What is the Regional Turf Fertilizer Initiative?
The Northeast Voluntary Turf Fertilizer Initiative is a collaborate effort that seeks to engage the six New England states and New York State, EPA, and industry and non-industry stakeholders in discussion on the contribution of fertilizers applied to lawns to polluted runoff and water quality problems. NEIWPCC and its state and federal partners will coordinate a series of issue-specific meetings with various stakeholders with the goal of developing mutually agreeable and scientifically sound regional guidelines related to the formulation and application of turf fertilizer. These guidelines will then be formalized through agreements between stakeholders and the states. The steps we plan to follow are described more fully in our strategy document. Our goal is to complete the initiative and develop stakeholder agreements by the end of 2012.
Who started the Initiative, and who is working on it now?
The six environmental agency commissioners from the New England States, in their capacity as members of the New England Governors’ Conference Committee on the Environment, tasked NEIWPCC with developing the voluntary regional initiative on turf fertilizer described above. The New England Commissioners formalized their support of this approach by signing a joint statement of intent during the fall of 2011. This high-level state support has been absolutely crucial to developing this effort. NEIWPCC is currently working with water program directors and technical staff from the seven participating states and EPA New England to develop the initiative and to identify and engage stakeholders.