Lawn fertilizers; prohibits use and application of those that contain phosphorus. (HB329)

Introduced By

Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Lawn fertilizers; penalty.  Prohibits the application of fertilizers that contain phosphorus for use on lawns, golf courses, parks, and cemeteries. The prohibition does not apply to fertilizer products primarily intended for gardening, trees, shrubs, or indoor plants. The bill prohibits the application of fertilizer that contains phosphorus when the ground is frozen. Any fertilizer that runs onto impervious surfaces has to be immediately contained and collected. New lawns or lawns that have had soil tests in the last three years showing phosphorus levels are deficit based upon Department of Conservation and Recreation's nutrient management standards and criteria can use fertilizers that contain phosphorus. Beginning January 1, 2011, no person can display for sale lawn fertilizer that is labeled as containing phosphorus; however, such products can be stored off the sales floor and may be sold upon request. Also beginning on this date, a business selling fertilizers has to provide signage that informs the public of the new law and noting the effects of phosphorus on state waters. Any person who violates provisions of the new law may be assessed a civil penalty by the Department of Conservation and Recreation of up to $250. The moneys collected will be deposited in the Water Quality Improvement Fund. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10101386D
01/11/2010Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
01/20/2010Assigned ACNRsub: #3 Chesapeake
01/28/2010Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2011
02/03/2010Continued to 2011 in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources


Cindy Patterson writes:

Please, pass this bill.

Leaf compost is the best fertilizer around, just use your regular lawn mower to chop it up for your lawn.

Feeding the leaf compost to the microorganisms in the soil feeds the plants better than any man made chemical can.

The chemicals the plants release from their roots strengthens or weakens the soil pH to get the microorganisms to produce just the right amount of food for the plants.

We do not need man made chemicals and phosphorus to grow our plants and green our lawn. they kill the good microorganisms and inadvertently kills our song birds by poisoning the insects they need to produce their babies.

We should not be allowing pesticide companies to pollute our drinking water and song birds with phosphorus in man made pesticides. (Storm water run off goes right down the storm drain and into our rivers and Ches. Bay without being cleaned).

Thank you Delegate Plum for introducing this bill and thank you all for passing this bill and saving our water quality and song bird population.

Cindy Patterson