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Fertilizer Preemption Likely to Return

October 31, 2016

Florida Association of Counties

Stephen James

October 28, 2016

As significant as numeric nutrient criteria will be to the waterbodies in your communities, so too will be the authority to regulate one of the key contributing sources of nutrient enrichment – fertilizer.   You may recall that legislation filed in the last two sessions proposed the preemption of local government authority over fertilizer, ranging from a full preemption (including the sale, composition, formulation, packaging, use, application and distribution of fertilizer) to partial preemptions (for commercial applicators and prohibited application periods or “summer bans”).

While the Association of Counties has played an important role in protecting home rule authority over the past several years, it is very likely that similar legislation will be introduced again this coming session.   At the 2012 Water Forum, Chairman Crisafulli (R – Merritt Island) stated that he expects a fertilizer bill to be filed this session, and legislative staff members with the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources have already contacted both FAC and the League of Cities seeking information related to fertilizer regulation.

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