Tampa City Council looks at fertilizer ordinance's economic impact listen11/03/11 Josh Holton
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Today the Tampa City Council took another look at the economic impact of a ban on the sale of fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus. Fertilizer companies are still trying to have their say.
Fertilizer companies have been asking the City of Tampa to consider making exceptions for their products. Jan McLean is on the city’s legal team, and asked the city to consider an exception in the ordinance for fertilizers used only on edible plants.
Scott's fertilizers asked the city to make the exemption, but the Sierra Club’s Phil Compton said that if they had their way, they would have asked for commercial exemptions too. McLean echoed his sentiment.
But McLean said she did not recommend requests from fertilizer manufacturer TruGreen, which would have allowed for commercial use too.
Compton said that many of the companies protest the ordinance, which passed earlier this year, claiming that their employees are trained to use the product in a way that doesn’t contribute to run off during the rainy season. Compton said that algae blooms prove that current methods are ineffective, and that the ordinance should be maintained as is through next June, when it is set to go in effect.
City Council member Harry Cohen said that after the summertime ban goes into effect next year, that the City will be in a better position to assess the economic impact.
McLean said that by around this time next year the city could expect to see such an analysis.
During public comment Dena Leavengood said that the sooner companies adapt to the enactment of the ordinance, the quicker they will be competitive amidst the looming changes.
Leavengood joined the Sierra Club and several others during public comment in asking the city to make no exemptions in the current ordinance.