HB 1489-S.E - DIGEST

Limits the sale, display, and application of turf fertilizer labeled as containing phosphorus.


April 14, 2011

To the Honorable Speaker and Members,
The House of Representatives of the State of Washington

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am returning herewith, without my approval as to Section 4, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1489 entitled:

"AN ACT Relating to protecting water quality through restrictions on fertilizer containing phosphorus."

This bill limits the use, sale, and retail display of turf fertilizer that contains phosphorus, as of January 1, 2013.

Section 4 would prevent the Department of Agriculture from enforcing the bill through the issuance of civil penalties. Without this tool, the Department would be unable to effectively implement the bill.

For this reason, I have vetoed Section 4 of Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1489.

It is unfortunate that the final bill did not include the exemption for fertilizers made from biosolids, manure and other organic materials. These products provide a valued and beneficial use of materials that would otherwise need to be managed as waste. Since the bill is not effective until January 2013, I would entertain legislation in 2012 to exempt these organic products from the limits established in the bill.

With the exception of Section 4, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1489 is approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Christine Gregoire