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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Environment - "Two companion bills addressing phosphorus pollution served as a bright spot amidst the environmental darkness"

That is a quote from an editorial today in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. More:

Senate Bill 546, authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, requires lawn care service providers that use and retailers that sell fertilizers containing phosphorus to provide their customers with information about concerns regarding the overuse of the chemical. House Bill 1202, authored by Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, goes one step further by also requiring that retailers and lawn care service companies offer customers fertilizers that don’t contain phosphorus.

Excessive runoff of phosphorus-laden fertilizers used in lawn care and agriculture is the culprit behind the contamination of several Indiana lakes. High levels of phosphorus produce the toxic blue-green algae blooms that cause skin rashes, eye irritation and stomachaches as well as tingling in the fingers and toes. The cyanobacteria algae produce nerve toxins that can easily kill pets and other animals, including fish and water fowl. Contact with contaminated water is especially dangerous for young children, the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.

It was a toxic algae infestation that led to the closure of Grand Lake St. Marys in Ohio a few years ago. That state lost millions of dollars in tourism revenue because of the pollution.

Toxic algae were also linked to the death of two dogs that went for a swim in Salamonie Reservoir in July.

Here is a list of earlier ILB entries re phosphorus.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 6, 2013 01:10 PM
Posted to Environment