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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Comprehensive Plan of Action Item #3
Reduce Nutrient Pollution from Fertilizer

On January 5, 2011, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that established the most restrictive standards in the nation for nitrogen content in fertilizer and application rates for use. These standards will reduce nutrient pollution in all of New Jersey's water bodies.

The new law established a new content standard for fertilizer that will reduce excess nutrient runoff into the Bay by decreasing the total amount of nitrogen in fertilizer and increasing the amount of slow release nitrogen. Effective January 5, 2013, all fertilizer products for turf must contain at least 20 percent slow-release nitrogen, and zero phosphorus unless a soil test demonstrates a need for more.

The law also created a fertilizer application certification program for professional fertilizer applicators, through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University and in consultation with the DEP. The new certification program was launched by Rutgers University in late 2011. As of July, 2012, over 3,000 professional fertilizer applicators have registered with this program. Of these, over 1,500 professionals have been tested and are certified, and over 700 staff and seasonal employees have been trained by a certified professional.

The DEP, in consultation with the Barnegat Bay Partnership, key environmental groups, and industry, is also conducting public education for homeowners on the effects of fertilizer runoff into the Bay.

For more information, contact: Kerry Kirk Pflugh, Constituent Relations, Office of Communications, 609-292-9954.

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Last Updated: November 22, 2013