A ban on phosphorus on our lawns is headed to the governor's desk. Legislation which would ban phosphorus as an ingredient in lawn fertilizers sold in Wisconsin is ready for Governor Jim Doyle's signature, with passage in the state Senate.
"If . . . you absolutely need to have that nutrient, because of a phosphorus deficiency, or because you're starting a new lawn, you can in fact use a fertilizer containing phosphorus," said Monona Democrat, Senator Mark Miller . "For everybody else, there's no need for phosphorus."
The measure, aimed at protecting Wisconsin lakes from algae blooms, was supported by numerous environmental and conservation groups. Similar measures have been passed locally in communities including Madison and Marshfield, and several other states already have phosphorus fertilizer bans in place.
"Phosphorus is one of many things that we need to deal," in Wisconsin's surface waters, said Elkhorn Republican, state Senator Neal Kedzie . "As we become more educated, collectively all these things together add to the improvement of our surface waters, and eventually have a positive impact on our groundwater as well."
"We don't need phosphorus in lawn fertilizers, because most of our soils already have a surplus of phosphorus," Miller said. The bill passed the Senate on a 33-0 vote, after earlier passing the Assembly , also on a unanimous vote.