintaining established turf in a healthy and green condition is not dependent upon the addition of turf fertilizer labeled as containing phosphorus; and
(d) While significant reductions of phosphorus from laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent have been achieved, similar progress in reducing phosphorus contributions from turf fertilizer has not been accomplished.
(2) It is the intent of the legislature to significantly limit the use of turf fertilizers labeled as containing phosphorus.
Sec. 2 RCW 15.54.270 and 1998 c 36 s 2 are each amended to read
Terms used in)) The definitions in this section apply throughout
this chapter (( have the meaning given to them in this chapter)) unless
the context clearly (( indicates)) requires otherwise.
(1) "Brand" means a term, design, or trademark used in connection with the distribution and sale of one or more grades of commercial fertilizers.
(2) "Bulk fertilizer" means commercial fertilizer distributed in a nonpackaged form such as, but not limited to, tote bags, tote tanks, bins, tanks, trailers, spreader trucks, and railcars.
(3) "Calcium carbonate equivalent" means the acid-neutralizing capacity of an agricultural liming material expressed as a weight percentage of calcium carbonate.
(4) "Commercial fertilizer" means a substance containing one or more recognized plant nutrients and that is used for its plant nutrient content or that is designated for use or claimed to have value in promoting plant growth, and shall include limes, gypsum, and manipulated animal and vegetable manures. It does not include unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, organic waste-derived material, and other products exempted by the department by rule.
(5) "Composting" means the controlled aerobic degradation of organic waste materials. Natural decay of organic waste under uncontrolled conditions is not composting.
(6) "Customer-formula fertilizer" means a mixture of commercial fertilizer or materials of which each batch is mixed according to the specifications of the final purchaser.
(7) "Department" means the department of agriculture of the state of Washington or its duly authorized representative.
(8) "Director" means the director of the department of agriculture.
(9) "Distribute" means to import, consign, manufacture, produce, compound, mix, or blend commercial fertilizer, or to offer for sale, sell, barter, exchange, or otherwise supply commercial fertilizer in this state.
(10) "Distributor" means a person who distributes.
(11) "Fertilizer material" means a commercial fertilizer that either:
(a) Contains important quantities of no more than one of the primary plant nutrients: Nitrogen, phosphate, and potash;
(b) Has eighty-five percent or more of its plant nutrient content present in the form of a single chemical compound; or
(c) Is derived from a plant or animal residue or by-product or natural material deposit that has been processed in such a way that its content of plant nutrients has not been materially changed except by purification and concentration.
(12) "Grade" means the percentage of total nitrogen, available phosphoric acid, and soluble potash stated in whole numbers in the same terms, order, and percentages as in the "guaranteed analysis," unless otherwise allowed by a rule adopted by the department. Specialty fertilizers may be guaranteed in fractional units of less than one percent of total nitrogen, available phosphorus or phosphoric acid, and soluble potassium or potash. Fertilizer materials, bone meal, manures, and similar materials may be guaranteed in fractional units.
(13) "Guaranteed analysis."
(a) Until the director prescribes an alternative form of "guaranteed analysis" by rule the term "guaranteed analysis" shall mean the minimum percentage of plant nutrients claimed in the following order and form:
|Total nitrogen (N)||. . . . . . . . . . . .||percent|
|Available phosphoric acid (P2O5)||. . . . . . . . . . . .||percent|
|Soluble potash (K2O)||. . . . . . . . . . . .||percent|
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3 A new section is added to chapter 15.54 RCW
to read as follows:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in section 4 of this act, a person may not apply turf fertilizer that is labeled as containing phosphorus to turf.
(2) A person may not apply turf fertilizer labeled as containing phosphorus to turf when the ground is frozen.
(3) A person may not intentionally apply turf fertilizer labeled as containing phosphorus to an impervious surface.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4 A new section is added to chapter 15.54 RCW
to read as follows:
Section 3(1) of this act does not apply in the following instances:
(1) Application for the purpose of establishing grass or repairing damaged grass, using either seeds or sod, during the growing season in which the grass is established;
(2) Application to an area if the soil in the area is deficient in plant available phosphorus, as shown by a soil test performed no more than thirty-six months before the application; or
(3) Application to pasture, interior houseplants, flower and vegetable gardens located on either public or private property, land used to grow grass for sod, or any land used for agricultural or silvicultural production.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5 A new section is added to chapter 15.54 RCW
to read as follows:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, no person may sell turf fertilizer that is labeled as containing phosphorus.
(2) The sale of turf fertilizer that is labeled as containing phosphorus is allowed for the following purposes:
(a) Application for the purpose of establishing grass or repairing damaged grass, using either seeds or sod, during the growing season in which the grass is established;
(b) Application to an area if the soil in the area is deficient in plant available phosphorus, as shown by a soil test performed no more than thirty-six months before the application; or
(c) Application to pasture, interior houseplants, flower and vegetable gardens located on either public or private property, land used to grow grass for sod, or any land used for agricultural or silvicultural production.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6 A new section is added to chapter 15.54 RCW
to read as follows:
A person who sells turf fertilizer at retail may only display turf fertilizer that is labeled as containing phosphorus if it is also clearly labeled for a use permitted by section 5 of this act.
Sec. 7 RCW 15.54.470 and 1998 c 36 s 11 are each amended to read
(1) Except for violations of sections 3, 5, and 6 of this act, any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and the fines collected shall be disposed of as provided under RCW 15.54.480.
(2) Nothing in this chapter shall be considered as requiring the department to report for prosecution or to cancel the registration of a commercial fertilizer product or to stop the sale of fertilizers for violations of this chapter, when violations are of a minor character, and/or when the department believes that the public interest will be served and protected by a suitable notice of the violation in writing.
(3) It shall be the duty of each prosecuting attorney to whom any violation of this chapter is reported, to cause appropriate proceedings to be instituted and prosecuted in a court of competent jurisdiction without delay. Before the department reports a violation of this chapter for such prosecution, an opportunity shall be given the distributor to present his or her view in writing or orally to the department.
(4) The department is hereby authorized to apply for, and the court authorized to grant, a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating or continuing to violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter, notwithstanding the existence of any other remedy at law. Any such injunction shall be issued without bond.
Sec. 8 RCW 15.54.474 and 1998 c 36 s 12 are each amended to read
Except for violations of sections 3, 5, and 6 of this act, every person who fails to comply with this chapter, or any rule adopted under it, may be subjected to a civil penalty, as determined by the director, in an amount of not more than seven thousand five hundred dollars for every such violation. Each and every such violation shall be a separate and distinct offense. Every person, who, through an act of commission or omission, procures, aids, or abets in the violation shall be considered to have violated this chapter and may be subject to the penalty provided for in this section.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 9 This act takes effect January 1, 2013.