Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-104

Title:

AN ACT PROHIBITING THE USE OF RESIDENTIAL AUTOMATIC PESTICIDE MISTING SYSTEMS.

Vote Date:

2/28/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/23/2018

File No.:

5

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

Rep. Patricia A. Dillon, 92nd Dist.

Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, 136th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

The bill, as originally drafted, would prohibit the residential use of automatic pesticide misting systems in the state. Concerns have been expressed that such devices are unregulated and are often installed at a height that could potentially spray children and pets directly.

Substitute Language – LCO No. 1880

Substitute language removes the proposed statewide ban of residential automatic pesticide misting systems and would prohibit the use of such systems at a distance of twenty feet or less from a resident's property line. Proponents of the substitute language proposed that the accidental spraying of children and pets could be prevented if such devices are installed away from the resident's property line.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Robert J. Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP): Provided comment on the bill. Although DEEP shares the concerns in regards to the impacts of automatic pesticide misting systems, the agency is unable to craft regulations and conduct enforcement within existing resources.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Nancy Alderman, President, Environment and Human Health, Inc.: Mosquito misting devices are not regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency; therefore, it is up to states to regulate such devices. Furthermore, there “is no way to regulate them so that they can be made safe for children, people, or pets.”

Louis W. Burch, Connecticut Program Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment: Outdoor pesticide misting systems often use pyrethrin or permethrin. These chemicals are highly toxic to fish, aquatic vertebrates, all insects including pollinators and non-targeted species, and also have been shown to cause liver and kidney damage in laboratory mice. Such devices are turned on at preset intervals using a timer and pose unseen risks among the vulnerable population because they create constant low level exposure. Furthermore, these devices are not regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and have not been studied sufficiently to document their effectiveness in controlling mosquitoes.

Jeff Cordulack, Executive Director, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut: Problems with residential automatic pesticide misting systems include: (1) such systems violate principles of Integrated Pest Management, (2) such systems are likely to spray toxic substances on children, pets, unsuspecting neighbors and wildlife, and (3) pesticides used are likely to harm other organisms including beneficial insects.

New Haven Environmental Advisory Council: The City of New Haven enacted an ordinance to voluntarily ban the use of pesticides on lawns and gardens in the city. “This bill supports New Haven's quest for clean air, soil, and water.”

Johnathan Steinberg, State Representative, 136th Assembly District: Excessive use of pesticides have long been associated with cancers; as well as, respiratory and endocrine complications. Increased use of pesticide misters is dangerous as such products could be carried through the wind and land in unintended or inappropriate locations.

Michael Wallace, President, Connecticut Environmental Council (CTEC): The use of residential pesticide misting systems does not support an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to controlling mosquito populations. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, IPM is an “effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.” CTEC also provides four integrated mosquito control strategies: (1) Remove Mosquito Habitats, (2) Use Structural Barriers, (3) Control Mosquitoes at the Larval Stage, and (4) Control Adult Mosquitos.

Mary Wilson, Protect Our Pollinators: Using broad-spectrum pesticides in mosquito misting systems will non-targeted and beneficial insects at risk. These insects include bees and other pollinators.

Carolyn Wysocki, President and CEO, Ecological Health Organizations, Inc.: Multiple Chemical Syndrome (MCS) is caused by low level exposures or by a single exposure to one chemical. Several members, of whom many are on the pesticide notification list, have reported severe reactions to chemicals found in pesticides and herbicides, such as, asthma attacks, sink rashes, headaches, sore throat, and bronchitis chronic sinusitis. Connecticut law requires pesticide applicators to notify anyone on such list in advance of any lawn application and to put a sign on their lawn. Personal testimony was shared in regards to one member discovering a pesticide application had been made to her property in error. Pesticide misters put people with MCS, other adults, and children at risk to unanticipated chemical exposures.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Dustyn Nelson, Secretary, Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association: Automatic pesticide misting systems can be an effective management tool when installed by a pesticide licensed professional. These systems should be studied more in depths prior to any regulations.

Reported by: Ussawin R. Bumpen

Date: 4/2/2018