Daily News Archive
From November 7, 2001

New York's Rockland County Adopts Neighbor Notification Law

Rockland County became the fifth county in New York to adopt the Neighbor Notification Law, a law that requires pesticide companies to give at least 48 hours advance notice to anyone who lives within 150 feet of where they intend to spray chemical pesticides on lawns, trees or gardens. In addition, the law requires homeowners who are applying pesticides on their own property, to an area greater than 100 square feet, to post signs on the perimeter of their property. Rockland joins Albany, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties who have already adopted the law.

The New York state legislature passed the Neighbor Notification Law in June 2000, a law that only applies to the counties that opt to adopt it. The Rockland County legislature passed the law by a vote of 13-3. The Rockland County Department of Health is designated as the lead agency to enforce the law which will become effective January 1, 2002.

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef strongly supported the passage of the law stating that he "believes it will benefit [the] residents by alerting them when pesticides will be applied near their homes and allowing them to take precautionary steps to avoid unnecessary contact with chemicals." Vanderhoef stated that his decision to support the law was based upon a report prepared by a Pest Management Committee he appointed back in April to review the law. The committee included representatives from several county department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, landscape associations and environmental groups.

Zen Zobrowski (D-5th District) told Lawn and Landscape News that including a provision for a voluntary registry came up in committee, but did not get enough votes to move to the full legislature.

The Lawn and Landscape News state that legal challenges from an industry coalition are pending in those counties that have already adopted the law. Larry Wilson, government affairs chairperson for the New York State Turf and Landscape Association and chairperson of the industry coalition fighting the law stated "that he is hoping that filing a notice of appeal in Rockland County will make the legislature think twice about implementing the law."

For more information on state pesticide notification laws or local ordinances contact Beyond Pesticides.