MASSACHUSETTS | Nantucket Town Meeting Passes Fertilizer Ban
A citizen petition on the town warrant that would ban the use of fertilizer on lawns passed overwhelmingly at Town Meeting on Tuesday evening. This effort reflects the town’s desire to escape from the requirements of the Massachusetts nutrient management law which requires that anyone using fertilizer in the Commonwealth abide by best management practices published by UMass Amherst.
Bob DaCosta, a local scallop fisherman and former selectman, offered an amendment to go back to the original language of the article, claiming fertilizer applications are polluting Nantucket in spite of the fact that this harbor receives more raw sewage from boats than any other harbor on the east coast. The scallop industry on the island has been in steep decline for years. The measure passed on a 347-105 vote.
This home rule measure must now pass muster with the state attorney general’s office. Chapter 262 of the General Laws preempt local regulation of fertilizer, and it is expected that the measure will not be approved on that basis. If it is indeed approved, legislation will need to be filed by both the Senator and Representative representing Nantucket in the General Court, and due to the late date and other priorities it is unlikely that the legislature will act on this issue. NALP joins with the Green Industry Alliance and green industry associations in opposing this issue and will engage as appropriate as events unfold.