Daily News Archive

From November 29, 2001

Vote on School Environment Protection Act Expected this Friday, November 30, 2001

After months in the Education Conference Committee, a vote on the School Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) is expected this Friday. Beyond Pesticides and other supporters of SEPA are asking members to flood the offices of the committee members with phone calls asking them to include SEPA in the Education Bill. To reach any Senator or Member of Congress, dial the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121.

Members of the Education Conference Committee include: House of Representatives: Boehner (R-8th OH), Miller (D-7th CA), Petri (R-6th WI), Roukema (R-5th NJ), McKeon (R-25th CA), Castle (R-At large DE), Graham (R-3rd SC), Hilleary (R-4th TN), Isakson(R-6th GA), Kildee (D-9th MI), Owens (D-11th NY), Mink (D-2nd HI), Andrews (D-1st NJ), and Roemer (D-3rd IN). Senate: Kennedy (D-MA), Dodd (D-CT), Harkin (D-IA), Mikulski (D-MD), Jeffords (I-VT), Bingaman (D-NM), Wellstone (D-MN), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Edwards (D-NC), Clinton (D-NY), Lieberman (D-CT), Bayh (D-IN), Gregg (R-NH), Frist (R-TN), Enzi (R-WY), Hutchinson (R-AR), Warner (R-VA), Bond (R-MO), Roberts (R-KS), Collins (R-ME), Sessions (R-AL), DeWine (R-OH), Allard (R-CO) and Ensign (R-NV).

SEPA passed the U.S. Senate on June 19, 2001, as an amendment (S.AMDT.805) to the Education Reauthorization Bill. Now the fate of SEPA rests in the Education Conference Committee, which was appointed by both Houses of Congress to iron out the differences and form a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the education reauthorization bills, S.1 and H.R.1.

If passed, SEPA would require (i) local educational agencies to implement a school pest management policy considering sanitation, structural repair, mechanical, biological, cultural and pesticide strategies that minimize health and environmental risks as developed by the state and EPA approved; (ii) universal notification 3 times per year of school pesticide use; (iii) parental and school staff access to health and toxicity information on all pesticides used in schools; (iv) the establishment of a registry for parents and school staff to sign-up to receive 24 hour pre-notification of a pesticide application; (v) information on the pesticide's adverse health effects on the notice provided via the registry; (vi) signs to be posted 24 hours prior to the pesticide application and remain posted for 24 hours; (vii) record keeping of pesticide use and disclosure; and (viii) 24-hour reentry period for pesticide applications, unless the label specifies a specific reentry interval. Antimicrobials, baits, gels, and pastes are exempt from notification and posting requirements.