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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Connecticut' Category


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 […]



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 […]



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 […]



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 […]



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, […]



Connecticut Town Bans Pesticides on Athletic Fields

(Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2008) Thanks to the organizing efforts of the local Environmental Action Task Force, the town of Greenwich, CT has banned the use of pesticides on all of its athletic fields. The first application of the year, which was set for April 14, 2008, was cancelled after the Board of Selectmen passed a resolution mandating the ban. “It’s very exciting,” Selectman Lin Lavery told Greenwich Time newspaper. “It shows the town’s commitment to being a leader on environmental issues.” According to the newspaper, the Environmental Action Task Force proposed the resolution in response to a state law banning the use of pesticides on all elementary and middle school grounds, that goes into effect next year. But the task force took the mandate a step further, banning pesticides on all town athletic fields and instituting it a year early. It seemed logical to move forward with a ban as quickly as possible once it was determined that these pesticides were toxic and potentially harmful to children, Lavery told Greenwich Time. Pesticides, such as Barricade- containing the active ingredient prodiamine, which is used on town fields, is a possible human carcinogen and suspected endocrine disruptor. Michael Franco, M.D., a […]



CT Governor Signs Law Extending Ban on Pesticides on School Grounds

(Beyond Pesticides, June 20, 2007) At a ceremony on June 18th at East Hartford High School, Governor M. Jodi Rell signed HB 5234, An Act Banning Pesticide Use on School Grounds (Public Act No. 07-168). The new law, effective October 1, extends the ban on the use of lawn care pesticides at public schools from elementary school to grades 6, 7 and 8. The new law also expands a school superintendent’s ability to authorize emergency applications of lawn care pesticides in health emergencies and makes the state Department of Environmental Protection responsible for administering and enforcing school pesticide applications. “This law will help protect the health of more than 100,000 Connecticut middle school students,” Governor Rell said. “While pesticides are known to be detrimental to people of all ages, we must take extra precautions to ensure that our young people are protected from potential harm. Today, we take another step toward better protection of our children by reducing unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals.” “This law is good for our children, good for the environment and good for our efforts to promote public health and well-being. Children and their parents deserve the peace of mind of knowing that we are endeavoring […]



CT Governor Urged To Sign School Pesticide Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, June 7, 2007) During the first week of June 2007, the Connecticut House and Senate passed HB 5234, An Act Banning Pesticide Use on School Grounds, banning pesticides — which are often linked to learning disabilities, asthma and other health problems — from the grounds of schools grades K-8. Now activists across the state and around the country, along with the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford), are urging Governor M. Jodi Rell to sign the bill into law and protect the health of more than 100,000 Connecticut middle school students. The bill passed 140-9 in the House on June 4, and 35-0 in the Senate on June 1. “There is no doubt in my mind that this bill, once it is signed into law by the governor, will move us in the organic direction and improve the health of Connecticut’s younger students,” said Senator Meyer, who is co-chairman of the Select Committee on Children and vice-chairman of the Environment Committee. “Pesticides have a wide variety of side effects on young children, whose immune and nervous systems are still developing and whose low bodyweight make them susceptible to pesticide exposure.” In 2005, Public Act No. 05-252, An […]



CT School Bill Passes House in Landslide

(Beyond Pesticides, May 11, 2007) Connecticut activists seeking to expand their state ban on pesticides in schoolyards report a victory this week. House Bill 5234, An Act Banning Pesticide Use on School Grounds, which bans pesticides in private and public schools for grades K-8, passed the Connecticut House by vote of 145-2. The Bill is now headed to the Senate where it will be introduced by Senator Bill Finch (Bridgeport), Chair of the Environment Committee. In 2005, An Act Concerning Pesticides at Schools and Day Care Facilities (Public Act 05 — 252) was passed in Connecticut. That law bans lawn care pesticides on the grounds of children’s day care centers and elementary schools, allowing integrated pest management (IPM) on playing fields for a three-year transition period. However, private and public elementary schools are organized differently in different school districts, so the existing law only protects children up to grades five or six in many cases. According to Nancy Alderman of Connecticut’s Human Health and Environment, “All Connecticut school children deserve the same level of protection, and this bill provides that.” The present Bill 5234, will ban the use of lawn-care pesticides on the grounds of all schools K-8 and allow […]



Bill Introduced To Extend CT School Pesticide Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2007) Connecticut State Representative Livvy R. Floren (R-149th District) and a bi-partisan coalition of co-sponsors introduced a bill in January 2007 to extend the ban on the use of pesticides at day care and elementary schools to middle and high schools. House Bill 5234, An Act Banning Pesticide Use in Middle And High Schools, has been referred to the General Assembly’s Environment Committee. Rep. Floren co-sponsored the initial law in 2005, which restricts the use of lawn care pesticides at public and private preschools, elementary schools, child day care centers and group day care homes. This law went into affect January 1, 2006, except for emergencies and completely bans their application starting July 1, 2008. Rep. Floren said, “Pesticides are known to be detrimental to humans of all ages, and I do not want to see them used in areas that affect our young people. Future generations of children should be able to learn and play at school without threat of breathing in pesticides.” By extending the ban, Rep. Floren said more than 260,000 children attending sixth through 12th grade would be affected. Rep. Floren told the Greenwich Post that she was first introduced to the […]