Pesticides/Herbicides Model Ordinances

Several towns have asked whether it is possible to regulate applications of pesticides and fertilizer.  Roxbury has passed the regulation shown below, which has been approved by town counsel was added to the Roxbury Inland-Wetlands regulations in June 2007,  but not tested in court.  We also include voluntary resolutions passed by the towns of Branford, Essex, Plainville, and a resolution declaring a Plainville town park pesticide and chemical fertilizer free.

 

RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF BRANFORD IN SUPPORT OF VOLUNTARY NON-USE OF PESTICIDES AND SYNTHETIC FERTILIZERS ON LAWNS AND GARDENS BY THE CITIZENS OF [MUNICIPALITY]

WHEREAS, Children, pets and the unborn child are particularly vulnerable to adverse health effects of synthetic lawn pesticides such as cancer, asthma, and neurodevelopmental disorders; and,

WHEREAS, Lawn pesticides are known to contaminate groundwater and wells; and,

WHEREAS, Federal registration of pesticides is no guarantee of safety; and

WHEREAS, Lawn and garden fertilizers contribute 11% of the nitrate found in the non-point source runoff and increased nitrate in the waters of Long Island Sound can cause hypoxia (absence of oxygen) resulting in stress and death to fish and plant life; and,

WHEREAS, The synthesis of nitrogen-based fertilizers release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere contributing to global warming; and

WHEREAS, Regular use of pesticides upsets nature's balance by killing beneficial soil organisms that, when left alone, will control many unwanted pests; and,

WHEREAS, Proper organic lawn and garden care will improve the soil, conserve moisture; and encourage a deeper root system, that requires less care and less water; and;

WHEREAS, We believe it is prudent to adopt a precautionary approach, so that when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established; and,

WHEREAS, The [MUNICIPALITY] has accordingly incorporated organic lawn and turf care for managing pest and weed problems with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT since the health of the children and citizens of the [MUNICIPALITY] the environment and Long Island Sound will all benefit from the decreased use of chemical fertilizers and lawn pesticides, The [MUNICIPALITY'S] citizens voluntarily refrain from the use of chemical fertilizers and lawn pesticides and encourages the use of organic lawn care.

 
 

Roxbury Inland Wetlands

Furthermore, certain activities, operations and uses of land occurring outside the boundaries of wetlands and watercourses may have a detrimental effect on those wetlands and watercourses.  If the Commission determines that any such activity, operation or use will cause or has a reasonable likelihood of causing such an adverse impact, in the absence of regulation, the Commission may deem such activity, operation or use to be a Regulated activity requiring a permit pursuant to these regulations regardless of the location of the activity, operation or use in relation to the wetland or watercourse.  The Commission has determined that herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer applications when applied within fifty (50) feet of any stream, river or wetland are likely to have a detrimental effect and therefore such applications shall not be permitted without a permit pursuant to these regulations. A Regulated activity also includes any operation or use in upland (non-wetlands and non-watercourses) area that has the potential to or is likely to detrimentally impact a Regulated area.

 

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RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF ESSEX BOARD OF SELECTMEN IN SUPPORT OF VOLUNTARY NON-USE OF PESTICIDES AND SYNTHETIC FERTILIZERS ON LAWNS AND GARDENS BY THE CITIZENS OF ESSEX

WHEREAS, Children, pets and the unborn child are particularly vulnerable to adverse health effects of synthetic lawn pesticides such as cancer, asthma, and neurodevelopmental disorders.  And

WHEREAS, Lawn pesticides are known to contaminate groundwater and wells.  And

WHEREAS, Federal registration of pesticides is no guarantee of safety.  And

WHEREAS, Essex borders the Connecticut River with a significant potential for non-point source pollution to Long Island Sound,  And

WHEREAS, Lawn and garden fertilizers contribute 11%[1] of the nitrate found in the non-point source runoff. and increased nitrate in the waters of Long Island Sound can cause hypoxia (absence of oxygen) resulting in stress and death to fish and plant life. ..….And

WHEREAS, The synthesis of nitrogen-based fertilizers release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere contributing to global warming.  And

WHEREAS, Regular use of pesticides upsets nature’s balance by killing beneficial soil organisms that, when left alone, will control many unwanted pests.  And

WHEREAS, Proper organic lawn and garden care will improve the soil, conserve moisture; and encourage a deeper root system, that requires less care and less water.  And

WHEREAS,  We believe it is prudent to adopt a precautionary approach, so that when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established.”  (This is known as the Precautionary Principal [2]).  And

WHEREAS, The Town of Essex has accordingly incorporated organic lawn and turf care for managing pest and weed problems with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT since the health of the children and citizens of Essex, their water, the environment and Long Island Sound will all benefit from the decreased use of chemical fertilizers and lawn pesticides, the Board of Selectman urges all citizens to voluntarily refrain from the use of chemical fertilizers and lawn pesticides and encourages the use of organic lawn care.


[1] Mark Tedesco, Director of Long Island Sound Study gave 11% (phone quote).

[2] Widespread Statement, published in Sandra Steingraber’s book, “Living Downstream”, page 284.

 

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RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF SAMPLE TOWN COUNCIL IN SUPPORT OF
VOLUNTARY NON-USE OF PESTICIDES AND SYNTHETIC FERTILIZERS
ON LAWNS AND GARDENS BY THE CITIZENS OF SAMPLE

WHEREAS, Sample has rivers and streams in the watershed of Long Island Sound thus giving it potential for non-point source pollution into Long Island Sound which is the greatest water quality threat to the Sound, and

WHEREAS, “While we realize that human activities may involve hazards, people must proceed more carefully than has been the case in recent history.  Corporations, government entities, organizations, communities, scientists and other individuals must adopt a precautionary approach to all human endeavors.”…… And

WHEREAS, “ When activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”[1]  (This is known as the Precautionary Principal)

WHEREAS, Federal Registration of Pesticides is No Guarantee of Safety.

WHEREAS, Regular use of pesticides do kill the good bugs and healthy organisms which will, when left alone, take care of the pests that are not wanted.  In other words pesticides upset the balance of nature’s job.

WHEREAS, Lawns and gardens contribute 11%[2] of the Nitrogen found in the non-point source runoff. And it has been shown that, “Insecticides were found more often and usually at higher concentrations, in urban streams than in agricultural streams.”[3]  And

WHEREAS, The increasing amounts of Nitrogen causing hypoxia (absence of oxygen) will in turn result in stress and death to the fish and plant life in the waters of Long Island Sound. ..….And

WHEREAS, Nitrogen-based fertilizers release unnatural amounts of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere causing the greenhouse effect which results in further global warming.[4]

WHEREAS, Periods of drought, such as we experienced during the winter of 2001-2002, concentrate non-point source pollution and will impact more during future storm events.

WHEREAS, Maintaining an organic lawn and garden by adding more composting materials for improving soil and conservation of moisture; and encouraging a deeper root system, will in turn require less care and less water.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the health of the citizens of Sample, their water, the environment and Long Island Sound will benefit without further impact from the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. And the Town Council urges all citizens to voluntarily refrain from the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and so encourages the use of organic lawn care.


[1] Widespread Statement, published in Sandra Steingraber’s book, “Living Downstream”, page 284.

[2] Mark Tedesco, Director of Long Island Sound Study gave 11% (phone quote).

[3] The Quality of Our Nation’s Water. Report attached.

[4] Global Warming, see attached report, page 3.

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RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN OF PLAINVILLE TOWN COUNCIL
DECLARING PADEREWSKI PARK
PESTICIDE AND SYNTHETIC FERTILIZER FREE

WHEREAS, “While we realize that human activities may involve hazards, people must proceed more carefully than has been the case in recent history.  Corporations, government entities, organizations, communities, scientists and other individuals must adopt a precautionary approach to all human endeavors.”¼¼ And

WHEREAS, “ When activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”  (This is known as the Precautionary Principal)

WHEREAS, Federal Registration of Pesticides is No Guarantee of Safety.

WHEREAS, Regular use of pesticides do kill the good bugs and healthy organisms which will, when left alone, take care of the pests that are not wanted.  In other words pesticides upset the balance of nature’s job.

WHEREAS, Lawns and gardens contribute 11% of the Nitrogen found in the non-point source runoff. And it has been shown that, “Insecticides were found more often and usually at higher concentrations, in urban streams than in agricultural streams.”  And

WHEREAS, Nitrogen-based fertilizers release unnatural amounts of nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere causing the greenhouse effect which results in further global warming.

WHEREAS, Periods of drought, such as we experienced during the winter of 2001-2002, concentrate non-point source pollution and will impact more during future storm events.

WHEREAS, Maintaining an organic lawn and garden by adding more composting materials for improving soil and conservation of moisture; and encouraging a deeper root system, will in turn require less care and less water.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the health of the citizens of Plainville, their water, the environment and Long Island Sound will benefit without further impact from the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides at Paderewski Park. And the Town Council urges all citizens to voluntarily refrain from the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and so encourages the use of organic lawn care.

 

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