The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a statement about fertilizer provisions resulting from the New York State Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law, which went into effect on January 1.
The new law prohibits the application of any fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium on lawns or non-agricultural turf between December 1 and April 1. According to the law, fertilizers can be used between April 2 and November 30 but with restrictions.
Under the provisions of the law, only lawn fertilizer with less than 0.67 percent by weight phosphate content may be applied legally. Application of any fertilizer on lawns or non-agricultural turf within 20 feet of a water body or on paved surfaces is restricted. Additionally, retailers must display phosphorus fertilizer separately from phosphorus-free fertilizer and must post signs notifying customers of the terms of the law.
Phosphorus is carried to ponds, rivers, lakes and streams from lawn areas by stormwater runoff. Phosphorus in water has been linked to reductions in oxygen necessary for fish to breathe, algae that turn water bodies green and algae and algae by-products that degrade drinking water.
For more information, visit dec.ny.gov/chemical.