by Alex Rushworth
The bill HB399 was created to limit the amount of pesticides used in
public places in the state of New Hampshire. It has made requirements
regarding any emergency pesticide application varying by location, some
being stricter than others. For example, for a community athletic field,
there must be at least a 24 hour public notice provided to coaches of the
teams scheduled to play and or practice on the field within the next 7 days.
Coaches are supposed to notify parents or legal guardians of the athletes
directly or with an email or call. I believe this is a great step in the right
direction, pesticides have been proven to have carcinogens which lead to
cancer and birth defects. On top of that, this personally affects me, as I am
an athlete. While I know Keene State College is not affiliated with this bill, I
know how much sports require people to be rolling in the grass and, with
heavy pesticide use, that could lead to serious issues for athletes in the
future. In my opinion pesticides are usually sprayed because the pest is
an annoyance, not an emergency, so in reality the pesticides are a lot more
dangerous than the pest being sprayed.
While I believe this bill is a step in the right direction, I believe there
are quite a few flaws that make this bill ineffective. The biggest issue I have
is that they give the agencies spreading the pesticides 24 hours after
applying to notify the public or whomever the public area effects. At home I
work for a landscaping company that often spreads pesticides, from my
research the most dangerous time to be in a place often sprayed by
pesticides is within 24 hours after, usually after 24 hours the pesticides
absorb themselves into the soil and make it more difficult to be picked up by
something moving through that area. Another issue I have is about who gets
to decide that a situation requires an emergency pesticide application. In the bill
it states, whoever is in charge of the specific area gets to decide if the
situation is considered “an emergency” and I don’t believe a
nonprofessional in the pesticide field like a principle or a director of a day
care should make that decision, I believe they should be required to call in a
professional to determine the situation is an emergency.
In conclusion I believe this bill has a lot of great ideas, but also points
that need to be revised to make this more effective. This is definitely a step
in the right direction to hopefully one day make New Hampshire completely
Students and faculty from classes on Environmental Governance and Environmental Law at Keene State College are the authors of these posts. We also invite guest authors when appropriate.
NH Science for Citizens
Keene, NH 03431
A project of students and scientists in collaboration with local citizens and NH state representatives.