Here we describe the state of pesticide use legislation in New Hampshire, other New England states, and across the country.
A brief introduction to Federal law about pesticide use by Hannah Rettig, Brock Paquette, Hanna Norton, and Tanner Singleton
The main federal law on pesticide use is the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which is administered through the EPA. First, all pesticides must be registered through the EPA by submitting specific information about the pesticide. Each applicant is required to file a statement with the Administrator which will include the name and address of the applicant and any other person who will show up on the label, the name of the pesticide, any directions for its use, the complete formula of the pesticide, and a request that the pesticide will be classified for general or restricted use. If the information submitted is according to EPA standards, the pesticide must then be properly labeled. This includes classifying the chemical, and outlining specific guidelines for the application process. Any commercial entity who is looking to register a pesticide, produce or manufacture a pesticide, or be a pesticide applicator that contains a restricted chemical must be certified to do so by taking the EPA approved certification program created by each state. There are separate certification standards for commercial and private applicators, mainly that private applicators are not required to take an examination to prove competency of use of pesticides in order to obtain a pesticide use certification. There are currently no federal regulations specifically outlining any procedures restricting the use of pesticides on playgrounds or school areas.
Other state laws regarding pesticides where children play by Jake Kondrat, Ryan Dearden, Colton Harvey, Emily Tyler, Armand Mazzulli, and Brandon Linera
Connecticut was the first state to pass a law banning lawn care pesticides being used at day care centers and grades K-8. The ban went into effect for day care centers on October 1st, 2009 and K-8 schools on July 1st, 2010. This ban prohibits the use of any pesticides registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including organic pesticides. This law came into effect because of the potential health effects the chemicals can have on children. However there are some pest control products that are allowed to be used in real world safety issues such as on hornet or wasp nests. If these pesticides are used they have to qualify as a minimum risk pesticide.
More information on these products can be found here. Another important part of this regulation is the responsibilities given to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. The Commissioner will annually review the pest control plans of state departments, agencies, schools, or institutions to help make sure they are on the right page. The Commissioner can also review any application of pesticides at any point to make sure all regulations were followed. (Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection).
Other states and countries that have already passed bills and regulations regarding pesticides on playgrounds and school grounds include: New York, Massachusetts, and Canada. Canada an entire country has passed regulations banning pesticides where children play (Pesticide Action Plan). The state of Maine prohibits the use of aerial application within 1,000 of a school if the wind speed is over 10 mph. Also if pesticides are to be used on school grounds, signs must be posted at least two workdays before the use of the pesticides, and at least 48 hours after (Beyond Pesticides). New York has passed the Child Safe Playing Field Act, which is very similar to the law passed by Connecticut. It requires that all schools, preschools, and daycare centers, (public or private), to no longer use pesticides on any playground or fields. However, like Connecticut, the law does allow the use of pesticides if the situation is deemed an emergency (Beyond Pesticides).
A summary of pesticide regulations in NH by Cora Telles, Clayton Powers, Matthew Cote, Connor Schleicher, and Madalyn Sullivan
New Hampshire follows laws and regulations that are directly administered by the Department of Agriculture , Markets & Food. The list of laws and regulations for NH are controlled and administered by other organizations within the New Hampshire State Government. Our focus will derive from one of these organizations known as the Pesticide Control Board. These members are responsible for controlling policies, revision, adopting new rules, and overseeing any activity of the Division of Pesticide Control. To apply pesticides to lawns in NH, an application for a license must be submitted to the Division of Pesticide Control. An applicator or dealer of pesticides must first pass an exam. Any new pesticide (not already registered in NH) must be registered with the Division of Pesticide Control. Changes to the Division of Pesticide Control policies and oversight of the activities of the Division of Pesticide Control are done by the Pesticide Control Board. This is the general process for how pesticides are applied to lawns in NH.
HB 399 is a proposed bill by NH representative Jim McConnell (R) that would eliminate the use of pesticides on lawns where children play. With relation to playgrounds and children there are few regulations set in place with special attention to such areas within the state of New Hampshire. Concern regarding the health of children and the use of pesticides is the driver behind HB399. Our research did not find any special provision for restricting pesticides in areas where children play. As described above, existing New Hampshire law requires licensing or permitting of commercial or private pesticide use. The process mandates that all who are competent in the safety and use of pesticides may apply for application. A permit is required to apply any pesticides within NH and this is approved by the Division. This means that any company can apply for a permit which will give them the right to safely apply pesticides on a given area. In regards to children on school grounds, we did find one regulation that specifically relates to the protection of children’s health and pesticides: Section 506.07 Conditions for Applying Pesticides by Aerial Methods in Residential Areas. This regulation is applicable to restrict aerial application (ensure children are not present) when pesticides are being applied through aerial use. This means that New Hampshire’s only restriction on exposure to children is during dusting application of crops when children are playing outside. Otherwise, the general rules of the Division of Pesticide Control apply and are considered sufficiently safe.