Citing the Michigan Action Project, BlackBox Radio reports that a bill in the Michigan Senate meant to protect Michigan waterways from the effects of excess fertilizer not only does little to control the problem, but preempts local governments and communities from regulating the compounds in future. This means that all local ordinances in place throughout the State passed to reduce phosphorous runoff would in effect be nullified.
Phosphorous is the prime suspect in the return of algae blooms in bodies of water throughout the State that pollute beaches and deprive the water of needed oxygen, leading to fish die offs. Algae blooms can also contain toxic microcystins which cause illness in humans when ingested.
The current bill would allow homeowners to apply up to a half pound of phosphorous per 1000 squarer feet of lawn. A single pound of phosphorous can lead to the growth of up to 500 pounds of algae, according to the report. The Project is calling on legislators to enact laws similar to those in Minnesota which allow the use of phosphorous only after soil tests show phosphorous deficiency.