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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

BBQ, fertilizer mix Tuesday



The Sierra Club is rounding up supporters for a final vote by the Pinellas County Commission to pass new restrictions on fertilizer at a 6:30 meeting Tuesday. Turfgrass and pest control industry members are doing their part to slow the new measure.

"Both sides are really ramping up," Commissioner Ken Welch said Monday.

Sierra Club officials will have a barbecue dinner at Smokin' Out, a few blocks from the Clearwater courthouse, before the meeting. (Call (727) 824-8813 to RSVP by 4 p.m. Tuesday.) They want a crowd to urge the commissioners to pass a summertime ban on applying fertilizer to yards in unincorporated Pinellas, which they say would be the stiffest such law in the state.

Meanwhile, turfgrass industry officials who oppose the restriction have apparently asked for a delay, though Welch, a supporter of the proposal, said it was doubtful. They have contended the county's tougher restriction isn't supported by science that shows water would improve, although the basis for their argument has run into trouble, too. A representative didn't immediately return a phone message.

Last week's EPA decision to propose tougher restrictions on nutrient pollution into waterways adds force to the proposal, Sierra Club officials say.

"We’re feeling that the commissioners do want to pass it and there’s a majority that’s in favor it," said Phil Compton of the Sierra Club.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:22pm]


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