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New York


STATE SCHOOL PESTICIDE LAW

I.
Restricted Spray Zones Around School Property

Overview

Pesticides move off the target site when they are sprayed, whether inside or outside. When sprayed outside pesticides drift on to nearby property resulting in off target residues. Buffer zones can eliminate exposure from spray drift on to school property. As a result, states require buffer zones around schools. In order to adequately protect against drift, buffer zones should, at a minimum, be established in a 2 mile radius around the school’s property. Aerial applications should have a larger buffer zone, at least 3 miles encircling the school. Buffer zones should be in effect at all times of the day. It is especially important for spray restrictions to be in place during commuting times and while students and employees are on school grounds.

State Information

New York does not have any statewide requirements regarding restricted spray zones around school property.

II. Posting Notification Signs for Indoor Pesticide Applications

Overview

States use different approaches in providing school pesticide use information to parents, students and staff. Some forms include the posting of notification signs and/or the distribution of notices directly to the affected population. Posted notification signs warn those in the school when and where pesticides have been or are being applied. This is a vehicle for basic right-to-know if the posting occurs in an area where it is easily seen by parents, students and staff. It is important to post signs for indoor pesticide applications because of the extensive period of time students and school employees spend at school. Signs posted prior to commencement of the pesticide application, not after, are more protective. The prior notification system effectively enables people to take precautionary action. Because of the residues left behind after an application, signs should remain posted for at least 72 hours. It takes time for pesticides to start breaking down and some pesticide residues can least for weeks. Signs should also be posted at all main entrances of the building and the specific area sprayed, on the main bulletin board, and, for more comprehensive notification, in the school newspaper or on the daily announcements. Posted signs should state when and where a pesticide is applied, the name of the pesticide applied and how to get further information, such as a copy of the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and the product(s) label.

State Information

New York does not have any statewide posting requirements for indoor pesticide applications.

III. Posting Notification Signs for Outdoor Pesticide Applications

Overview

For a wider range of protection, states should require posting pesticide notification signs for outdoor pesticide applications as well. Students who play sports or people continually on the lawns represent a high risk when applications occur on school property. Dermal exposure can occur when a football player gets tackled, a soccer player slides to make a block or a student sits on the grass to eat lunch or watch a game. Inhalation exposure can occur when a player breathes in kicked up dust and dirt and pesticide residues. Even spectators at a game or passersby face inhalation exposure to pesticides that volatilize or vaporize off the treated area.

State Information

New York Environmental Conservation Law, sections 33-09 and 33-10, require certified and commercial lawn applicators to post signs for applications made to lawns and all other outdoor applications. Signs are to remain posted for 24 hours. Information regarding the application is available upon request. In addition, indoor and outdoor pesticide use for daycare centers must post signs for 48 hours prior to application.

IV. Prior Written Notification

Overview

Written notification of pesticide use is a good way to make sure that all parents, children and staff are aware and warned of pesticide use in the schools. Limited notification-based registries is a less effective means of notifying people and does not qualify as true right-to-know because of its limited scope. Requiring that individuals place themselves on registries, sometimes only with a doctor’s letter, afford only those who already know about toxic exposure the opportunity to be informed about pesticide use in the school. Prior notification should be 72 hours in advance to make sure the information has been received, to get further information regarding the pesticide and to make arrangements to avoid the exposure, if necessary. Notification should include the name of the pesticide(s), a summary of the adverse health effects listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and label, the day and time, and area of the application and how to obtain a copy of the MSDS and label.

State Information

The school shall provide written notification to all staff and persons in parental relation at the beginning of each school year. Provided however, that if a child enrolls after the beginning of the school year, notification shall be provided within one week of such enrollment. Parents and staff can sign up to be placed on a registry to receive 48 hour advanced notice of any pesticide applications.

V. Prohibitions on Use

Overview

Limiting when and what pesticides are applied in and around schools is important to the reduction of pesticide exposure. Pesticides should never be applied when students or employees are in the area or may be in the area within 24 hours of the application. In reality, certain types of pesticides, such as carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins, neurotoxins, persistent compounds and substances, bioaccumulative compounds and substances, toxicity category 1 acutely toxic pesticides and ground water contaminants should not be used around children.

State Information

New York does not have any state laws restricting school pesticide use.

Overview

A good integrated pest management (IPM) program can eliminate the unnecessary application of synthetic, volatile pesticides in schools. The main elements of a good IPM program include: 1) monitoring to establish whether there is a pest problem, 2) identifying the causes of the pest problem, 3) addressing the cause by changing conditions to prevent problems, 4) utilizing pest suppression techniques, if necessary, that are based on mechanical and biological controls and 5) only after nontoxic alternatives have been tried and exhausted, use the least toxic pesticide. An IPM policy should include a written policy guide and a prohibited and acceptable materials list. Material that could be considered after using other methods include boric acid and disodium octoborate tetrahydrate, silica gels, diatomaceous earth, insect growth regulators, insect and rodent baits in tamper resistant containers or for crack and crevice placement only, microbe-based insecticides, botanical insecticides (not including synthetic pyrethriods) without toxic synergists, and biological (living) control agents.

State Information

The state of New York recommends schools implement an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM).

COPY OF STATE SCHOOL PESTICIDE LAW
New York Neighbor Notification Law



LOCAL SCHOOL PESTICIDE PROGRAMS

Baldwin Union Free School District
Date Passed: March 2001
IPM:
The districts program states least toxic pesticides will be used only when "absolutely necessary." The program also gives examples of IPM strategies for indoor and outdoor sites.
Notification:
See state law above.
Prohibitions on Use:
The school district shall eliminate routine spraying/fogging, eliminate fogging and spraying for head lice and remove all pesticide sprays from school buildings.
Other:
The Director if Facilities and Operations shall maintain detailed records of any pesticide application. This includes Material Safety Data Sheets. The school districts has also established an IPM Committee.
Contact:
Michael Sheehan, Facilities Director. Phone: (516) 377-9312.
Baldwin Union Free School District, Office of Facilities and Operations, 960 Hastings Street, Baldwin, NY 11510

Ballston Spa School District
Date Passed: Unknown.
IPM: The district's policy states least-toxic pesticides shall be used only as a last resort and only when other "progressive" responses have shown to be unavailable, infeasible or ineffective. It is the desire and intent of the school district to eliminate the use of pesticides through the use of "non-toxic agents."
Notification: See state law above.
Prohibitions on Use: Pesticides used for purely aesthetic purposes, routine scheduled pesticide applications and applications by fogging are prohibited.
Contact: Facilities and Operations Coordinator Edwin Martin. Phone: (518) 884-7195 ext. 315
Ballston Soa School District, 70 Malta Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. Fax: (518) 884-7101

Fulton City School District
Date Passed: August 1994
IPM:
The districts program states least toxic pesticides will be used only when "absolutely necessary." The program also gives examples of IPM strategies for indoor and outdoor sites.
Notification:
See state law above. In addition, residents of the community will be notified annually in writting of the district's IPM policy.
Prohibitions on Use:
The school district shall eliminate routine spraying/fogging, eliminate fogging and spraying for head lice and remove all pesticide sprays from school buildings.
Other:
The Director if Facilities and Transportation shall maintain detailed records of any pesticide application. This includes Material Safety Data Sheets.
Contact:
Director of Facilities and Transportation. Phone: (315) 593-5514
Fulton School District, Administrative Services, Room 118, 167 South Fourth Street, Fulton, NY 13069


Great Neck Public Schools

Date Passed: June 1994
IPM:
The school district shall employ a pest management company to run its IPM program, whereas teh company shall first use alternative methods of pest control before chemical sprays. Also, pest control work shall be performed before or after school hours
Notification:
See state law above.
Prohibitions on Use:
No pesticides or pesticide application equipment shall be stored on school property.
Other:
The school's principal shall have a copy of all pesticide product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets for all pesticides that are used, prior to their application.
Contact:
Building and Grounds Office, Phone: (516) 773-1439


Greenwich Central School District

Date Passed: March 1999
IPM:
The districts program requires the "coordinated use of physical, biological and cultural controls and least-toxic pest control products and techniques to prevent unaccaptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment."
Notification:
See state law above.
Prohibitions on Use:
The district shall eliminate all routine pesticide spraying and fogging, the use of organophosphates and carbamate pesticides and the use of any chemical pesticide for purely aesthetic purposes.
Other:
The program establishes an IPM committee.

New York City Schools
IPM Resources:
NYC Board of Education Pest Control Material List
Glueboard Monitors
Response Procedure for Rats
Date Passed: Since 1985 the NYC School system has been implementing IPM practices, which has lead to an offical IPM policy. By school opening 1993, NYC schools had formally banned any liquid/aerosol pesticide treatments in classrooms. By school opening 2001, all classes of insecticide concentrates and pyrethrins were eliminated in all areas of the schools. NYC Schools have been involved in the EPA's Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) since 1998.
IPM: The district's program states pesticides should be used as a last resort. However, when pesticides are needed, the program lists pest specific pesticides that shall be used.
Notification: See state law above.
Prohibitions on Use: The use of Cyfluthrin, pyrethins, carbamates and organophosphates are prohibited.
Other: To check on the progress of NYC Schools IPM implementation visit the EPA's PESP web site.
Contact: Dan Dickerson, 46-36 Vernon Blvd. Ste 1, Long Island City, NY 111 01. Phone: (718) 729-6100,
Email: ddickerson@nycboe.net

 

Other Schools with IPM/Notification Policies:
Buffalo
Chappaqua Schools
Freeport Schools
Hewlit-Woodmere Central Schools
Homer Central Schools
Locust Valley
Nassau County
Oswego City Schools
Pine Ridge/Rondout Valley Central Schools
Roosevelt Central Schools
Susqueanna School
Syracuse


CONTACTS FOR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

NYCAP (New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides)
353 Hamilton Street
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 426-8246
Fax: (518) 426-3052
Email: nycap@crisny.org
http://www.cehn.org/cehn/resourceguide/nycap.html


Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
Claire L. Barnett, MBA
773 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
Phone: (518) 462-0632
www.healthyschools.org


Environmental Advocates

353 Hamilton Street
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 462-5526
Fax: (518) 427-0381
www.envadvocates.org

For more contacts for local organizations, visit our Links to Local Organizations.

For more information contact
Beyond Pesticides, 701 E Street, S.E., Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20003, info@beyondpesticides.org