Blue-green algae scum. Image credit:Washington State Dept. of Ecology.
Lawn grass only needs phosphorus to establish a root structure - one growing season. An established lawn needs virtually no phosphorus in the nitrogen/
phosphorus/potash blend. Recognizing the need to protect Wisconsin's lakes and rivers, which support a large and economically important tourism industry, and which provide drinking water for a large portion of Wisconsin's residents, the State no longer allows sale of phosphorus-containing lawn products intended for maintenance (recurring) application. There are exemptions for starting up a new lawn, gardening, and so on, but the bottom line is that retailers and producers are going need to stock no-phosphorus lawn care products. Manufacturers & retailers will bear the expense of holding more product types: a small price to pay for avoiding the spread of stinky, toxic algae blooms that foul drinking water, lower property values (as pictured) and lower oxygen levels below what a high quality fishery requires.
The Appleton Post Crescent calls the ban a "Turf Battle" in it's story Phosphorus lawn fertilizer ban begins Thursday. Call it what you like, this is regulation that every state ought to follow. Phosphorus, after all, is a limited mineral resource that should be used for agricultural applications and not wasted on lawns, or detergents for that matter.
Please don't post a comment about 'unnecessary government intervention in our lives' until you look over these related posts and look into how important water quality is to Wisconsin.