New York Governor David Paterson (D) has signed a bill (A08914B) that makes it illegal for stores operating in the state to stock fresh supplies of household dishwasher detergents that contain phosphorous. According to the legislation, retail establishments have 60 days to sell their inventories, and sales for commercial use are to end July 1, 2013. A similar ban will apply to lawn fertilizers starting in 2012. The law limits permissible levels of phosphorous to 0.5 percent in household dishwasher detergent and to 0.67 percent in lawn fertilizer.
The new statute was modeled on Minnesota law. Maine, Florida and Wisconsin also have fertilizer controls, and 16 states have laws limiting phosphorous levels in dishwasher detergent. According to the New York state environmental agency, dishwasher detergent accounts for 9 to 34 percent of phosphorus in municipal wastewater, and fertilizer accounts for 50 percent of phosphorous in stormwater runoff. See Recordline.com, August 15, 2010.