The New York State Senate today passed two bills that would reduce the amount of pesticides that are unnecessarily released into the environment. The bills, sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) and Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), have environmental and economic benefits by reducing the amount of pesticides needing to be applied or disposed of as hazardous waste.
Currently, pesticides used for agricultural purposes in New York State may be used in a dosage, concentration or frequency less than that specified on the labeling, but commercial pesticide applicators may not. Senator Marcellino’s bill (S.2887A) recognizes advancements made in commercial application technology which may increase effectiveness while using less pesticides. By allowing commercial applicators to apply less than label rates, the bill helps reduce the total amount of pesticides being applied in New York State communities.
“This bill is a common sense approach to lower pesticide use, avoiding unnecessary exposure, saving money, and reducing health risks,” said Senator Marcellino. “By allowing commercial applicators to apply less than the label rates, the total amount of pesticides being applied in New York State will be decreased, providing economic and environmental benefits to the people of the state.”
“Pesticides are closely regulated to protect the safety of the public and our environment, but can be useful tools in the right circumstances,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “The bills passed today preserve the effectiveness of these products when properly applied by commercial applicators, reduce the amount released at homes, businesses and other locations, and continue to decrease hazardous waste.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, approximately five million pounds of consumer pesticide products may become waste each year in the United States due to damage to the containers – such as ripped or punctured ripped bags of lawn fertilizer containing pesticides - before the products can be sold by retailers.
Senator Grisanti’s bill (S.6401A), which has also been approved by the state Assembly, allows New York’s retailers to continue repairing minor damage to containers, under proper conditions, so that the product can be sold and used as intended. The measure helps alleviate concerns with the unnecessary disposal of pesticide products and will continue to significantly reduce the amount of pesticides that are disposed of as hazardous waste.
“This legislation represents yet another common sense approach to public policy,” Senator Grisanti said. “Prior to this law’s enactment, retail establishments had to not only throw out these lightly damaged containers, but they had to do so as if it were hazardous waste. With passage of this legislation, common sense again returns by allowing these retailers to repair these containers according to EPA guidelines and offer them to sale to the public, rather than having them disposed as hazardous waste."
S.2887A will be sent to the Assembly and S.6401A will be sent to the Governor for consideration.