Golf Course Management

JAN 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 52 of 196

A fertilizer ordinance timeline Source: J. Bryan Unruh, Ph.D. 2004 – 2012 FDEP-funded research Urban Turfgrass Fertilization and Irrigation Best Management Practices for Reducing Impairment of Florida's Water Resources June 2002 Green industries BMP completed 02 00 January 2000 St. Johns County ordinance 2000 Establishment of UF/IFAS Interim Turfgrass Fertilizer Recommendations 03 2003 Guidelines for Model Ordinance Language for Protection of Water Quality and Quantity Using Florida-Friendly Lawns and Landscapes July 2000 UF hosts stakeholder meeting to discuss St. Johns County Ordinance and BMPs 07 January 2007 Golf BMPs completed 08 June 2008 Sod BMPs completed July 2007 FDACS Consumer Fertilizer Task Force December 2007 Urban Turf Fertilizer Rule October 2000 Inaugural meeting of the green industries – BMP development process W. Craig Weyandt is the superintendent at The Moorings Yacht & CC. Photo courtesy of Craig Weyandt 48 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.14 The industry got together again to craft separate golf BMPs and sod production BMPs, and the state adopted Guidelines for Model Ordinance Language for Protection of Water Quality and Quantity Using Florida-Friendly Lawns and Landscapes in 2003 to serve as a non-binding guideline for local governments. The model ordinance recommended that golf not be placed under the same restrictions as landscapes and, for the most part, golf has been exempt in most ordinances. Unfortunately, the non-binding nature of the model ordinance left the door open for stricter rules from county to county and city to city. Todd Josko is the lobbyist for the FTGA and is president of Josko Public Affairs and Communications based in Tampa. "Florida is unique in that there is no statewide rule," Josko says. "In most of the country, states have state statutes, statewide rules will be one rule. Florida allows each local government or county or municipality to make its own rules. It's a horrible idea and a horrible precedent in that 67 counties and 411 municipalities could all have their own rules. They contradict one another within a county and create a labyrinth of rules and regulations that professionals need to navigate." The impetus for the environmentalist out- 2010 – 2013 Fertilizer pre-emptory legislation attempted 09 January 2009 Florida-Friendly Landscape Guidance Models for Ordinances, Covenants, and Restrictions 13 2013 Urban Turf Fertilizer Rule – revision June 2009 Florida Gov. Charlie Christ signed into law SB 494 requiring all commercial fertilizer applicators to have an FDACS fertilizer license by Jan. 1, 2014. cry is directly related to water quality standards required by the federal Department of Environmental Protection and the Clean Water Act. In order to be in compliance with the act, government agencies must meet certain numeric benchmarks for clean water, explains Greg Pheneger, GCSAA Class A director of golf course management at John's Island Club. Pheneger is a past president of the FTGA and Florida GCSA, as well as the current FGCSA government relations committee chair. "One way to get points is to restrict fertilizer," says Pheneger, who is a 27-year member of GCSAA. The kicker is that most water pollution is considered nonpoint-source pollution. This means, in frank terms, they just don't know exactly where it's coming from. It's a guess. Nonpoint-nitrogen pollution from thousands of individually owned leaky septic tanks, Pheneger says, is a lot harder to regulate than fertilizer applications. Therefore, fertilizer tends to be the frst target of regulation. Just about everyone interviewed for this story characterized fertilizer as "low-hanging fruit" in the list of possible pollution sources. Pheneger says regulating fertilizer is something local governments can do to "make yourself feel good because you've done something, like putting a Band-

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