View our most recent fact sheet: Turfgrass Fertilizer Regulations in Pennsylvania

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Stormwater runoff from rainwater or melting snow transports pollutants into the stormwater system and ultimately into our local streams. Roads, parking lots, driveways, and rooftops prevent water from soaking into the ground. Instead, a large amount of stormwater goes directly into our streams. Because this stormwater runoff is not cleaned or filtered, many of our streams are polluted.

Recently, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 251 into law. This legislation, the first in the state to regulate commercial fertilizer, will help to address the water quality concerns for local stream and Chesapeake Bay impairments and affects home gardeners and businesses alike.

Highlights of the new law regulating commercial nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer include:

• No person shall apply fertilizer to an impervious surface.
• No person may apply fertilizer with a device that is not intended for fertilizer application or has not been properly calibrated, operate fertilizer devices in a negligent manner, or dispose of a fertilizer product inconsistent with the label that would cause overapplication or result in a direct discharge to the Commonwealth’s storm drains or waters.
• No person may apply nonaquatic fertilizer within 15 feet of the top of a bank of a lake, pond, wetland, or flowing body of water (stream, river, or creek).
• No person may apply fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus to turf at any time when the ground is frozen to a depth of at least 2 inches or snow covered. In addition, no fertilizer applications are permitted between December 15 and March 1.

Feel free to use the fact sheet and other materials on this page in any communication or educational outreach to local residents and business owners.

You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.
~Professor Wangari Maathai

If you have other ideas you’d like to see us address in our MS4 educational tools, please contact us!

BMP Inspector Training Course

RETTEW is developing a BMP Inspector Certification Course to train municipal staff to conduct regular BMP inspections. Contact us to learn more about the topics covered in the training and to discuss the type of course you want: in person, virtual, or hybrid!

Jim Caldwell
Team Lead, Municipal
(717) 431-3740

Kara Kalupson, RLA, ASLA, CPMSM
Senior MS4 Coordinator
(717) 431-3706