Local Law


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Intro. Res. No. 1748-99
Laid on the Table 6/29/99
Introduced by Legislator Bishop

RESOLUTION NO. xx-1999, ADOPTING LOCAL LAW
NO. XX-1999, A LOCAL LAW TO PHASE OUT THE USE
OF PESTICIDES ON SUFFOLK COUNTY PROPERTIES

WHEREAS, there was duly presented and introduced to this County Legislature at a regular meeting held on ___, 1999, a proposed local law entitled "A LOCAL LAW TO PHASE OUT THE USE OF PESTICIDES ON SUFFOLK COUNTY PROPERTIES" and said local law in final form is the same as when presented and introduced now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that said local law be enacted in form as follows:

LOCAL LAW NO. 34-1999, SUFFOLK COUNTY, NEW YORK

A LOCAL LAW TO PHASE OUT THE USE OF PESTICIDES ON
SUFFOLK COUNTY PROPERTIES

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNTY LEGISLATURE OF THE COUNTY OF SUFFOLK, as follows:


Section 1. Legislative Intent

This Legislature hereby finds and determines that Local Law No. 10-1996 was adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature on June 11, 1996 for the purpose of developing and implementing integrated pest management guidelines to be followed by all County employees and by those who provide pest control services to the County. On County owned or County leased properties, based on the expertise of independent professionals and members of the scientific community.

This Legislature also finds and determines that the provisions of Local Law No. 10-1996 are insufficient to address growing public concerns that the application of such pesticides are linked to a variety of cancers.

This Legislature also finds and determines that Resolution No. 868-1997 was adopted to direct the County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation to develop an Organic Parks Maintenance Plan for all County parkland, including golf courses, which would substantially reduce or eliminate the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and other toxic chemicals in the routine maintenance of said parklands and golf courses.

This Legislature further finds and determines that pesticides are linked to a number of other acute and chronic health problems.

Therefore, the purpose of this law is to phase out the use of pesticides by the County for many pest control purposes, and to adopt a pest control policy that substantially relies on non-chemical pest control strategies.


Section 2. Amendment.

I.) Chapter 380 of the SUFFOLK COUNTY CODE is hereby repealed in its entirety and a new Chapter 380 of the SUFFOLK COUNTY CODE is hereby created to read as follows:

Chapter 380
PEST CONTROL


§380-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

A.) "Anti-microbial pesticide" shall mean:

  1. disinfectants intended to destroy or irreversibly inactivate infectious or other undesirable bacteria, pathogenic fungi, or viruses on surface or inanimate objects;
  2. sanitizers intended to reduce the number of living bacteria or viable virus particles on inanimate surfaces, in water, or in air;
  3. Bacteriostats intended to inhibit the growth of bacteria in the presence of moisture;
  4. fungicides and fungistats intended to inhibit the growth of or destroy fungi (including yeasts), pathogenic to man or other animals on inanimate surfaces; and
  5. commodity preservatives and protectants to inhibit the growth of or destroy bacteria in or on raw materials (such as adhesives and plastics) used in manufacturing or manufactured procedures (such as fuel, textiles, lubricants, and paints) but not in the pulp and paper process or cooling towers.

B.) "Pest" shall mean:

  1. any insect, rodent, fungus, or weed; or
  2. any other form of terrestrial or aquatic or animal life or virus, bacteria or other microorganism (except viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms on or in living man or other living animals) which the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation declares to be a pest.

C.) "Pesticide" shall mean:

  1. any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest; and
  2. any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliator, or desiccant.

It shall include all pesticide products registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and all products for which experimental use permits and conditional registrations, special local needs registrations, and emergency exemptions have been granted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


§380-2. Regulations.

A.) Effective January 1, 2000, no County department or agency, or any pesticide applicator employed by the County or agency as a contractor or subcontractor for pest control purposes, shall apply on County property (as owner or tenant) and pesticide classified as Toxicity Category I by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or any pesticide classified as a known, likely, or possible carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, except as provided for in Section 380-3 of this Chapter.

B.) Effective January 1, 2001, no County department or agency , or any pesticide applicator employed by the County or agency as a contractor or subcontractor for pest control purposes, shall apply on County property (as owner or tenant) and pesticide classified as Toxicity Category II by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or any pesticide classified as restricted use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, except as provided for in Section 380-3 of this Chapter.

C.) Effective January 1, 2003, no County department or agency or any pesticide applicator employed by the County or agency as a contractor or subcontractor for pest control purposes shall apply any pesticide on County property (as owner or tenant), except as provided for in Sections 380-3 of this Chapter.


§380-3. Exemptions

A.) Notwithstanding any other provisions, this law shall not apply to the following:

  1. pesticides otherwise lawfully used for the purpose of maintaining a safe drinking water supply at drinking water treatment plants, waste water treatment plants, reservoirs, and related collection, distribution, and treatment facilities;
  2. anti-microbial pesticides;
  3. pesticides in containerized baits where the least toxic of the effective alternatives available are used;
  4. pesticides classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as exempt materials under 40 CFR 152.25;
  5. biological controls and biological pesticides, such as bacillus thuringiensis or milky spore;
  6. low-toxicity pesticides, such as boric acid, as determined by the Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services after certifying in writing that the pesticide is of such a low hazard as to have a de minimis adverse impact on the health and safety of Suffolk County residents;
  7. in a situation in which a written declaration has been issued by said Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services that a public emergency exists requiring the temporary use of a particular pesticide during the period of such public emergency. The Commissioner must in such an emergency, use the least toxic approach to the health issue that the Commissioner believes is adequate to address the emergency. After taking such action, the Commissioner shall document in a report within thirty (30) days, the steps taken to resolve the emergency, the nature of the emergency, the cause and effect of this emergency, and how and why such pesticidal actions were taken. The Commissioner shall also report how the problem causing the health emergency arose and what steps and procedures the County is taking to ensure that a similar problem will not occur again;
  8. low toxicity pesticides used for the control of vectors capable of transmitting diseases such as the arthropod-borne encephalitis virus, as determined by the Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services;
  9. County-owned property leased to another party as of the effective date of this law, said exemption to apply until the expiration f such lease (exclusive of renewal periods); and
  10. insect repellent personally applied by County employees in the course of performing County duties and/or responsibilities at County facilities.
  11. Pesticides used in medical treatment or practices

B.) Nothing in this law should be interpreted to supersede any settlement of Long Island Neighborhood Network vs. County of Suffolk, with regard to proposed new County golf courses. On County owned and operated golf courses, the Superintendent is permitted to declare a "golf course emergency" if in his or her discretion there is an imminent threat of property damage that requires the use of materials otherwise prohibited by this law. In the event that this happens, the superintendent shall:

  1. Notify the Chairman of the CAC or;
  2. Contact two (2) members of the CAC. Inform of his/her next step to solve the problem. The Superintendent shall then meet with the Committee in its entirety, within a reasonable period of time.
  3. After three (3) times, per golf course, of the Superintendent taking the above action, he/she must meet with the CAC prior to taking any actions.
  4. The Superintendent has thirty (30) days to submit a written report to the Chairman of the CAC. The report shall include: the nature of the emergency, the cause and effect of the emergency, the steps taken to resolve the emergency, and how and why these pesticidal actions were taken. The Superintendent shall take the least toxic approach to its resolution.
  5. A meeting shall be held with the CAC within sixty (60) days of this action being taken. The meeting will discuss the contents of the above report.


§380-4. Pest Management Plan.

A.) A Pest Management Committee is hereby created to consist of the following members:

  1. the Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services or his/her designee;
  2. a representative from the Cornell Cooperative Extension selected by the Extension;
  3. a representative from the Suffolk County Board of Trustees of Parks, Recreation and Conservation selected by the Board;
  4. one member from the scientific community selected by the County Legislature; and
  5. a representative of Suffolk County Vector Control selected by the Commissioner of the County Department of Public Works.

The actual membership of this committee shall be the same as those individuals selected to fill these positions pursuant to Local Law 10-1996 prior to its repeal. This Committee shall expire, and the terms of office of its members terminate as of December 31, 2000, at which time this Committee shall deposit all of the records of its proceedings with the CAC.

B.) This Committee shall inventory all materials and data on the current use, application, impact, and effectiveness of pesticides. No later than December 31, 2000 the County Department of Health Services shall adopt a pest management plan. Such plan shall take effect on January 1, 2001 and shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of Resolution No. 868-1997, the provisions of which Resolution shall be incorporated in said plan. Such plan shall address pest population monitoring, least toxic pesticides for use prior to January 1, 2002, and non-chemical pest control strategies for use after such date, which will effectively manage pest problems in a comprehensive manner.


§380-5. Community Advisory Committee.

A.) A Suffolk County Advisory Committee (CAC) is hereby created to oversee the implementation of this law by the County Department of Health Services.

B.) CAC shall consist of the following nine (9) members:

  1. one individual to be selected by the Chairman of the Energy, Environment, and Transportation Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature, or any successor Committee thereto, from the medical community (not employed by the County of Suffolk);
  2. one individual to be selected by the County Executive from Suffolk County Vector Control;
  3. the County Commissioner of Health Services, or his/her designee, to serve as Chairman;
  4. the County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, or his/her designee;
  5. one individual to be selected by the County Executive from a recognized and acknowledged anti-cancer advocacy group with membership in Suffolk County;
  6. one individual from the Cornell Cooperative Extension, selected by the Extension;
  7. one individual to be selected by the Chairman of the Energy, Environment, and Transportation Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature or any successor Committee thereto, from the medical community (not employed by the County of Suffolk);
  8. one individual to be selected by the Chairman of the Energy, Environment, and Transportation Committee of the County Legislature from a recognized and acknowledged environmental organization represented within the County of Suffolk; and
  9. one individual to be selected by the Chairman of the Energy, Environment, and Transportation Committee of the County Legislature with a background in organic pest management practices.

C.) CAC shall hold four (4) public meetings each year with representatives of the County Department of Health Services open to public participation.

D.) CAC shall issue annual reports to the Suffolk County Legislature on the progress of implementation of this local law.

E.) CAC may grant a temporary exemption of up to one (1) year for special use property located within Suffolk County. The list of specific properties may be determined in the exemption so granted and the specific pesticides to be used may be determined by the CAC. The list may be amended periodically by the CAC. Any such exemption may be periodically renewed for a period not to exceed one (1) year. If a vote on an exemption by CAC results in two (2) more votes being cast in opposition to the request, then such exemption shall not take effect unless and until it is ratified by a duly enacted resolution of the County of Suffolk, even if a majority of the entire membership of CAC has voted in favor of the exemption.


§380-6. Rules and Regulations.

The Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services is hereby authorized to promulgate and issue such rules and regulations as shall be necessary appropriate and sufficient to implement the provisions of this law.


Section 3. Reverse Preemption.

This law shall be null and void on the day that statewide or nationwide legislation goes into effect, incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this law, or in the event that a pertinent state of federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by the County of Suffolk. The County Legislature may determine, via mere resolution, whether or not identical or substantially statewide legislation has been enacted for the purposes of triggering the provisions of this section.


Section 4. Applicability.

This law shall apply to any actions occurring on or after the effective date of this law.


Section 5. Severability

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this law or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this law or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance directly involved in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered.


Section 6. SEQRA Determination.

This Legislature, being the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) lead agency, hereby finds and determines that this law constitutes and unlisted action pursuant to Section 617.2 of Title 6 of the NEW YORK CODE OF RULES AND REGULATIONS (6 NYCRR) and will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment within the meaning of Section 8-0109(2) of the NEW YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW because the use of pesticides will be more strictly controlled and their use will decrease in Suffolk County, thereby enhancing the preservation of sensitive groundwater and protecting public health against illnesses associated with the use of pesticides.

Furthermore, in accordance with Section 1-4(A)(1)(d) of the SUFFOLK COUNTY CHARTER and Section 279-5(C)(4) of the SUFFOLK COUNTY CODE the Suffolk County Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is hereby directed to prepare and circulate a SEQRA notice of determination of non-significance in accordance with this resolution.


Section 7. Effective Date.

This law shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State.

Approved Unanimously

Contact

Tamson Yeh
Pest Management / Turf Specialist
tsy3@cornell.edu
631-727-7850 x 240

Last updated March 29, 2017