New York counties enacting state pesticide application notification law

In August, 2000, New York state passed a law requiring public notification of pesticide applications. The law will be effective in each county that approves it. So far, three counties—Nassau, Suffolk and Albany—have done so.

Under the law, applicators, schools and homeowners will have to provide 48-hour written notification to all property owners within 150 feet of the treatment site. The law applies to most pesticides commonly used on landscapes. Granular products and several specified “low toxicity” pesticides are exempted. Cemeteries and spot applications (under 9 square feet) also are exempt.

This law will create enormous paperwork burdens for commercial pesticide users. For example, an applicator would have to notify all residents—a potentially large number—within the specified distance before any treatment in a neighborhood. The law also applies homeowners.

The legislation also forces public schools to list all pesticides they use on school grounds, and notify parents and staff prior to applications.

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