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Cleaning our water together

Monday, April 25, 2011 | Naples Daily News

You don’t have to be a scientist to know water is fluid and not restricted to one city, county or
even region.

Municipalities such as Naples and Marco Island are particularly aware of this fact as illustrated in your editorial about fertilizer rules for Collier.

They are concerned that their efforts to protect their cities’ waterways may be in vain if
regulatory action is not taken up by Collier County. However, Collier is in a balancing act, trying
to create fertilizer-regulation standards that benefit the county and its natural resources as a

This is an issue House Bill 457 would have addressed by encouraging all localities to adopt the
statewide model ordinance for fertilizer regulation. It would have enforced the adoption of a
consistent set of regulations, vetted by Florida experts and agreed upon by a Legislature-
appointed task force.

Unfortunately, there is a complicated patchwork that currently exists to the disadvantage of not
only retailers and residents, but waterways as well. With 67 counties and more than 400 cities in
Florida, the potential for varying ordinances, like in Collier, will not be uncommon. Cities within
counties can have differing ordinances and from the county in which they reside.

If passed, H.B. 457 would allow for local control of fertilizer-use ordinances and help to better
define the process of adopting local fertilizer regulations. The statewide model ordinance is still
a strong, research-backed approach to fertilizer regulation that all local governments have as an

Yet, this bill would also allow Collier and others to implement more stringent ordinances for
fertilizer use as long as they meet the science-backed criteria outlined in current Florida statute
and report their local ordinance to the Department of Environmental Protection.

— Florida Rep. Clay Ingram, R-Pensacola

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