Facts About the New County Fertilizer Ordinance

Palm Beach County’s Board of County Commissioners passed its “Florida Friendly Fertilizer Use Ordinance” on October 30, 2012.  This ordinance was required by the state legislature to address water quality related to landscape practices.  It is intended to protect Palm Beach County ground and surface waters.  The following is a summary of the ordinance.  Download a printer-friendly version of this fact sheet here.

  • Florida-Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries (GI-BMP) is a research-based training program that includes an overview of the training and water legislation, irrigation, fertilization, pest management, and landscape best management practices.  Participants take a post-test following this one-day course.  Those achieving a 75% or better score receive a GI-BMP certificate of training.  This document is the prerequisite for the Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer.  GI-BMP training is available at UF / IFAS Palm Beach County Extension multiple times per year and is also available online.  To sign up for an online class, visit http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/professionals/BMP_overview.htm or call 561.233.1759 for local offerings or more details.
  • Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer is the new “fertilizer license”.  It is obtained from the Florida Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control by submitting the GI-BMP certificate of training and a completed application form and must be renewed every four years.  The application can be found at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/onestop/forms/13677.pdf
  • Commercial fertilizer applicators are those who apply fertilizer for hire, generally working on multiple properties owned by paying individual clients.  Commercial applicators must hold a Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer by January 1, 2014 to apply fertilizer in the landscape.  Businesses must provide proof of successful GI-BMP training to obtain or renew a business license from the PBC Tax Collector.
  • Institutional fertilizer applicators are those who apply fertilizer to properties owned by their employer.  This group includes golf course, municipal and county parks and public works employees, and staff of hotels and multi-family communities.  Institutional fertilizer applicators must hold a GI-BMP certificate of completion by January 1, 2014 in order to apply fertilizer in the landscape.
  • Non-commercial and non-institutional fertilizer applicators include homeowners, nurseries, and farm operations and should follow the University of Florida / IFAS “Florida-Friendly Landscape Program” and label instructions when applying fertilizers.
  • Anyone (including commercial and institutional applicators and homeowners) that applies fertilizer is encouraged to follow the principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Green Industries Best Management Practices, which includes the following:
    • No fertilizing during the Prohibited Application Period (when any part of Palm Beach County is under National Weather Service Flood Watch / Warning, a Tropical Storm Watch / Warning, a Hurricane Watch / Warning or if 2 inches of rain, or more is expected to fall within a one-day period).
    • No fertilizing within 10 feet of a water body (3 feet if a deflector shield is used).
    • Fertilize with rates at or below those currently recommended by the University of Florida and the fertilizer label.
    • Deflectors should be used with broadcast spreaders where needed.
    • Fertilizer spilled on an impervious surface must be cleaned up and either applied to landscape or returned to the package. Fertilizer and grass clippings should never be blown into water bodies, storm drains, sidewalks, or roadways, or allowed to wash into these areas.

Find more information in the GI-BMP manual (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/grn-ind-bmp-en-12-2008.pdf) and through our many Florida Friendly Landscaping publications (http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/homeowners/publications.htm).

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: