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[GreenYes] Re:term excess Phosphorous discussion by Dr Ron E Ney EPA ret.

To:        Dean R. Kirby Barrick, kbarrick@no.address

From:    Ronald E. Ney, Jr., PhD

Subject: P and N

Hello Dean Barrick, I am having trouble with scientific terms or maybe non-scientific terms that appear to be totally incorrect and was hoping you could give me some answers. I saw the terms used in a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) draft. I will present what I deem as incorrect science and my questions will follow. I sent similar comments to the TMDL group and to others and they would not respond.


I have a problem with  �Orange County Parks Phosphorus (Measured as Phosphate)�.
1.      How can phosphorus be measure as a phosphate?
2.      To measure the element phosphorus, as a phosphate, wouldn�t you being synthesizing a new chemical compound in order to measure it?
3.      If it were possible to measure phosphorus, as a phosphate, wouldn�t you be measuring all phosphate compounds including phosphate pesticides, phosphate fertilizer, etc.?


I also have a problem with the term �(measured as water soluble organic nitrogen)�. I was under the scientific impression that organic chemicals contained carbon. I do not think fertilizers contain organic nitrogen compounds but inorganic compounds. This is another reason why that I don�t like the terms water-soluble organic nitrogen or water insoluble organic nitrogen.

Do you think they really mean an organic compound containing the carbon atom or inorganic compounds which contain no carbon atoms?


�Orange County Parks, including Trimble, Roosevelt, Nichols, Magnolia Park, Chapin Station, Winter Garden Station, and County Line Station. OCEPD and Parks Department agreed to reduce use of phosphorus fertilizers for each new lawn care and maintenance contract issued on all park facilities. Agreement includes use of reduced phosphorus (measured as phosphate) between 0 - 5 % on turf areas (athletic fields, reacreational and waterfront park). Higher percentages of phosphorus are allowable in localized areas (i.e. flower beds, trees and shrubs) needing greater amounts on an as needed basis.� 
1.How does one reduce elemental P when it is not in fertilizers?

2. Isn�t it true that there is a phosphorus compound present in fertilizers and not elemental P?

How is it possible to reduced phosphorus (measured as phosphate) when it is chemically impossible?

Isn�t it true that one can measure total phosphorus (TP) from a phosphate but not the way it is expressed in 3 above?

How can one reduce the percentages of phosphorus when a phosphate is present in fertilizer?

Do you think they mean 0 to 0.5% instead of 0 to 5%?



Dr. Ron Ney

In a message dated 11/13/2007 6:38:20 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Reindl@no.address writes:
Besides the nitrogen issue, we have a problem in my county with excess levels of phosphorus in the soil from the manure of some 125,000 head of dairy cattle. The plants can't use it all, but benefit from the nitrogen and organic material from the manure. The excess phosphorus washes off the land into our streams and lakes and causes excessive growth of algae and lake weeds. We are known as the Four Lakes region due to four large lakes around our main city, and are trying to improve their water quality. For the last 2+ years, my main task has been to try to come up with a better solution to this problem and it is a challenging issue.
It's a bit off the main focus of this list, but if you or someone else you know wants to see what we are looking at, our web page is at
We also invite any comments on our work or other potential solutions. So far, we have not come up with things that look particularly promising.
John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI
-----Original Message-----
From: GreenYes@no.address [mailto:GreenYes@no.address]On Behalf Of Bailey. Ryan
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:24 AM
To: GreenYes@no.address
Subject: [GreenYes] Re: [horse shit incineration][GreenYes] The special beauty of the FTBOA-Global Green project horse manure [horse shit incineration]

Manure has become a sticky subject.  Regulators and environmental groups have taken considerable interest in protecting surface and groundwater quality from the runoff impacts of manure from dairies.


In California�s central valley, the Water Board has new requirements for dairies that will be phased in over the next five years.  There will be a manifest system for any manure sent offsite.  If manure is reused onsite (applied to agricultural fields), an elaborate calculation has to be made to determine if it is being applied in agronomic proportions (more nitrogen/nutrients not applied to lands than will be taken up by the specific crop).


Ryan Bailey

Sacramento County

Business Environmental Resource Center


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