The Vermont Statutes Online
Conservation and Development
WATER POLLUTION CONTROL
WATER POLLUTION CONTROL
1266b. Application of phosphorus fertilizer
As used in this section:
"Compost" means a stable humus-like material produced by the
controlled biological decomposition of organic matter through active
management, but shall not mean sewage, septage, or materials derived from
sewage or septage.
"Fertilizer" shall have the same meaning as in 6 V.S.A. § 363(5).
"Impervious surface" means those manmade surfaces, including paved
and unpaved roads, parking areas, roofs, driveways, and walkways, from which
precipitation runs off rather than infiltrates.
"Manipulated animal or vegetable manure" means manure that is ground,
pelletized, mechanically dried, supplemented with plant nutrients or substances
other than phosphorus or phosphate, or otherwise treated to assist with the use
of manure as fertilizer.
"Nitrogen fertilizer" means fertilizer labeled for use on turf in
which the nitrogen content consists of less than 15 percent slow-release
"Phosphorus fertilizer" means fertilizer labeled for use on turf in
which the available phosphate content is greater than 0.67 percent by weight,
except that "phosphorus fertilizer" shall not include compost or
manipulated animal or vegetable manure.
"Slow-release nitrogen" means nitrogen in a form that is released
over time and that is not water-soluble nitrogen.
"Turf" means land planted in closely mowed, managed grasses,
including residential and commercial property and publicly owned land, parks,
and recreation areas.
"Turf" shall not include:
cropland, land used to grow sod, or any other land used for agricultural
(ii) private and
public golf courses.
"Water" or "water of the State" means all rivers, streams,
creeks, brooks, reservoirs, ponds, lakes, springs, and all bodies of surface
waters, artificial or natural, which are contained within, flow through, or
border upon the State or any portion of it.
"Water-soluble nitrogen" means nitrogen in a water-soluble form that
does not have slow-release properties.
of phosphorus fertilizer.
(1) No person
shall apply phosphorus fertilizer to turf except for:
fertilizer necessary for application to turf that is deficient in phosphorus as
shown by a soil test performed no more than 18 months before the application of
the fertilizer; or
fertilizer that is labeled as starter fertilizer and that is intended for
application to turf when a property owner or an agent of a property owner is
first establishing grass in turf via seed or sod procedures and the application
of starter fertilizer is limited to the first growing season.
(2) On or before
October 1, 2011, the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, after
consultation with the University of Vermont, shall approve a standard, which
may authorize multiple testing methods, for the soil test required under
subdivision (1)(A) of this subsection.
of nitrogen fertilizer. No person shall apply nitrogen fertilizer to turf.
of fertilizer to impervious surface; in proximity to water; and seasonal
restriction. No person shall apply any fertilizer:
(1) to an
impervious surface. Fertilizer applied or released to an impervious surface
shall be immediately collected and returned to a container for legal
application. This subdivision shall not apply to activities regulated under the
required agricultural practices as those practices are defined by the Secretary
of Agriculture, Food and Markets under 6 V.S.A. § 4810;
(2) to turf before
April 1 or after October 15 in any calendar year or at any time when the ground
is frozen; or
(3) to turf
within 25 feet of a water of the State.
display of phosphorus fertilizer. If a retailer sells or offers for sale
phosphorus fertilizer to consumers and consumers have direct access to the
phosphorus fertilizer, the retailer shall:
(1) In the
retail area where phosphorus fertilizer is accessible by a consumer, display
nonphosphorus fertilizer separately from phosphorus fertilizer;
(2) Post in the
retail location, if any, where phosphorus fertilizer is accessible by the
consumer a clearly visible sign that is at least eight and one-half inches by
11 inches in size and that states "Phosphorus runoff poses a threat to
water quality. Most Vermont lawns do not benefit from fertilizer containing
phosphorus. Under Vermont law, fertilizer containing phosphorus shall not be
applied to lawn unless applied to new lawn or lawn that is deficient for
phosphorus as indicated by a soil test."
A person who knowingly and intentionally violates this section shall be subject
to a civil penalty of not more than $500.00 per violation. A violation of this
section shall be enforceable in the Judicial Bureau pursuant to the provisions
of 4 V.S.A. chapter 29 in an action that may be brought by the Agency of
Agriculture, Food and Markets or the Agency of Natural Resources. (Added 2011,
No. 37, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012; amended 2015, No. 64, § 13.)