University battles Sierra Club over fertilizer
Florida’s battle with environmental activist groups over fertilizer are continuing with a new lawsuit. The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit against the University of Florida because of a controversial paper on fertilizer restrictions. The Sierra Club claims the university is violating the state’s public records law by not releasing details of the paper’s findings.
The controversy over the paper, which was released in 2009, is that it backs away from earlier recommendations the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences issued. The previous recommendations explained restrictions on how and when fertilizer should be applied.
Part of the problem stems from fertilizer and lawn-care companies that used the paper to lobby the state legislature to prevent the enactment of stricter fertilizer rules from local governments.
The Sierra Club supports the tougher rules and has asked for the names of the paper’s reviewers to determine if the paper’s recommendations are scientifically valid. However, IFAS has refused to release the information stating that the information is exempt from the state’s public records laws.