Engineering News

Largest City in U.S. Adopts Plan to Curtail Use of Pesticides
Monday May 9, 9:52 am ET

New York City will lead the nation in protecting the health of millions of people by enacting a law today that will begin restricting hazardous pesticide use on all city land. Also to be signed today is legislation that requires commercial landscapers to give neighbors prior notice before spraying pesticides.

NEW YORK, May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected today to sign into law legislation that will top the list nationwide in protecting the largest number of people from cancer-causing and highly toxic pesticides. The new law requires the City to phase out acutely toxic pesticides and those that are known or suspected to cause cancer or developmental disorders by November 2006, and develop a strategy to utilize less toxic methods in the future on city property.

The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and Beyond Pesticides applauded the New York City Council and Mayor Bloomberg for enacting this bill and another that requires neighbor notification before commercial landscapers spray pesticides.

"These bills put New York City at the forefront of the national effort to move pest control in a new direction, away from poisons and towards prevention," said Laura Haight, senior environmental associate for NYPIRG, a New York State environmental and consumer advocacy group. "Whole generations of children in New York City have been exposed to pesticides that the EPA subsequently banned because they were unsafe. Fortunately, there are safer and smarter ways of controlling pests that are more effective and far less harmful than using toxic chemicals."

"The new law recognizes that we do not have to poison people and the environment to manage buildings and landscapes," said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, a Washington, D.C.-based national environmental group. Numerous jurisdictions across the country have adopted a similar law or policy, including San Francisco and Seattle. "New York City stands out among other jurisdictions because of the sheer number of people that will benefit from the new law," said Mr. Feldman.

A report released by NYPIRG and Environmental Advocates in 1998 revealed that New York City accounts for more than a quarter of the total pesticide use in New York State. Several successful pilot projects in New York City use non- toxic and least toxic methods to control roaches, mice and rats.

Source: Beyond Pesticides

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