Section 576.092, Florida Statutes 2009
576.092 Consumer Fertilizer Task Force.--
(1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) There is a need for better training and education regarding the proper use of consumer fertilizers.
(b) There should exist a mechanism to help local governments promote and encourage the proper use of fertilizers, thereby eliminating or minimizing the potential for environmental impacts.
(c) Local government regulation of fertilizer uses for nonagricultural applications should be based on sound science, including water quality, agronomics, and horticulture.
(d) There is a need for education regarding the use of consumer fertilizers.
(e) There is a need for improved standards regarding nonagricultural fertilizer use and application.
(f) While the constituents in fertilizer are naturally occurring in the environment, the improper use of fertilizer can be one of many contributors to nonpoint source pollution.
(g) The state's local governments are potentially subject to regulatory enforcement action by state or federal entities as a result of nonpoint source pollution caused by stormwater runoff.
(2)(a) There is hereby created the Consumer Fertilizer Task Force within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purposes of:
1. Assessing existing data and information regarding nutrient enrichment and surface waters due to fertilizer, assessing management strategies for reducing water quality impacts associated with fertilizer, and identifying additional research needs.
2. Developing statewide guidelines governing nonagricultural fertilizer use rates, formulations, and applications with attention to the geographic regions identified in rule 5E-1.003, Florida Administrative Code.
3. Taking public input and testimony concerning the issues in this section.
4. Recommending methods to ensure local ordinances are based on best available data and science and to achieve uniformity among local government ordinances where possible, unless local ordinance variations are necessary to meet mandated state and federal water quality standards.
5. Developing model ordinances for municipalities and counties concerning the use of nonagricultural fertilizer.
(b)1. The task force shall consist of 13 members who are technically qualified by training, education, or experience in water quality, horticultural, or agronomic science, and who shall be appointed as follows: three members appointed by the President of the Senate, one of whom shall be a representative from the Department of Environmental Protection, one of whom shall be a representative of the environmental community, and one of whom shall be a member of the Senate; three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be a representative from a water management district, one of whom shall be a representative of the University of Florida's Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, and one of whom shall be a member of the House of Representatives; five members appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, one of whom shall be a representative from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, one of whom shall be a representative from the Office of Agricultural Water Policy, one of whom shall be a representative from the national fertilizer industry, one of whom shall be a representative from the Florida-based fertilizer industry, and one of whom shall be a registered landscape architect; one member appointed by the Florida League of Cities, Inc.; and one member appointed by the Florida Association of Counties.
2. Members shall choose a chair and vice chair from the membership of the task force.
(3) Staffing for the task force shall be provided by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
(4) The task force shall review and evaluate the issues identified in paragraph (2)(a) and take public testimony. A report of the recommendations and findings of the task force, including recommendations for statutory changes, if any, shall be submitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by January 15, 2008, and the task force shall be abolished upon the transmittal of the report.
History.--s. 10, ch. 2007-232.