Water-soluble, high-nitrogen lawn fertilizers are polluting Long Island’s water!
That’s why legislators, business leaders and civic and environmental groups across Long Island are supporting legislation that limits the amount of nitrogen contained in lawn fertilizers to no more than 15% nitrogen by weight, with at least 50% of that nitrogen being water insoluble. (Bills A4568 and S2130).
NOTE: This draft legislation has been amended to increase the allowable limit of nitrogen and add language developed by the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) and promoted by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
• Long Island is NY State’s unique marine environment, surrounded by water on all sides with a sole source of drinking water in underground aquifers.The protection of water is critical to the sustainability of Long Island.
• Brown tides, red tides, algal blooms and fish kills caused by nitrogen pollution impact property values, tourism and marine industries, and diminish the quality of life on Long Island.
• High-nitrogen lawn fertilizer isn’t the only source of excess nitrogen loading on Long Island, but it’s one factor we can easily control.Experts estimate the contribution of lawn fertilizer at 7-15%.
• Eliminating the sale and use of water-soluble, high-nitrogen lawn fertilizers* will have an immediate, positive impact on LI’s water quality, and is consistent with existing NYS law prohibiting phosphorus in lawn fertilizers to protect fresh water bodies in upstate regions.
• Slow-release, low-nitrogen lawn fertilizers produce thick, green, healthy lawns, and last up to three times as long as water soluble, high-nitrogen fertilizers, reducing product and labor costs. No compromise in lawn quality.Net economic impact: Zero.
• Many high quality products that won’t pollute Long Island’s water are alreadyavailable at local retail and wholesale outlets for both landscaping professionals and the public. See our page on fertilizers.
Note: legislation adopted by other coastal communities that stipulate application rates of nitrogen per 1000 square feet have proven to be impossible to monitor or enforce, and place the entire burden for compliance on the user. These laws have not been successful in reducing nitrogen pollution.
* “Water soluble” includes any lawn fertilizer with more than 50% water-soluble nitrogen as listed in the Guaranteed Analysis section of the label. “High-nitrogen” fertilizer includes any lawn fertilizer product containing more than 12% nitrogen by weight.