Hillsborough River not yet safe from fertilizers

Fertilizer and landscape experts debated against Hillsborough residents concerned for cleaner water this morning. The Hillsborough Environmental Protection Commission listened to disputes from both sides about the proposition of a ban on certain fertilizers. The EPC was scheduled to come to a vote today on whether or not to adopt a new fertilizer ordinance, but were unable to come to a conclusion.

The EPC, composed of county commissioners, was not ready to vote on the issue, and is looking at different solutions to harmful fertilizers runoffs during the rainy summer season.

“I would just like to learn more (before voting),” County Commissioner, Mark Sharpe said.

The EPC will vote on a new rule, which may copycat Pinellas County’s strict fertilizer ban, or take an approach that allows fertilizers containing nitrogen to be sold during months with lower rainfall.

Pinellas County recently banned all fertilizers containing nitrogen that, experts say, contribute to algae blooms that soak up oxygen and kill fish.

The EPC will meet again July 15 at the County Center, 601 East Kennedy Boulevard, downtown Tampa to vote on the ordinance.

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