Senate Passes Measures to Reduce Pesticide Waste

Stephen M. Saland

March 19, 2012

Bills Would Help Lessen Use of Some Pesticides and Prevent Unnecessary Disposal

The New York State Senate has passed two bills that would reduce the amount of pesticides that are unnecessarily released into the environment. The bills 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. 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.

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.

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.

S.2887A will be sent to the Assembly and S.6401A will be sent to the Governor for consideration.