[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Long Beach 1-22-2010 by Ord. No. 10-03C. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Long Beach desiring to promote and regulate matters which benefit the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the community are aware of numerous scientific reports which have demonstrated that the improper and excessive application of fertilizers and fertilizer products may have an adverse impact on surface waters and groundwaters. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and numerous environmental organizations have recognized that one of the major factors which is detrimentally impacting the bays, lagoons, estuaries, marshes, wetlands, fish nurseries and groundwater on and surrounding Long Beach Township is nonpoint source pollution. The same groups have determined that the sources of nonpoint pollution include among other things the runoff of chemicals and related substances originating from the improper application of fertilizers.
The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Long Beach is aware that the geological compositions of the soils in Long Beach Township consist primarily of sand and sandy soil which have little ability to remove nitrates, phosphates, nutrients and other common ingredients found in chemical fertilizers. The Township Board of Commissioners is also aware that common fertilizers which are readily available in retail stores are regularly applied on residential and commercial properties throughout Long Beach Township by property owners and landscapers. The Board of Commissioners is further aware that there are no federal, state, county nor local laws regulating or restricting the application of such products.
It is accepted by the scientific community that excess phosphorous, a common element in many chemical fertilizers, into the waterways surrounding Long Beach Township may cause accelerated growth of algae and other aquatic vegetation which may interfere with the naturally occurring aquatic life in such waterways, recreational use thereof, fisheries and aquaculture. The accelerated algae growth and aquatic vegetation has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the waterways through, inter alia, oxygen depletion and temperature increase and that these detrimental impacts threaten individual animal species and may cause a reduction in the diversity of life living in the waters.
A continuation or exacerbation of the above-noted adverse impacts which may be traced to improper fertilizer application have significant potential to cause detrimental impact on the economy of Long Beach Township and further cause potential risks to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Long Beach Township. As a result of the foregoing, the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Long Beach believes that it is desirable that the Township enact an ordinance which will restrict the improper application of fertilizer products and also advise the public and landscaping operators who perform services in the Township of the proper timing and methods for fertilizer application.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person who applies fertilizer products to soils or turf.
- A material containing one or more recognized plant nutrients, which is used for its plant nutrient content, and that is designed for use or claimed to have value in promoting plant growth and which is offered for sale or intended for sale.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE/IMPERVIOUS LOT COVERAGE
- Surface covering the natural earth, which covering inhibits water percolation into the natural earth, thereby causing surface water to drain off the site of the surface covering rather than be absorbed into the soil constituting the lot upon which the surface covering is placed.
- LANDSCAPE PROFESSIONAL
- A person or business that, in exchange for pay, goods, services or other considerations, applies fertilizer to soils or turf.
- PHOSPHOROUS FERTILIZER
- Any fertilizer that contains phosphorous expressed as P2O5, with a guaranteed analysis of greater than zero; except that it shall not be considered to include manipulated animal, vegetable manures, biosolid fertilizers, agricultural liming materials or wood ashes that have not been modified to increase their nutrient content. The phosphorous percentage in a fertilizer prod is included on the packaging, which contains three numbers (e.g., 26-0-3), with the phosphorous percentage as the middle number. A zero in the middle means no phosphorous, while a "2" or a "3" means low phosphorous.
- SOIL TEST
- A technical analysis of soil conducted by an accredited soil testing laboratory.
- WATER BODY
- The Atlantic Ocean, Barnegat Bay, Great Bay, Manahawkin Bay, and Little Egg Harbor Bay as well as the various lagoon, canals and estuaries entering any of the foregoing.
The following conduct shall be prohibited within the Township of Long Beach:
The application of fertilizer to an impervious surface. Fertilizer inadvertently applied to an impervious surface must be immediately swept into the target surface or returned to its original container or another appropriate container for reuse or disposal. Failure to provide and undertake immediate cleanup as is herein required shall be prohibited conduct.
The application of fertilizer between December 15 and February 15 or if the ground is frozen.
The deposit of grass clippings, leaves or other vegetative debris into water bodies, retention or detention areas, drainage ditches or stormwater drains, or onto impervious surfaces except during scheduled cleanup programs.
The application of fertilizer in excess of the manufacturer's recommended rate.
The application of any phosphorous fertilizer except as demonstrated by a need for specific soils in accordance with a soil test and the associated annual fertilizer recommendation issued by the Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension.
Application of fertilizer within 24 hours of any rainfall consisting of one-half inch of rain or more within a single twenty-four-hour period.
The following uses and applications of phosphorous fertilizers shall be and are hereby permitted:
Where vegetation is being established upon initial planting, such as where the virgin soil has been disturbed, provided that the application is made in accordance with the requirements established under the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, N.J.S.A. 4:24-39 et seq., and any regulations lawfully adopted pursuant thereto.
The re-establishment or repair of turf after substantial damage has occurred thereto.
Applying phosphorous fertilizer that delivers liquid or granular fertilizer under the surface of the soil directly to the feeder roots of the vegetation being fertilized.
Application of phosphorous fertilizer to residential container plantings, flowerbeds and vegetable gardens.
Application of phosphorous fertilizers on the sand dunes along the oceanfront in the area between the building line and the easterly toe of the dune shall be permitted since experience has proven that high phosphorous fertilizer is necessary to encourage luxuriant growth of natural dune grass and such growth has been proven to be effective in stabilization of Long Beach Island's protective dunes.
The following guidelines are recommended for use by applicators: