Check out this article from this morning's Connecticut Post!
Environmentalists want pesticides banned on private property
Monday, July 25, 2011
By Vinti Singh
NEW HAVEN — Towns and cities in Connecticut may be able to ban pesticide use on private properties if environmental activists in Connecticut can convince state legislators.
The environmentalists would like to see a reversal of a 1983 law that prohibits municipalities from passing stricter lawn-care pesticide regulations than the state government has.
As a general rule of thumb, Connecticut towns have the right to pass custom regulations as long as they are at least as strict as the state’s. But pesticides, like tobacco and a few other products, are protected from local crackdowns. Forty-two other states also prevent local governments from passing stricter regulations on pesticides, said Nancy Alderman, president of Environments and Human Health.
While the activists are pushing for stricter measures, the pesticide industry’s agenda will be to get rid of the ban altogether, Roy said.
Many pesticides can pose a risk to people, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Some pesticides may affect the nervous system, while others may affect hormone production, the agency says. Some pesticides may be carcinogenic.
Greenwich has a moratorium on pesticides on any town-owned grounds where children might be present. But a reversal of the existing law would allow towns to also ban lawn-care pesticides on private lawns. The activists propose exempting agricultural uses and personal gardens so the law has a better chance of passing.
They would also like to mirror some of New York state’s pesticide laws enacted in the past year, specifically one that requires insect or rodent bait to be in a tamper-resistant container. A provision in current pesticide laws allows the use of certain banned pesticides if they are used as bait, said Jerry Silbert, executive director of The Watershed Partnership in Guilford.
The state also currently bans some pesticides that are actually non-toxic, like plant extracts that attract insects to traps, Silbert said. Another such pesticide is boric acid, which is commonly found in eye wash. He said he would like to see Connecticut copy New York and make those pesticides legal.
Pesticides cannot be used on day-care center or elementary school grounds. Environmentalists would eventually like to see that ban extended to high schools as well, but the existing laws have gotten a lot of push-back from groundskeepers, who say organic methods do not work, Silbert said.