The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) voted unanimously Thursday, March 27, to approve the designation of an Island-wide special fertilizer district of critical planning concern (DCPC).
Voters in each Island town will be asked to adopt DCPC fertilizer regulations at town meetings beginning next week in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and West Tisbury. If adopted, the fertilizer control district will be the first of its kind on the Island.
The move to establish local fertilizer controls on the Vineyard is the result of legislation enacted by Massachusetts’ lawmakers in August, 2012, to standardize fertilizer regulation across the state to protect water quality and meet federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
In an earlier conversation with The Times, MVC senior planner William Veno said that the state regulation is designed primarily to restrict the use of phosphorus based fertilizers to prevent runoff into rivers and other water bodies. Phosphorus is a major freshwater pollutant. The use of nitrogen, a major pollutant of saltwater estuaries, while not addressed in the state law, is included in the Island regulations.