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Towns considering fertilizer bylaws under DCPC

A year after its adoption as a Barnstable County ordinance, several towns are considering local implementing regulations pursuant to the fertilizer management District of Critical Planning Concern.

The towns of Barnstable, Brewster, Eastham, and Mashpee are considering nitrogen-oriented regulations this fall. Orleans, which has a grandfathered nitrogen bylaw, is considering a phosphorus regulation through the DCPC.

Last year, the Commission proposed the Cape-wide DCPC in response to state legislation that would remove the ability of individual communities to regulate fertilizers. Through the DCPC, Cape communities have an opportunity to adopt local bylaws consistent with the implementing regulations. Participation is voluntary.

At its Oct. 2 meeting, the Commission approved an extension of time for towns to adopt implementing regulations under the DCPC, as provided for in the Commission Act.

A separate state deadline for towns to adopt regulations is either the end of 2014 or one year from adopted of statewide fertilizer regulations by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, whichever is later. To date, no state regulations have been adopted.

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