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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2183         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3309

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

Timothy R. Madden and Daniel A. Wolf

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act regulating the content and application of fertilizer used in the town of Nantucket.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Timothy R. Madden

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket

Daniel A. Wolf

Cape and Islands


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2183        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3309

By Mr. Madden of Nantucket and Senator Wolf, a joint petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 3309) of Timothy R. Madden and Daniel A. Wolf (by vote of the town) relative to regulating the content and application of fertilizer used in the town of Nantucket.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.  [Local Approval Received.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act regulating the content and application of fertilizer used in the town of Nantucket.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              Section 1.  Findings

              1.1. There is sound scientific evidence to conclude that nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilizers are contaminants that negatively affect fresh and salt waters when present in excessive amounts.  These excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus contribute to undesirable algae and aquatic plant growth within all Nantucket water bodies.  This undesirable algae and aquatic plant growth has a adverse affect on public health through the degradation of waters used for drinking water, shellfishing, and recreational swimming and boating.

              Section 2.  Purpose

              2.1. It is necessary to control by regulation in the Town of Nantucket the use of fertilizer that contains phosphorus and nitrogen so as to improve the water quality of the Town.

              2.2.  The soils of Nantucket are unique insofar as Nantucket has significant amounts of coarse, sandy soils that are subject to rapid water infiltration, percolation and leaching of nutrients, and such unique local conditions require that Nantucket retain localized control over the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus added to soils through the application of fertilizers.

              2.3.  The Nantucket Board of Health has established a fertilizer regulation based on Best Management Practices developed by a broad group of stakeholders representing diverse interests that has been reviewed by soil and turf scientists and educators and has been determined appropriate for the unique soils and climate of Nantucket.

              2.4. This Act provides for a reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus going into Nantucket’s waters and wetlands by means of an organized system of education, licensure, and regulation of practice and should help Nantucket to achieve compliance with the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) prescribed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for nitrogen and phosphorus in its waters. 

              Section 3.  Local Regulation by the Town of Nantucket

              3.1.  This Act shall apply to the content and application of fertilizer used in the Town of Nantucket, notwithstanding any General or Special law to the contrary, including but not limited to any General or Special law conferring exclusive authority upon the Department of Agriculture to regulate and control the application of fertilizers elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

              3.2.  The Town of Nantucket is hereby specially authorized to regulate the content and application of fertilizer used in the Town of Nantucket either through a general bylaw enacted by a majority vote of its Town Meeting and/or through a regulation adopted by its Board of Health in accordance with the procedure set forth in Section 3.3 of this Act.

              3.3.  Notwithstanding the requirements of G.L. c. 111, §31, no such Board of Health regulations shall be adopted or amended until such time as the Board of Health shall hold a public hearing thereon, notice of the time, place and subject matter of which, sufficient for identification, shall be given by publishing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication to be not less than fourteen days prior to the date set for such hearing.  No such amendment shall be effective unless the proposed amendment has been reviewed and commented upon by soil and turf scientists and educators and it is passed by a four-fifths vote of the Board of Health.

              Section 4.  Effective Date

              This act shall take effect upon passage

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