PA 09-56—sSB 1020

Environment Committee

Public Health Committee

Education Committee

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS AT CHILD DAY CARE CENTERS AND SCHOOLS

SUMMARY: This act (1) eliminates certain restrictions on when applications of pesticides, other than lawn care pesticides, can be made in or on the grounds of day care centers; (2) broadens, with conditions, when pesticide applications are allowed in the centers; (3) establishes who may apply pesticide in the centers; and (4) requires day care center licensees or their designees to determine that emergency pesticide applications are necessary in or on the grounds of these facilities. The act defines “day care center” as a licensed child day care center, group day care home, or family day care home that provides child day care services.

The act also establishes pesticide application notification requirements for day care center licensees to inform parents and guardians of children in their care who have requested notice. By law, applications on day care center buildings and grounds cannot be of a pesticide the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers a restricted use pesticide, and no child enrolled in a day care center or home may enter an area where a pesticide has been applied until it is safe to do so according to the provisions on the pesticide label.

Prior law prohibited the application of lawn care pesticides on the grounds of any public or private school with students up to grade eight, except in emergencies to eliminate threats to human health. But it allowed, until July 1, 2009, applying lawn care pesticides according to an integrated pest management plan on these schools' playing fields and playgrounds. The act extends this exception to the ban until July 1, 2010.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009, except for the extension of the lawn care pesticides exception, which is effective July 1, 2009.

PESTICIDE APPLICATION AT DAY CARE CENTERS

Inside Application

Prior law prohibited anyone from applying pesticides during regular business hours in any building of any child day care center, group day care home, or family day care home, except in emergencies. The act allows pesticide applications in a day care building regardless of whether there is an emergency or the time of day. But, under non-emergency situations, it permits only “certified pesticide applicators” to apply the pesticide. Under the act, a “certified pesticide applicator” is one with (1) supervisory certification or (2) operational certification from the Department of Environmental Protection who is under the direct supervision of a pesticide applicator with supervisory certification, according to law.

By law, a pesticide is a fungicide used on plants, an insecticide, a herbicide, or a rodenticide. It does not include a sanitizer, disinfectant, antimicrobial agent, or pesticide bait.

As under existing law, anyone may apply pesticides in such buildings to eliminate immediate threats to public health, which the act specifies includes those posed by mosquitoes, ticks, or stinging insects. In such emergencies, the act requires the day care licensee or his or her designee to determine (1) an emergency application is necessary and (2) it is impractical to obtain a certified pesticide applicator's services.

Outside and Lawn Care Pesticide Application

The act eliminates the prohibition against anyone applying pesticides on the grounds of any day care center or group day care or family day care home during regular business hours, except in an emergency to eliminate an immediate treat to human health, such as from mosquitoes, ticks or stinging insects.

Similarly, prior law prohibited anyone from applying lawn care pesticide on the grounds of any child day care center or group day care home, except in these emergencies. The act specifies that emergency applications of lawn care pesticides on day care facility grounds require that the day care licensee or his or her designee determines an emergency application is needed. The act excludes family day care homes located on land not owned or under the control of the licensee from this requirement (presumably the land owner maintains decision making in these instances).

By law, “a lawn care pesticide” is an EPA registered pesticide that is labeled in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act for use in lawn, garden, and ornamental sites or areas.

NOTICE REQUIREMENTS

The act requires day care licensees, starting October 1, 2009, to notify, at least 24 hours before applying pesticides in or on a facility's grounds, parents and guardians of children in their care who have requested such notice. They must do so within existing budgetary resources. It exempts emergency applications from this requirement, requiring the licensee or designee in these cases to notify parents or guardians as soon as practicable.

The notice must include (1) the name of the pesticide's active ingredient, (2) the target pest, (3) the application's location, and (4) the date or proposed date of the application. The day care provider must keep a record of each pesticide application at the facility for five years.

BACKGROUND

Child Day Care Services

By law, child day care services include a child day care center, which provides care to 12 or more children; a group day care home, which provides care to between seven and 12 children; and a family day care home, which provides care to six or fewer children.

Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM)

IPM is the use of all available pest control techniques, including judicious use of pesticides, when warranted, to maintain a pest population at or below an acceptable level, while decreasing the use of pesticides.

OLR Tracking: JRH: JK: PF: ts