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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'New Jersey' Category


New Jersey Steps Up Effort to Ban Pesticides in Parks

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2007) The borough of Fairlawn, New Jersey joined 11 other boroughs in banning pesticides from public play areas. The borough declared its parks pesticide-free and will post a “pesticide-free zone” sign at every playground in the borough. The Record reported that: Volunteers from the New Jersey Environmental Federation canvassed borough neighborhoods last spring asking residents to support the program, spokeswoman Jane Nogaki said. Mayor Steve Weinstein said those residents sent him hundreds of letters. Lisa Lovermi and Randi Willey, who were walking through the park on their lunch break, said they always assumed borough parks were safe, but they thought a sign could help put park users’ minds at ease. “You’d think that a park is supposed to be a natural environment,” Lovermi said. “You wouldn’t think there would be pesticides.” New Jersey limited the use of pesticides on school grounds in 2002. But the recent discovery of dangerous levels of chemicals in the soil next to a Paramus middle school and several other North Jersey schools had many residents questioning the safety of their yards and play areas. Organizers of the pesticide-free park campaign are trying to rally support for a county- or statewide policy. […]



Pesticides Found on School Grounds

(Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2007) Dangerous pesticides have been found in soil samples taken from the grounds of the West Brook Middle School in Paramus, New Jersey. The concentrations found exceed state safety standards and concerns are being raised over why the school took no action once it knew about the contaminants. One of the chemicals found is chlordane. Chlordane is an organochlorine classified by the EPA as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen and is also associated with adverse neurological and gastrointestinal effects. Studies also report an association between chlordane exposure and non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma. Chlordane was registered in the U.S. in 1948 and was used as a pesticide on agricultural crops and gardens until 1978 when its registered uses on food crops and other above ground uses were cancelled. In 1988, all uses of chlordane were cancelled. This pesticide however, is persistent in soil and the environment and has been found in air samples, fish tissue, and recent studies have linked organochlorines like chlordane to breast cancer. The Record, a New Jersey newspaper, commissioned the tests to be carried out by Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories, which revealed that chlordane at 17 parts per billion were on the school’s soccer field. […]



New Jersey Rejects Toxic Sprays for Gypsy Moths

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2007) On January 29, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) concluded a month-long review of the Department of Agriculture’s (NJDA) petition to waive the state’s ban on aerial-spraying of broad-spectrum pesticides. The state will uphold the ban, effectively blocking widespread use of the chemical Dimilin. The ban affects towns seeking to reduce rising gypsy moth populations. Roughly 125,000 acres of trees suffered defoliation in the state as a result of gypsy moths, one of the worst years in recent memory. Gypsy moths have been in New Jersey since the 1920s, and their destruction peaking in 1981, with 800,000 acres defoliated. Dimilin is a restricted-use pesticide (available only to certified applicators) that has been unavailable for broadcast use for decades. For the past 20 years, in lieu of aerial spraying of Dimilin — also known as diflubenzuron — the pesticide specified in NJDA’s request, New Jersey towns have used bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) , a bacterial agent. With gypsy moth populations expected to be higher in 2007 than in recent years, NJDA argued that Bt would be insufficient to protect hardwood trees across the state. In a letter to NJDA, Marcedius T. Jameson, DEP’s administrator for […]



NJ Groups Oppose Lifting 20-Year Ban on Chemical Gypsy Moth Control

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2007) A proposal is underway within New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture (DOA) to lift a 20-year ban on the use of Dimilin (diflubenzuron) for gypsy moth suppression. The State’s DOA is proposing to amend its regulations (N.J.A.C. 2:23) to permit the synthetic chemical pesticide to be aerially sprayed over forested residential areas (estimated to be 50,000 acres) in 14 counties where egg mass counts are over 4,000 per acre. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Parks and Forestry may propose using Dimilin in state park areas where the egg masses are 4,000 per acre or more — potentially treating up to an additional 28,000 acres.The New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF) has taken action to stop the plan. In a letter co-signed by an additional 25 organizations to the Commissioners of DEP and DOA, they state, “While gypsy moth is a nuisance pest and can contribute to oak tree mortality, it is not a human health threat, nor a disease vector. We believe that given the potential harm to human health and biodiversity by the chemical pesticide Dimilin, the Departments should err on the side of caution and stand by their regulations that […]