A VICTORY IN ORANGE COUNTY!
The June 20th public hearing with the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) was a long day for everyone, but one with the desired result of preserving the professional and trained-homeowner exemptions from their summertime fertilizer blackout.
First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to all the industry stakeholders who showed up for the meeting. Our stakeholders outnumbered the activists something like 3:1. Our “We Are Green” stickers proudly announced our presence to the BCC as did the numerous speakers who articulated our positions. Again, we were successful in defending the fundamental proposition that licensed lawn-care professionals and BMP-trained homeowners deserve to be respected for their knowledge and to be treated appropriately under the ordinance. In addition, education looks to be getting a lot more attention, which has been our call from the beginning.
While this was certainly an enormous victory in the blackout era, there were a few changes made to the ordinance as follows:
- Increased commercial fines for improper application to a schedule of –
- Requires licensed applicators to apply a sticker to their commercial vehicles
- Calls for 65% controlled release fertilizer formulations “when available”
- Calls for the BCC to revisit the ordinance in 24 months upon the completion of their staff’s water testing program
Although there are certainly problematic aspects of some of these changes, their practical impact will be limited. In the end, we are grateful the Orange County Board of County Commissioners saw beyond the tired and unsubstantiated arguments of the activist community and brought this matter to a proper conclusion.