Senate rejects fertilizer moratorium

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The Senate rejected a House proposal to put a three-year moratorium on new local laws aimed at preventing nitrogen pollution of water bodies and wetlands.

The House had put language on an environmental regulation bill (HB 999) that would prevent local governments from putting fertilizer ordinances in place and calling for a study of effect of fertilizer runoff on the environment. The moratorium would have prevented new ordinances to regulate “nonagricultural fertilizer or its use,” unless using a model ordinance adopted by the state between July 1, 2013 and June 3, 2016. The Senate sponsor of the bill, Sen. Thad Altman, said the language was never heard in a Senate committee, and was highly controversial and that “to take it on Day 59 as an amendment from the House,” was a bad idea.

The Senate voted to take the language out of the bill, which didn’t come up for a final vote. The Senate could take a vote on the bill without the fertilizer language on Friday. It would still need approval in its new form from the House.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.