A group of state lawmakers want to restrict the sale of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorous.
State Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison) says phosphorous can have a devastating effect on lakes and rivers, with just one pound of fertilizer run-off possibly resulting in 500 pounds of algae and weeds in lakes and rivers.
Black is co-sponsoring a bill banning the sale and general use of fertilizers containing phosphorous.
The Madison Democrat says most lawns and turf do not even need fertilizer containing phosphorous, but most consumers just don't realize that. He says allowing the sale of those products to continue just hurts the environment.
The proposal would not ban the use of phosphorous on agricultural land. Black says it also allows those fertilizers to be used on lawns in special cases, such as the first year a lawn is being grown and if the soil is found to be phosphorous-deficient. Stores could still carry those products, but could not sell them without an exemption.
A similar proposal passed the Senate last session, but failed to get a floor vote for final approval in the Assembly.
Several communities have already enacted similar restrictions, but Black says a statewide approach is needed.