NJGIC Pesticides Task Force

The Task Force monitors all regulations and legislation relative to pesticides. Pesticide Task force members: John Buechner (Lawn Doctor), Brian Feldman (TruGreen), Aaron Hobbs (RISE), Ed Waters (SSA), Hal Bozarth (SSA), Len Douglen (NJPMA), Marney Dorsey (Dow AgroSciences), Michael Cavanaugh (NJPMA), Nancy Sadlon (NJGIC), Todd Milsom (NJPMA).

Safe Playing Fields Act Coalition members: John Buechner (Lawn Doctor), Brian Feldman (TruGreen), Michael O’Brien (RISE), Ed Waters (SSA), Hal Bozarth (SSA), Len Douglen (NJPMA), Marney Dorsey (Dow AgroSciences), Michael Cavanaugh (NJPMA), Nancy Sadlon (NJGIC), Todd Milsom (NJPMA), Keith Kubik (NJTA), Don Savared (NJSFMA), Mickey Stachowski (GCSANJ), David Pease (GCSANJ), Matt Sweatlock (NJCA), Inid Torok (NJPRA), Dominick Mondi (NJNLA), Michael Kukol (NJLCA).

Progress Report:

December 5, 2011

Safe Playing Fields Act (A.3782/A. 3621-Amended) & Silver Flag Pesticide Notification Act (A.4158

The Assembly Environment & Sold Waste Committee passed the following pesticide bills out of committee:

  • ASSMBLY No. 3782 AND 3621: ‘Safe Playing Fields Act’
  • ASSEMBLY No. 4158: ‘Silver Flag Pesticide Notification Act’

As expected, the bills were passed out of committee. While NJGIC is not pleased to see movement of these bills, it is important to note that there is only one more scheduled legislative voting session this year in which these bills can be posted for a vote and passed. They will need to be passed by both the full Senate and the full Assembly and signed by the governor before Jan. 9, 2011.

The bottom line positive to report is:

* The “Safe Playing Fields Act” bill was amended to apply to only playgrounds, K-8 schools and day care centers. The bill no longer applies to recreations fields – so golf courses, minor league ball fields, county parks used for recreation fields and high school sports fields will not be impacted by this bill.

The bottom line negatives to report are:

* Inclusion of K-8 in the amended Safe Playing Fields Act” essentially nullifies the Current School IPM Act, and essentially rejects the principles of IPM. It disregards the balanced consideration of all options to controlling a pest that has the least impact to people and the environment.

* The amended “Safe Playing Fields Act” passed today takes the decision making of whether a pest needs to be controlled and how best to control the problem out of the hands of a trained professional applicator and into the hands of the untrained school official and health officer.

* The movement of both these bills (Safe Playing Fields Act” and Silver Flag Bill) presents continued concern by NJGIC and the industry. Perception that traditional pesticides must be banned and that schools and playgrounds are not currently safe with existing NJDEP regulations and School IPM programs is our biggest concern!

June 2011:

June 14, 2011: The “Safe Playing Fields Act” – S-2610 (Turner / Gordon) was heard at the Thursday’s Senate Budget Committee Agenda. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and passed out of committee with 2 minor amendments.

June 6, 2011: The NJ Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee took up initial discussions on S. 2610, but ended up holding the bill at the request of the sponsor. The bill was held before committee members could hear testimony and vote on NJGIC’s proposed amendments which were being offered by the Republican members of the Committee. Our opponents were allowed to offer testimony, but once it was clear that there were not enough votes to pass the bill as written, the bill was held without the committee hearing testimony from NJGIC coalition members or others opposed to the bill.

March 2011 – Stakeholder group called to discuss the Safe Playing Fields Act. NJGIC an active member of this stakeholder group.

February 2011 – Senate and Assembly Environment Committees reviewinng bills. Senate passed out of cmmittee S. 2610

January 2011 – There are three (3) pesticide bills that were re-introduced in January 2011 session. These are bills we have seen before and NJGIC will continue to monitor and voice our concerns relative to these bills.

Current Pesticide Related Legislation

“Safe Playing Fields Act” – Bill S.2610 (Turner)

February 2011 -passed unanamously out of Senate committee – This bill would impose a complete ban on the use of all pesticides at schools, child care centers and municipal recreational fields. The law would only allow “Low Impact” pesticides as defined by NJDEP school IPM law definition (See bill details)

(See bill details – link to Senate bill)

“Playing Fields Act”- Bill A.3621 (Quijano) Restricts use of lawn care pesticides at schools, child care centers and recreational fields.
(See bill details – llink to Assembly bill)

The “Pesticide Use Reduction Recognition Act” – A.3671 (Gusciorra/McKeon)
(See bill details– link to Assembly bill)

Next Steps:

We need to make our voice louder via grass roots letters and outreach to legislators. We also need to address this proposed legislation with more detailed facts about products. Both our conventional product testing and safety, as well as the ineffectiveness of the low impact products (the only ones that will remain as allowable products) and the unintended risks to our children that passage of this bill will create. We will be providing you with requests for help through ‘NJGIC call to action.” notifications. Time is of the essence. If we do not voice our concerns now the bill could pass through the process quickly. It has the feel good “protect the children” momentum.

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