May 22, 2012
PESTICIDE USE PERMITS IN STATES SURROUNDING LONG ISLAND SOUND
By: Mark Randall, Research Fellow
You asked if the states surrounding Long Island Sound require permits for using pesticides, specifically permits for malathion or methoprene, which are used for mosquito control.
Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York require commercial and private (i.e., farmers) pesticide applicators to be licensed or certified by their respective environmental agencies before they may use pesticides. Each state also requires the pesticides to be registered with the agencies; the agencies classify the pesticides depending on their adverse effects on the environment. Individuals are not required to obtain a permit when applying general use pesticides (over the counter) in a noncommercial capacity.
While none of the three states have specific laws or regulations regarding malathion or methoprene, Connecticut and Rhode Island have laws or permit programs, or have implemented decisions that indirectly affect their use.
MALATHION AND METHOPRENE
Malathion, as an adulticide, is applied aerially over a large area, generally by airplane. Methoprene, as a larvicide, is introduced into still water to combat mosquito larvae. Neither product is available for noncommercial use.
GENERAL PERMIT REQUIREMENTS
In Connecticut, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) classifies each registered pesticide as either acceptable for general use or restricted use. Restricted use pesticides are recognized in the industry to generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. Restricted use pesticides may be applied only by a certified applicator or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator (CGS § 22a-50).
There are three classifications of certification: commercial, private (i.e. farmer), and arborist. In addition to certification, applicators must obtain a permit for aerial or aquatic pesticide application. The Aerial Pesticide Permit program regulates the use of pesticides and fertilizers when they are applied by aircraft (CGS § 22a-54(e)). The Aquatic Permit program regulates the use of pesticides proposed for controlling aquatic organisms in state waters (CGS § 22a-66z).
In Rhode Island, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) requires pesticides to be registered and classifies them as “restricted” or “state limited use.” Certification and licenses are required for those who use pesticides commercially. Each commercial applicator must also be certified for specific categories and subcategories of pest control before using specific restricted or state limited use pesticides (R.I. Admin. Code § 25-3-24:10).
In New York, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulates and enforces the state's pesticide laws. Individuals are certified as commercial pesticide applicators, commercial pesticide technicians, and private pesticide applicators. The type of pesticide applications that a person may perform is dependent on the applicator's certification.
STATE PROGRAMS AFFECTING THE USE OF MALATHION AND METHOPRENE
Neither Connecticut, Rhode Island or New York has specific laws or regulations regarding malathion or methoprene. But, Connecticut and Rhode Island have laws, permit programs, or have implemented decisions that indirectly affect their use. In Connecticut, a site-specific aquatic permit is required prior to the use of methoprene because, as a larvicide, it is introduced into waters of the state for control of an aquatic organism. Also in Connecticut, an aerial permit would be required before the use of malathion as its application requires the use of an aircraft to effectively spray the pesticide over a large area.
In Rhode Island, DEM provides pesticides to municipalities to combat specific insect infestations. Before 2010, DEM provided municipalities with methoprene to combat mosquito larvae. Starting in 2010, it made a decision to phase out the use of methoprene in response to a lobster “die-off.” The phase-out began in 2010, with the state supplying only (1) methoprene to inland municipalities, and (2) Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis) to coastal municipalities. By 2011, no methoprene was being supplied. Al Gettman, the DEM Mosquito Coordinator, stated that while currently methoprene is no longer supplied or used by any municipalities per the state's decision, it does not mean that it will not be used again in the future.
CT DEEP Pesticide Management Program Website:
CT Mosquito Management Program Website: http://www.ct.gov/mosquito/site/default.asp
CT Mosquito Management Program Information Brochure:
Rhode Island Hyperlinks:
RI DEM Rules and Regulations Relating to Pesticides:
New York Hyperlinks:
New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Pesticides:
DEC information Bulletin: Fish and Wildlife Related Impacts of Pesticides used for the Control of Mosquitoes and Blackflies: