§1266b. Application of phosphorus fertilizer

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/10/047/01266b
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Conservation and Development








1266b. Application of phosphorus fertilizer

(a) Definitions.

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:

(i) pasture,

cropland, land used to grow sod, or any other land used for agricultural

production; or

(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.

(b) Application

of phosphorus fertilizer.

(1) No person

shall apply phosphorus fertilizer to turf except for:

(A) phosphorus

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

(B) phosphorus

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.

(c) Application

of nitrogen fertilizer. No person shall apply nitrogen fertilizer to turf.

(d) Application

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.

(e) Retail

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."

(f) Violations.

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.)