Abstract Ultrafiltration fractionation and liquid chromatography (LC) have been applied to the study of the binding and hydrolysis of the polar herbicide atrazine on a stoichiometrically well characterized fulvic acid. Binding requires extensive carboxylate site protonation but the binding sites represent a very small fraction of total carboxylate. The data show that binding of atrazine is not competitive with binding of the hydrolytic product hydroxyatrazine. However, smaller molecular weight fractions of the fulvic acid mixture compete with atrazine for sites on the larger molecular weight fraction. Binding equilibrium is not rapid. A model of binding involving hydrogen bonding and/or charge-transfer complexing to specific sites created dynamically by the conformational equilibria of the higher molecular weight polymeric fulvic acid fractions is proposed as the best accommodation of the variety of observed facts.