Public Notice Bill Passes
(Beyond Pesticides, March 31, 2005) The Alaskan House Bill 19, requiring on-site public notices of pesticide applications and improved pesticide regulations, passed with vigorous support in the state House last Wednesday, March 23 and is on its way to the Senate. The bill, introduced by Kevin Meyer (R - Anchorage) in February, would allow the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to charge pesticide manufacturers a fee to register their products, require chargeable licensing for pesticide applicators working in public places, as well as require the DEC to develop regulations and guidelines for proper notification to be placed 48 hours in advance of application in outdoor and indoor public places.
Currently, Alaska is the only state that does not require pesticide manufacturers to pay a registration fee and is absorbing the $110,000 annual cost. The Bill would allow a $85 -120 fee for the 5,700 chemicals registered with the state, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Supporters of the Bill, like the Alaska Conservation of Voters feel the funds generated from these registration fees will help improve the Pesticide Registration Program allowing them to focus on educating the public.
Although economics are a persuasive factor in gaining support for the Bill, the issue of public safety is also important. “We believe the public has the right to know when they are going to be exposed to something like that,” Pam Miller, of Alaska Community Action on Toxics, reported to the Anchorage Daily News. Required notification before pesticide application can allow the public to avoid potential health threats. However, the Bill in its current form does not provide for notification in child care centers, hospitals and health clinics, or nursing homes according to the Juneau Watchdog These are persons who are especially susceptible to health impacts from harmful chemicals. Representative Meyers told the Anchorage Daily News that he “would consider expanding the Bill once it was taken up by the Senate.”
TAKE ACTION: Alaskan residents urge your legislators to support amendments to this Bill for better public protection. Find out what your state is doing to protect public health and encourage your legislature or community to make changes for safer alternatives and better protection practices. See our State pages to find information about your state. For more information on specific pesticides, see our chemical fact sheets.