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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Connecticut' Category


30
Aug

Minnesota Governor Issues Executive Order Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 30, 2016) Last week, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued an executive order aimed at reversing pollinator decline in the state by limiting the use of toxic, systemic neonicotinoid (neonics) pesticides. The order tasks state agencies with a range of pollinator protective activities, and follows the completion of a Special Registration Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Given that a change in administration could lead to a rescinding of an executive order, it is critical that advocates continue to pressure for concrete legislative changes that institutionalize bee protective practices. “Bees and other pollinators play a critical role in supporting both our environment, and our economy,” said Governor Dayton. “This order directs state government to take immediate action to alleviate the known  risks that pollinators face. It also will create a new task force to study the issues impacting pollinators and recommend long-term solutions.” The executive order directs the Department of Agriculture to immediately initiate steps requiring neonics only be applied when there is “an imminent threat of significant crop loss.” This move applies  to sprays, drenches, or granular applications of neonics, however, and not seed coatings, which will require separate legislative action to […]

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17
Aug

Decrease Found in Retail Sales of Plants Treated with Bee-Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2016) In response to dramatic scientific findings, a severe decline in bee populations, and growing public demand for bee-safe plants, a new report confirms  the decision  of  major retailers to phase-out  the sale of flowers and trees treated with the pesticides most closely associated with the decline —neonicotinoids. A new report released by Friends of the Earth, analyzes plants purchased at  Home Depot,  Lowe’s, Ace Hardware,  True Value  and  Walmart. Many of these major retailers have made public commitments to stop selling bee-toxic neonicotinoids and treated plants. Additionally, the states of Maryland and Connecticut have passed legislation that stops the retail sales of neonics. The report,  Gardeners Beware 2016, released yesterday is a follow-up to previous testing that demonstrated the presence of bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides in more than half of bee-attractive flowers tested. The 2016 analysis found that 23 percent of flowers and trees tested contain neonicotinoid insecticides at levels that can harm or kill bees, compared to 51 percent in 2014, indicating that stores are selling far fewer plants treated with bee-killing neonics. This reduction is likely due to changes in store policies that commit retailers to eliminate neonicotinoid use on garden plants. Retailer commitments […]

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03
May

Connecticut Legislature Votes Unanimously to Adopt Pollinator Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2016) In a bipartisan victory for bees, last week the Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously (147-0) passed a wide-ranging bill aimed at protecting declining pollinator populations within the state from toxic neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides. Bill No. 231, An Act Concerning Pollinator Health, was also passed unanimously (36-0) through the Connecticut State Senate on April 21, and now goes to Governor Dannel P Malloy for his signature. Earlier in April, both houses of the Maryland legislature passed the Maryland Pollinator Protection Act, which is currently awaiting action by Governor Larry Hogan (R). Connecticut’s bill addresses a broad range of concerns relating to pollinator health, from pesticides to parasites and habitat remediation, within both residential and agricultural settings. In summary, the bill does the following: Prohibits applying neonicotinoid insecticide (a) to linden or basswood trees or (b) labeled for treating plants, to any plants when such plant bears   blossoms; Bee health experts identified the application of systemic neonicotinoids to Tilia trees as a significant concern for pollinator health after a spate of massive bee-kill incidents on the west coast. In June 2013, over 50,000 bumblebees were killed after a neonic was applied to a linden trees in […]

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10
Jul

Connecticut Bans Toxic Lawn Pesticides in Municipal Playgrounds Statewide

(Beyond Pesticides, July 10, 2015) The Connecticut General Assembly last week passed legislation banning toxic lawn pesticides on municipal playgrounds, effective October 1, 2015. In the omnibus budget implementation  Bill 1502  at Section 448  (p.563 at line 17579). The bill  also improves the existing parents’ pesticide notification system by requiring school districts to provide at least 24-hour electronic notification any time a pesticide application is schedule to occur on school property (Secs. 445 and 446), as well as requiring and tracking the use of pesticides and integrated pest management (IPM) methods to reduce pesticide use on state properties (Sec. 449). “As we have recognized for many years in Connecticut, children are particularly endangered by pesticides — because these chemicals accumulate in kids’ growing bodies faster than for the rest of us,” said Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, House Chairman of the Education Committee, which drafted the 2005 and 2009 laws prohibiting pesticide use on school fields.    “This measure represents a great step forward for our state, safeguarding our children from these toxic chemicals on town playgrounds — and ensuring that parents get notice when pesticides are used at public schools,” he added. “Time and time again pesticides have been shown to […]

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10
Jun

Connecticut Bill Would Ban Pesticides on Public Playgrounds, But Allow Use on High School Fields

(Beyond Pesticides, June 10, 2015) Activists and concerned parents have been working for years in Connecticut to extend the current prohibition of pesticide use on daycare centers and K-8 school grounds to include high schools, athletic fields, municipal parks and town land. Now, the state Senate approved legislation to ban pesticides from public playgrounds, but there will still be no extension of the ban on high school lawns or fields under the bill language. Activists claim a partial victory and vow to continue working on a full ban, despite heavy opposition from industry forces. Connecticut was the first state to prohibit the use of toxic pesticides at K-8 schools and daycare centers, but high schools, athletic fields, parks and playgrounds were exempted from the ban. On May 27, 2015, a bipartisan bill (SB366) extending the ban to public playgrounds passed the Senate 34-2 and now goes to the House. The new legislation would extend the ban to municipal playgrounds, except for situations that the authors say could threaten human health, such as hornet nests or tick infestations. The bill also calls for parents of high school students to be promptly notified by email of any pesticide applications at schools. Additionally, […]

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17
Dec

GE Labeling Ballot Initiative Narrowly Loses in Oregon Recount

(Beyond Pesticides, December 17, 2014)   Supporters of an Oregon ballot initiative requiring labels on genetically-engineered (GE) food acknowledged defeat last Thursday after an automatic recount failed to change the results of November’s vote and a judge denied their plea for a count of rejected ballots. Advocates expressed deep disappointment that a Monsanto led multi-million dollar opposition campaign narrowly defeated the Oregon ballot initiative even after an emergency lawsuit was filed to prevent the rejection of over 4,000 votes due to non-fraudulent discrepancies. Measure 92 lost by a narrow margin in November elections, triggering a recount and making it the closest statewide election in Oregon history. Measure 92 would have required manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers to clearly label all genetically-engineered foods or ingredients in raw or packaged items. It was defeated by only 812 votes out of 1.5 million. The automatic recount is pursuant to Oregon voting law, but the new tally showed that the measure lost by just 0.056 percent. On December 8, 2014, an emergency lawsuit was filed by the Yes on 92 Campaign in order to prevent over 4,000 votes from being thrown out by state officials due to non-fraudulent discrepancies in voter signatures.   The judge […]

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03
Oct

Consumer Cost for GE Labeling Found To Be Minimal

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2014) A new analysis of published research finds that the median cost to consumers of requiring labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food is $2.30 per person annually. The report, commissioned by Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, and conducted by the independent Portland-based economic research firm, ECONorthwest, arrives amidst the highly contested GE labeling initiative on Oregon’s November election ballot, Measure 92. Proponents of labeling say that the new research disputes claims made in ads opposing the initiative, which claim that labeling will force farmers and food producers to spend  “millions” and increase food costs for consumers. Consumers Union is a strong supporter of Oregon’s GMO labeling ballot initiative. “Given the minimal cost to consumers, the increased herbicide use involved in growing almost all genetically engineered crops, as well as the failure of government to require human safety assessments before genetically engineered foods reach the marketplace, GMO labeling is well worth it,” said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union. “Companies change their labeling all the time and with GMO labeling costing so little, it is likely some producers won’t even bother to pass the minimal increase on to consumers.” The […]

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11
Apr

Connecticut Senate Moves Forward on GE Grass Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2014) Connecticut State Senate bill no.443, an act that bans the sale of genetically engineered (GE) grass seeds, passed the state Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 25-11. The bill shows Connecticut legislators are taking seriously the risks that increased pesticide use in residential areas pose to the health of the states residents, especially children, and pets. The bill will ban the sale, use, and marketing of lawn or turf seeds that are genetically engineered to be resistant to pesticides. The GE grass seed that is being developed by Monsanto and Scotts is currently not available in consumer markets and is being tested by Scotts employees in their front yards. The bill may face stronger challenges from Connecticut’s House as it is unclear if the House speaker, J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, will call for a vote on the bill before the session ends May 7. One of the major concerns  the bill addresses  is that allowing GE grass seeds for consumer use would lead to dramatic increases in residential pesticide use. “So you will spread this pesticide all across your lawn, back and forth, on your lawn,” said Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, as quoted in […]

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27
Jun

Connecticut Passes Law to Curb Pesticide Use to Save Lobsters

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2013) After years of lobster decline, a new law in Connecticut seeks to protect and revive the crustacean population by banning the use of toxic mosquito pesticides in coastal areas. With the support of Connecticut’s remaining lobsterman, Governor Dannel Malloy last Friday signed into law  House Bill 6441,  which bans two chemicals, methoprene and resmethrin. Declines in the   sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common for the past 15 years, devastating fishermen and the local economy that depends on them. The pesticides have long been suspected in killing off the lobsters; however last summer, it was officially linked when those chemicals were detected in lobster tissue last summer. Connecticut legislators say that they were convinced that banning the two mosquito pesticides after learning that Rhode Island and Massachusetts had enacted similar bans with successful results. “The fisheries of Long Island Sound have been devastated by this lobster die-off, which has been terrible for our local economy and all the families that relied on this industry,” State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) said in a statement. “We should be doing everything we can to reverse the trend and bring the lobster population back to a healthy […]

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05
Jun

Connecticut Challenges States to Label GE Food

(Beyond Pesticides, June 5, 2013) Connecticut passed a bill on Monday that requires food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredient, but only  if other states do the same. This means people in Connecticut and other parts of the country will still have to wait to see GE labeling on their food. On Monday, the state House of Representatives passed an amended version of a labeling bill that the state Senate approved two weeks ago, and Gov. Dannel Malloy has said he will sign it. House Bill 6527 — An Act Concerning Genetically-Engineered Food, will require producers to label genetically engineered food in Connecticut. The bipartisan bill passed unanimously in the Senate and 134-to-3 in the House. The bill will go into effect when, “Four states, not including this state, enact a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with the provisions of this subsection, provided one such state borders Connecticut; and (2) the aggregate population of such states located in the northeast region of the United States that have enacted a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with this subsection exceed twenty million based on 2010 census figures.” Connecticut will now […]

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02
Jan

New Jersey Legislators Seek Ban on School Playing Field Pesticides in 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2013) As the medical community weighs in, the new year begins with a push in New Jersey to adopt the Safe Playing Fields Act (S1143 / A2412), straightforward common sense legislation to remove children from harm’s way by stopping hazardous lawn pesticide use on school grounds. The bill’s sponsors, state Senators Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Robert Gordon (D-Bergen) —who moved Senate Bill 1143    through the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee with unanimous support in December, are seeking a full Senate vote this month. The bill prohibits lawn pesticides on playing fields of child care centers and schools, kindergarten through eighth grade. On December 14, 2012, the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote  a letter  to legislators in support of the legislation, citing the recent policy position and technical report that AAP released last year. In its letter, the AAP chapter said: “The NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) represents 1650 pediatricians. The national Academy is a professional membership organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. […]

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27
Jul

Pesticides Detected in Long Island Sound Lobsters for the First Time

(Beyond Pesticides, July 27, 2012) A Connecticut state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection study has detected residues of mosquito control pesticides in lobsters pulled from Long Island Sound. Using new testing technology that can detect small concentrations of substances, ten lobsters were tested for three common mosquito control chemicals: malathion, methoprene, and resmethrin. Positive results were found in the organ tissue of one lobster for methoprene and three lobsters for resmethrin. The results present the first scientific evidence that pesticides may be affecting lobsters in the Sound and are likely to further anger the Connecticut lobstering industry which, for years, has been pointing to mosquito pesticides as a likely cause of a serious decline in the lobster population of the Sound, but has been met with resistance. Late summer declines in the Sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common throughout much of the last decade, devastating fishers and the local economy that depends on them. A number of factors have been blamed, but the lobstering community has increasingly been pointing to mosquito pesticides for several reasons. Some, such as methoprene, have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the ocean water, where lobsters live and feed. Additionally, lobsters […]

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09
Jul

Banned Pesticides Found in Connecticut Wells

(Beyond Pesticides, July 9, 2012) Health officials in Connecticut are telling residents who drink from private wells to test their water for the banned pesticides chlordane and dieldrin, after a study from the town of Stamford, CT found at least one of the toxic chemicals in 195 out of 628 wells tested. Over half of the wells that tested positive for one of the pesticides were found to contain concentrations at levels above what the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers acceptable. Both of these chemicals, discussed at length in Rachael Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring, were widely used throughout the country before their ban in the late 1980s. Since then, these chemicals have revealed themselves to be pervasive in our environment. In 2007, Beyond Pesticides wrote on the discovery of chlordane on the grounds of a New Jersey middle school at levels above EPA limits. In 2009, the U.S Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and EPA conducted a survey that found chlordane in 64% of U.S households sampled. In 2010, we reported on the occurrence of these two historic-use chemicals in what are considered “pristine” National Parks. Unfortunately, if the water contamination residents are finding turns out to be […]

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13
Mar

CT Town Bans Pesticides on Playing Fields, Activists Push to Repeal Preemption

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2012) The town of Woodbridge, CT voted on last week to ban the use of pesticides on the town’s athletic fields. With the Board of Selectmen voting 5-1, Woodbridge committed to a pesticide-free land management program with the full support of Parks Department director Adam Parsons. The Parks Commission originally wanted to keep one field exempt from the ban in case the Parks Department could not meet their aesthetic standards. But Mr. Parsons told the Board of Selectmen that it would not be a problem. “I am very confident I will not lose a ballfield,” Mr. Parsons told the Milford-Orange Bulletin. “I believe the ban is a good idea for all the baseball fields.” While environmental and public health advocates applaud Woodbridge’s leadership, many would like to see pesticide bans go further and include private property as well. However, Connecticut, like 42 other states, has a “preemption law” that prevents municipalities from passing pesticide policies that limit pesticide use restrictions to land owned by the local jurisdiction. Legislation (Bill 5121) has recently been introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly to overturn this law. A hearing on Bill 5121 is set for Friday, March 16th. Connecticut residents […]

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24
Feb

Legislators Consider Repealing Pesticide Ban on Connecticut School Grounds

(Beyond Pesticides, February 24, 2012) On Wednesday, February 22, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee held a hearing to consider a bill that would repeal the state’s ban on toxic pesticide use on school grounds by allowing their use as part of a so-called “integrated pest management” (IPM) system. If you live in Connecticut, you can take action to fight this bill and preserve the health of school children. Current state law, adopted in 2005 and amended in 2007 and 2009 to cover facilities from day care centers up through grade 8, prohibits pesticides on playgrounds and playing fields at schools (except under emergency situations), allowing instead for non-toxic pest and fertility management. The bill currently under consideration, HB 5155, would repeal the ban, making pesticide use allowable as part of an IPM program as defined by any number of a range of bureaucratic offices. Although IPM can be a helpful tool in the transition from a pesticide-intensive to a non-toxic management system, it makes no sense to weaken an already strong standard aimed at protecting the health of children. The effort to adopt such a system through passage of HB 5155 is being led by public works […]

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19
Jan

New Details: 30th National Pesticide Forum, March 30-31 at Yale

(Beyond Pesticides, January 19, 2012) Although organic farming and land management continue to grow, policies to protect people from pesticides are threatened in the Northeast and around the country. At the same time, cutting-edge science links pesticide exposure to health problems, honey bee colony collapse, and other environmental issues. Join researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, activists, and others at Beyond Pesticides’ 30th National Pesticide Forum to discuss the latest science, policy solutions, and grassroots action. This national conference, Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments, will be held March 30-31 at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Registration Register online. Fees start at $35 ($15 for students) and include all sessions, conference materials, and organic food and drink. Speakers Confirmed speaker highlights include: Gary Hirshberg is chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, Gary had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture and renewable energy. He […]

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22
Dec

Go Organic with Upcoming Accreditation Courses in Organic Land Care

(Beyond Pesticides, December 22, 2011) For the tenth consecutive year, the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Organic Land Care Program (NOFA OLC) is hosting an accreditation course in organic land care in three different locations around the New England area starting January 9, 2012. Attendees will learn the how to design and maintain ecological landscapes without the use of toxic pesticides. The course is for any land care professional, including school grounds or municipal employees, conservation property managers, master gardeners, entrepreneurs or landscape enthusiast to learn the ecology of residential yards or municipal and school grounds and to learn how to care for these spaces using sustainable and safe products and methods. Over 1,200 students from 22 different states have taken the course, and there are currently about 550 Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs) bringing this expertise to their jobs as landscapers, groundskeepers, conservationists, planners, garden center employees, and a number of other fields. Students of the accreditation course come away with a practical understanding of landscape ecology and organic methods. Frank Crandall, owner of Frank Crandall Horticultural Solutions in Rhode Island, described the course as “the best educational course I have ever taken . . . I immediately made […]

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19
Dec

Save the Date: National Pesticide Forum, March 30-31, Yale University

(Beyond Pesticides, December 19, 2011) The 30th National Pesticide Forum, Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments, will be held March 30-31, 2012 (Friday evening and all day Saturday) in partnership with Connecticut and New England groups at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The conference will focus on organic landcare, urban/ suburban pesticide use, organic food, and protective national, state, and local policies. The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, Environment and Human Health, Inc., and the Watershed Partnership, Inc., and co-sponsored by local, state and regional public health and environmental organizations. Contact us if your organization is interested in co-sponsoring this event. Registration fees begin at $25. Online registration coming soon. Sessions will be held in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ Kroon Hall. It is a truly sustainable building: a showcase of the latest developments in green building technology, a healthy and supportive environment for work and study, and a beautiful building that actively connects students, faculty, staff, and visitors with the natural world. Watch videos from the 29th National Pesticide Forum. We would like to thank everyone who was able to be a part of Sustainable Community: Practical solutions for health and […]

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07
Oct

Mosquito Pesticide Suspected in Lobster Deaths

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2011) Commercial lobster fishers operating in Long Island Sound off the coast of Connecticut have begun to suspect that the mosquito killing chemical methoprene, sprayed by neighboring New York State as part of its West Nile virus (WNv) control program, is contributing to widespread deaths of lobsters in the sound. Believing that a large amount of the chemical flowed into the sound in late summer due to heavy rains from Hurricane Irene, the lobster fishers are asking New York to follow Connecticut’s example and switch its WNv control method to the less toxic bacillus thuringiensis. Late summer declines in the sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common throughout much of the last decade, devastating fishers and the local economy that depends on them. A number of factors have been blamed, but the lobstering community has increasingly been pointing to mosquito pesticides for several reasons. Methoprene has a tendency to sink to the bottom of the ocean water, where lobsters live and feed. Additionally, lobsters are a distant cousin of mosquitoes, and the methoprene acts on them in much the same way that it does the insects. Finally, the western part of the sound was the hardest […]

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31
Jan

Bill to Overturn State Preemption Introduced in Connecticut

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2011) A bill introduced in the Connecticut legislature will, if passed, allow municipalities to ban and regulate the use of lawn care pesticides, overturning a state preemption law which currently prohibits local governments from imposing pesticide restrictions on private property. Currently, 41 states, including Connecticut, prohibit local jurisdictions from restricting pesticides. Senator Edward Meyer introduced Bill S.B. 244, which has been referred to the state Senate’s Joint Committee on Environment. No hearing date has been set, however the official status of the bill is posted on the state’s General Assembly website. It is important to note, as Nancy Alderman, President of Environment and Human Health, Inc., states, “This bill will not mandate towns to do anything -they would just have the option to treat the lawns in their towns in stricter ways than the state- if they so chose.” Connecticut state law prohibits the application of pesticides on kindergarten through 8th grade school grounds, thanks to a bill that was sponsored by Sen. Meyer in 2007. In 2009, another bill was subsequently passed to expand on the first by banning pesticides on day care center grounds as well. In response to the 2007 mandate, the town […]

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21
May

Two States Pass Bills on Lawn Pesticides Use at Day Care Centers

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2009) The Connecticut and Illinois legislatures have passed bills increase the protection of children at day care centers from toxic lawn chemicals. While providing different degrees of protection, both bills, which build on their existing state school pesticide laws, passed with overwhelming support in both chambers of their General Assembly. The bills passed both legislatures on unanimous votes with the exceptiion of five dissenting votes in the Connecticut House of Representatives. Connecticut State Representative Terrie Wood said, “We know that contact with pesticides and chemicals are not compatible with healthy living. It is time to err on the side of caution and ban these pesticides from use any place our children and grandchildren learn and play.” The Connecticut bill, Pesticide Applications at Child Day Care Centers and Schools, extends the states’ existing law that prohibits the application of pesticides on kindergarten through 8th grade schools’ grounds to include day care center grounds as well. In addition, the bill requires only licensed pest control operators apply pesticides in day care center facilities or on their grounds. There is an exemption that allows general use pesticides to be used in an emergency situation when a pest, such as […]

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11
Feb

State Lawmakers Question Pesticide and Its Link To Lobster Die-Off

(Beyond Pesticides, February 11, 2009) Connecticut lawmakers are taking an interest in the much debated cause of a massive die-off of lobsters that has all but wiped out the state’s 40 million dollar industry, according to the Easton Courier. Fishermen and environmentalists blame the use of the insecticide malathion, a hazardous organophosphate, currently used in community mosquito eradication programs, however the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) argues that there is not enough scientific data to lead to the banning of the chemical. The huge die-off of lobsters began in 1999, days after towns in Fairfield County, Westchester County and Long Island, as well as New York City, sprayed malathion to kill mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus. Also at that time, remnants of hurricane Floyd drenched the state and washed the pesticide into Long Island Sound. The DEP, however, says the storm caused many other factors that led to the mass die-off. However, the lobster population has yet to recover. State lawmakers find DEP’s position on malathion puzzling. Rep. Richard Roy (D-Milford), chair of the House Environment Committee, and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwal) are questioning DEP about its efforts to restore the state’s lobster industry while […]

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12
Jan

Branford, CT Finds Success with Organic Playing Fields

(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2009) Propelled by state legislation prohibiting pesticides use on school grounds that has yet to go into effect, Branford, Connecticut is a model for others around the country in managing town playing fields, parks and public lawns without using pesticides. The town’s Parks and Recreation Department’s remarkable success in implementing an organic land management approach has resulted in healthier turf and lower maintenance costs. Later this month the town is expected to pass a resolution to ensure their commitment to the organic turf program. Alex Palluzzi, Jr., director of the Branford Parks and Recreation Department, says he once was “on the other side” but now is motivated by the results he sees with organic and wants to get others to do the same. The town’s organic program took off when a two-acre park was donated to the town and Mr. Palluzzi and his team began a pilot project converting the field to organic. Its success proved to Mr. Palluzzi that organic land management works. Now, all twenty-four of the town’s fields are maintained with organic practices. “We have not used pesticides in years,” says Mr. Palluzzi. Instead, the town relies on properly aerating the soil, overseeding, […]

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