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July 3, 2010

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Strengthen Protection of Illinois Waters
New Law Keeps Waterways Safe from Lawn Chemical Runoff

ELGIN – July 3, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will further protect Illinois’ waters from chemical contamination. The new law is aimed at keeping the state’s waterways clean and safe from chemical runoff resulting from commercial lawn treatments.

“Certain fertilizers are helpful in making our lawns attractive and are used frequently during these summer months,” said Governor Quinn. “But those same fertilizers can be harmful when they find their way into our rivers and lakes. This new law helps protect our waterways, keeping them free from lawn chemical contamination.”

House Bill 6099, sponsored by Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), aims at preventing phosphorus fertilizer from ending up in Illinois’ waterways. The new law prohibits lawn care services from applying phosphorus fertilizer on residential lawns unless the lawn is new or a proven phosphorus deficiency exists. The fertilizer also cannot be applied to lawns that are frozen or already saturated.

The law also aims to prevent chemical runoff from phosphorus fertilizer being spilled on concrete surfaces by preventing phosphorus fertilizer from being applied to solid surfaces. Any spilled fertilizer must be thoroughly cleaned.

When fertilizer is being applied within three feet of any body of water, it cannot be done using a spray, drop or rotary spreaders. Fertilizer must be applied at least 15 feet away from any body of water if the application is done without using such equipment.

The legislation passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and takes effect immediately.


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