Contact: Dan Doyle
March 8, 2012
State Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford), who is Senate Chairman of the Environment Committee, spoke today in strong opposition to a proposed bill that would rollback recent legislation that prohibits applying toxic pesticides on elementary and middle school grounds used by children.
Speaking at a meeting of legislators and environmental advocates from across the state, Sen. Meyer said the legislation proposed in House Bill 5155 is being advanced by pesticide manufacturers who are upset with Connecticut’s attempts to transition from decades of pesticide-laden playing fields to grassy areas at schools maintained with organic chemicals.
The bill was recently placed on the House of Representatives’ calendar for possible action.
“After all is said and done, we as legislators are elected to protect the health and safety of our constituents. We have proven beyond a doubt that pesticides harm young children,” Sen. Meyer said. “The message that has to go out today is that the health of our young children is under attack from the pesticide lobby, and we have to do everything in our power to thwart that attack. And we must win.”
House Bill 5155 seeks to overturn a five-year-old state law which bans the application of lawn care pesticides on any private or public preschool or school grounds with students in eighth grade or lower, except in an emergency.
Sen. Meyer and advocates argued today that public school grounds managers need more information—and not a simply a legal rollback—to successfully manage playing fields with organic products.
“There are now documented, safe, cost-effective ways to maintain school lawns and sports fields without the use of toxic chemicals,” said Dr. Jerry Silbert of Guilford, the executive director of The Watershed Partnership. “It makes no sense at all to expose children to risks from toxic lawn pesticides.”
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