[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Cedar Grove 5-5-2014 by Ord. No. 14-771. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Sewers — See Ch. 271.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 228.
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the outdoor application of fertilizer so as to reduce the overall amount of excess nutrients entering waterways, thereby helping to protect and improve service water quality and prevent degradation of the environment. This chapter does not apply to fertilizer application on commercial farms.
The Township hereby finds and determines that:
Elevated levels of nutrients, particularly phosphorus, in surface water bodies can result in excessive and accelerated growth of algae and aquatic plants (eutrophication). Excessive plant growth can result in diurnal variations and extremes in dissolved oxygen and pH, which, in turn, can be detrimental to aquatic life. As algae and plant materials die off, the decay process creates a further demand on dissolved oxygen levels. The presence of excessive plant matter can also restrict use of the affected water for recreation and water supply.
Fertilizer applied immediately prior to a runoff-producing rainfall outside the growing season or to impervious surfaces is most likely to be carried away by means of runoff without accomplishing the desired objective of supporting target vegetation growth. Therefore, the management of the type, amount, and techniques for fertilizer application is necessary as one tool to protect water resources.
This chapter does not apply to application of fertilizer on commercial farms, but commercial farmers are expected to implement best management practices in accordance with conservation management plans or resource conservation plans developed for the farm by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and approved by the Soil Conservation District Board.
The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations shall have the meanings defined herein unless otherwise stated:
- The land area, 25 feet in width, adjacent to any water body. However, in situations that warrant additional flexibility—specifically, where lot sizes are exceptionally small or where the twenty-five-foot buffer constitutes the majority of the available property—the required buffer may be reduced to 10 feet in width, with the additional requirement that a drop spreader be used for fertilizer application.
- COMMERCIAL FARM
- A farm management unit producing agricultural or horticultural products worth $2,500 or more annually.
- Fertilizer material, mixed fertilizer, or any other substance containing one or more recognized plant nutrients, which is used for its plant nutrient content, which is designed for use or claimed to have value in promoting plant growth, and which is sold, offered for sale, or intended for sale.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- A surface that has been covered with a layer of material so that it is highly resistant to infiltration by water. This term shall be used to include any highway, street, sidewalk, parking lot, driveway, or other material that prevents infiltration of water into the soil.
- Any individual, corporation, company, partnership, firm, association, or political subdivision of this state subject to the jurisdiction of this Township.
- PHOSPHOROUS FERTILIZER
- Any fertilizer that contains phosphorus (P205) with a guaranteed analysis of greater than zero, except that it shall not be considered to include animal (including human) or vegetable manures, agricultural liming materials, or wood ashes that have not been amended to increase their nutrient content.
- SOILS TEST
- A technical analysis of soil conducted by an accredited soil-testing laboratory following the protocol for such a testing established by Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension.
- WATER BODY
- A collection of or body of surface waters, such as a lake, river, stream, creek, pond, or any other accumulation of standing water.
No person may do or cause any of the following to occur:
Apply fertilizer to an impervious surface. Fertilizer inadvertently applied to an impervious surface must be swept or blown back into the target service or returned to either its original or another appropriate container for reuse.
Apply fertilizer within the buffer of any water body.
Apply fertilizer more than 15 days prior to March 1 or anytime after November 15. March 1 to November 15 shall be recognized as the "growing season" within which fertilizer may be used.
No person may apply phosphorous fertilizer in outdoor areas except as needed for a soils test for the specific soils and target vegetation and in accordance with the associated annual fertilizer recommendation issued by Rutgers Cooperative Research Extension.
Exceptions. It shall be permissible for persons to apply phosphorous fertilizer:
That is needed for:
Establishing vegetation for the first time, such as after land disturbance, provided that the application is in accordance with the requirements established under the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act, N.J.S.A. 4:24-39 et seq., and implementing rules; or
Establishing or repairing a turf area in accordance with good soil practices.
That delivers liquid or granular fertilizer under the soil's surface, directly to the feeder roots.
To residential container plantings, flowerbeds, or vegetable gardens.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Township Manager's office, Township Engineer, Police Department, and other representatives or employees duly designated by the Township of Cedar Grove.
Any person who is found to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 per violation, with each day or documented act or occurrence to be considered a separate violation.