Chapter 24A, Lawn Fertilizers

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Harveys Lake 11-18-1997 by Ord. No. 1-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]

Brush, grass and weeds -- See Ch. 6.

§ 24A-1. Short title.
This chapter shall be known as the "Control of Lawn Fertilizers Ordinance."

§ 24A-2. Findings.
The Borough of Harveys Lake finds that lawn fertilizers are an identified nonpoint source (NPS) contributing to the total surface runoff nutrient load entering Harveys Lake. These fertilizers entering Harveys Lake via surface runoff have a significant impact on the water quality of the lake. Specifically:
A. Lawn fertilizers are an identified source of pollutants which degrade the water quality of Harveys Lake.
B. The presence of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen in surface runoff accelerates the process of eutrophication.
C. Lawn fertilizers with phosphorus have a substantially greater impact on water quality than nonphosphorus fertilizers.
D. When these fertilizers are applied is just as important as what type are applied in minimizing this form of NPS pollution.
E. Substantial local economic losses can result from the adverse impacts NPS pollutants, such as lawn fertilizers, have on Harveys Lake.

§ 24A-3. Purpose and objectives.
In order to protect and enhance both the immediate and long-term health of Harveys Lake, this chapter has the following objectives:
A. Ban the use of phosphorus fertilizers within the Borough of Harveys Lake.
B. Avoid overapplication of fertilizers, in both amount and frequency, within the Borough.
C. Ensure that, whenever practicable, fertilizer applications should be avoided immediately prior to a storm event (a minimum of 24 hours).
D. Whenever practicable, utilize solid, granular or pellet forms of fertilizers to minimize the opportunity for these products to immediately wash into the lake or local inlet.

§ 24A-4. Residential fertilizer application.
This chapter will only be effective if the members of the local community understand why such an ordinance is being implemented and what they can do to comply with the chapter. Obviously, this requires some sort of public education. Therefore:
A. A pamphlet or leaflet will be sent to each homeowner within the Borough that provides information on:

(1) How fertilizers contribute to the overall degradation of Harveys Lake.
(2) Why the Harveys Lake EVAC has developed the proposed ordinance.
(3) What the homeowner can do to minimize their own residential fertilizer load to the lake.
B. Upon reading the enclosed information, the homeowners will then be asked to sign letter stating that they have read the information provided to them and will follow the guidelines to the best of their abilities. It should be stressed that this signed statement and the resulting actions of the homeowners will aid in preventing or at least minimizing the general degradation of Harveys Lake.

§ 24A-5. Commercial fertilizer application.
Since many homeowners within the Borough of Harveys Lake contract lawn care businesses in the general maintenance of their lawns, this section of the chapter focuses on proposed requirements for these business.
A. Local Harveys Lake license required. No person or lawn care business will apply lawn fertilizers within the Borough of Harveys Lake unless a license has been obtained from the Borough Clerk.
B. Licensing procedure. Applications for a lawn care business shall be submitted to the Borough Clerk. The application shall consist of the following:

(1) Identification: name, address and telephone number of applicant and any individuals authorized to represent the applicant.
(2) Fertilizer description: description of the lawn fertilizer formula proposed to be applied on lawns within the Borough.
(3) Fertilizer formula. A copy of the formula for the fertilizer mixtures to be applied within the Borough shall be submitted along with the initial application for a license, and thereafter, at least 30 days before composition changes are implemented. The proposed fertilizers should contain no phosphorus.
C. Additional requirements. In addition to utilizing nonphosphorus lawn fertilizers with the Borough, additional requirements must be satisfied in order to obtain a license from the Borough. These include:
(1) Whenever feasible, not to plan application of fertilizers at least 24 hours before a predicted storm event. This will avoid the transport of lawn fertilizers to the lake via surface runoff.
(2) Not to apply lawn fertilizers during a storm event.
(3) Follow any other guidelines the Borough may provide to the lawn care business along with their approval license.
D. License fee. A license fee shall be set forth at $100 per year per lawn care businesses working within the Borough. The license shall expire on the 31st day of December in each year. The license fee shall not be prorated. [Amended 5-21-2003 by Ord. No. 1-2003]
E. Conditions of license. Commercial fertilizer applicator licenses shall be issued subject to the following conditions, which shall be specified on the license form:
(1) Random sampling. Lawn care businesses shall permit the Borough to sample any commercial fertilizer product to be applied within the Borough at any time after issuance of the initial license. Each vehicle containing lawn fertilizer that comes into the Borough of Harveys Lake must stop at the Municipal Building, and a sample of the contents shall be taken from each vehicle. [Amended 5-21-2003 by Ord. No. 1-2003]
(2) Possession of license. The commercial fertilizer application license or a copy thereof shall be in the possession of any party employed by the lawn care business when conducting fertilizer applications within the Borough.
F. Revocation of suspension of license. All licenses issued under this section shall be deemed to be granted upon the express condition that, in addition to any other sanction or penalty, the Borough Council may:
(1) After due notice by personal service of registered or certified mail and after due hearing, suspend or revoke the license of any person for violating any provision of this section.
(2) Suspend temporarily, pending a hearing or notice thereof, any license when deemed by the Borough Council to be immediately necessary to prevent imminent danger to public welfare, good or morals. Any such temporary suspension without notice shall be for a period not longer than 10 days.

§ 24A-6. Supplemental rules and regulations.
The Borough reserves the right to adopt, from time to time, additional rules and regulations as shall be deemed necessary and proper relating to this chapter which additional rules and regulations, to the extent appropriate, shall be construed as part of this chapter.

§ 24A-7. Violations and penalties. [Amended 5-21-2003 by Ord. No. 1-2003]
A. Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon summary conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a the following fines for noncompliance, together with costs of prosecution in each case, and, in default of payment, to imprisonment not to exceed 30 days:

(1) $500 for the first offense.
(2) $500 to $1,000 for the second offense.
(3) $1,000 plus loss of their license to work in the Borough of Harveys Lake.
B. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable accordingly.

§ 24A-8. Declaration of purpose.
It is hereby declared that enactment of this chapter is necessary for the production, benefit and preservation of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Borough.