Environment News State & National News

NW Florida lawmakers love manure

February 6, 2012

When the fertilizer industry needs someone to co-sponsor a bill to keep it from being regulated, they only have to look to the Northwest Florida delegation for support. Last year, Rep. Clay Ingram took up their cause and blocked local governments from regulating sales and usage.

This year Sen. Don Gaetz and his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz, are sponsoring bills (Senate Bill 604 and House Bill 421) that would exempt lawn care professionals from having to follow local ordinances that ban use of nitrogen and phosphorous during the summer months. Nutrient-laden fertilizer runoff contributes to algae blooms, which harms water quality and kills marine life.

Daddy and Baby Gaetz are big conservatives that want state and federal government out of our lives, but apparently they don’t want local governments to control and protect their own environments.

Oh, I forgot to mention Phosphate Mining is a big industry in parts of Florida and does a lot of lobbying in Tallahassee. The Florida Phosphate Committee of Continuous Existence, which has a half million dollars war chest, made $500 campaign contributions to Matt Gaetz and Clay Ingram in December.

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  • eric February 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks for the link Chassidy.

  • Connie Lewis February 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I just took a look at the link Chasidy provided. Is the run off mainly from golf courses and subdivisions?

  • Chasidy February 7, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Here is a great map with pictures of why we need to have local control of regulating fertilizers. We do NOT want this in NWFL: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&mpa=0&ctz=300&mpf=0&vps=15&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=211539618625491573613.0004b1b520a27d0c8cb86

  • Chasidy February 7, 2012 at 7:48 am

    The Senate Environment Preservation and Conservation Committee rejected the fertilizer preemption bill – SB 604- with 3 votes in favor and 4 votes against!! The bill is now dead in the Senate (for this year at least…)

  • jim davison February 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Chasidy – my bet is that the fertilizer lobby has way more $$$ than the commercial fishing lobby and these days its all about the money baby

  • Chasidy February 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Well said Rick! So why are they going to get away with it?

  • L.Laird February 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Nutrient-laden fertilizer runoff contributes to algae blooms, kills marine life. Results, less fish to worry about…What does Ingram and Gaetz family have in common…they all smell like rotten fish…

  • Henry February 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

    We’ll get year-round red snapper fishing when there’s a buck or two in it for lawmakers.

  • Dale Perkins February 6, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I wish they’d work on getting state and federal governments out of our lives by letting Florida set it own red snapper season like Texas does. Texas citizens have limits but can fish year round for red snapper in state waters. Aren’t our citizens deserving of the same opportunity?