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Phosphorus Fertilizer Ordinances

Phosphorous Fertilizer Ordinances

Van Buren County has recently joined the Lake Michigan shore counties of Allegan, Muskegon and Ottawa, in adopting an ordinance that requires the use of phosphorous free fertilizers on all lawns including residential, commercial and golf courses.  The ordinance exempts agriculture, garden, flowers, trees, shrubs, new lawns, and lawns with soil tests indicating phosphorous is required for normal plant growth.

Purpose and Intent of the County Ordinances

The ordinances in the links below have similarly worded purpose and intent.  The following from the Van Buren County ordinance is provided as an example:

 "The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners finds that Van Buren County's lakes, rivers and streams are natural assets, which enhance the environmental, recreational, cultural and economic resources of the area and contribute to the general health and welfare of the public. The Board further finds that regulating the amount of nutrients and contaminants, including phosphorus contained in lawn fertilizer, entering the lakes, rivers and streams of Van Buren County will improve and maintain lake and stream water quality by reducing algae blooms and the excess growth and spread of other aquatic plants. The Van Buren County Board of Commissioners finds that unreasonable adverse effects on the environment of Van Buren County and on the public health of the citizens of Van Buren County and the visitors to Van Buren County will occur unless this Ordinance is adopted to ban and/or control the use of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus."



View the Ordinances

Allegan County  Effective January 1, 2009

Van Buren County  Effective January 1, 2010


State Law - PA-299 of 2010  Adopted 16-Dec-2010

Sec. 8512b. (1) Beginning January 1, 2012, except as provided in subsection (2), (3), (4), or (5), a person shall not apply to turf a fertilizer labeled as containing the plant nutrient available phosphate (P2O5).


See this applicable public service announcement from the State of Vermont:

This page last updated on 3/5/2023.

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