Gov Paterson Signs Legislation Banning Pesticides On School Grounds
From our good friends at Long Island Neighborhood Network and Citizens Campaign for the Environment:
School Grounds Pesticide Ban Now Law
Yesterday, May18th, Governor Paterson signed the Safe School Grounds bill. This new law will protect children across New York State from exposure to hazardous toxins by banning almost all uses of chemical pesticides on the grounds of schools and day care centers.
The law will prohibit lawn care pesticides on school and day care center playgrounds, turf, athletic or playing fields. The ban would not apply to pesticides used in health emergencies, or to protect children from an imminent threat of biting, stinging and venomous pests. In weighing the risks versus the benefits of using these hazardous chemicals for lawns and ornamental plants, it is clear that precaution is advisable, especially because safer alternatives do exist.
"We are elated and thankful to Governor Paterson for signing the Safe School Grounds bill into law. Children are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of pesticides and exposing them to toxic pesticides in their schools and day care facilities is unacceptable when safe, effective alternatives are available. Senator Foley and Assemblyman Englebright are to be congratulated for their leadership in bringing this historic bill to a successful conclusion. This is the most significant pesticide legislation to be enacted in New York State in many years," said Demosthenes Maratos, Program Director for the Long Island Neighborhood Network.
Thank you and congratulations to all our members, supporters and friends who contacted their state legislators and the Governor in support of the Safe School Grounds bill.
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GOVERNOR PATERSON SIGNS CHILD SAFE PLAYING FIELDS ACT
Governor Paterson and State Legislature Applauded for taking Action to Protect NY’s kids
Albany, NY – On Wednesday, May 18, 2010, Governor Paterson signed the Child Safe Playing Fields Act to law, eliminating the use of toxic pesticides on playing fields and green spaces at our children’s schools. With bipartisan support this bill passed both the Senate and Assembly. This law will be in effect in one year, giving schools time to train groundskeepers.
"The archaic practice of poisoning children's play grounds is coming to an end in New York State. We will now raise a generation of healthier, safer children because of this legislation. We are thrilled and profoundly grateful for The Governor, Senator Foley and Assemblyman Englebright for this legacy bill," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
Assemblymember Steven Englebright (D, Setuaket) stated “This is a historic day for New York State! Our hard work has paid off after nine years of efforts to pass this legislation. Kudos to Governor Paterson, Senator Foley and all of the advocates who made this happen. We have achieved a real and lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren by granting them a pesticide-free outdoor environment at school.”
Over 8,000 letters have been sent & over 18,000 signatures have been collected in favor of this commonsense legislation that protects children where they spend the most time – at school.
Studies show that after the first two years, schools save 7 percent to 25 percent annually by not purchasing toxic chemicals. The bill wisely provides a clear process to allow rapid response for pesticide applications to address any emerging emergency situation.
“We applaud Senator Brian Foley and Assemblyman Steven Englebright for championing this critical environmental bill, which sill save schools money while protecting children and birds from the dangers of pesticides,” said Albert E. Caccese Executive Director of Audubon New York. “Each year, millions of pounds of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are used on schools and lawns across the state and nation, creating one of the largest sources of pollution runoff and causing the death of over 7 million birds annually. By eliminating the use of these chemicals at schools, we are now making these places safe and inviting for, birds, other wildlife and children.”