Legislation and Advocacy for Pollinators
The Pollinator Pathway advocates for legislation and policies that, directly or indirectly, support pollinator health. Toxic chemicals, whatever their origin, can leach into our air, our soil and our water, all sources of harm to pollinators as well as to ourselves. Plastic and other waste that is not recycled is either incinerated or sent to landfills, polluting air and soil. This page showcases key bills and initiatives under discussion across the region and links to relevant municipal actions and ordinances that you may wish to see taken up in your own town or city. If your town, county, or state has legislation that should be listed here, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key Issues in NY & NJ
Both States Have Important Bills Restricting Neonicotinoids That Need Action Now!
More on why neonics are so harmful to pollinators, birds, fish and human health here.
New Yorkers please support the Birds and Bees Protection Act which would place a ban on the sale or purchase of neonic-treated corn, soybean, and wheat seeds, which represent 73% of the neonics used in NY State agriculture. The bill from 2021 will be reintroduced in January 2022. Residents of New York are urged to contact their representatives in support.
The Village of Hastings-on-Hudson has passed a resolution supporting the Birds and Bees Protection Act.
New Jersey bill A2070/S1016 if passed will prohibit outdoor non-agricultural neonic uses, targeting lawn and turf uses by homeowners and professionals. It is ready to go to the state Assembly this fall. ACT NOW New Jersey Pathway! Tell @SpeakerCoughlin to help reduce the use of neonic pesticides and protect our bees by posting A2070/S1016 for a vote.
What are other states doing to control the overuse of neonics?
Connecticut was one of the first states to pass pollinator legislation in2017 which restricted use to only those with a pesticide application permit. We are calling for additional measures to be enacted to further restrict cosmetic uses and the use of neonic-coated seeds.
Maryland & Vermont:
Both states were early to respond with restrictions similar tothose in CT.
Maine recently became the first state in the northeast to ban all residential uses of neonics, by both the homeowner and landscaping professionals.
Key Issues in CT
Digitalization of CT DEEP
The CT DEEP’s records are currently held solely in hard copy, making it virtually impossible to undertake searches of pesticide use and regulation in the State. We support legislation that would “establish an electronic method for the retention and searching of records of pesticide applications made in the state.”
Click here to read testimony submitted by the Darien Pollinator Pathway for a similar bill proposed in 2020.
Sustainable Materials Management
CT DEEP has also been engaging with CT municipalities through the CT Coalition for Sustainable Materials Mgmt. (CCSMM), an initiative to advance forward-thinking waste reduction and recycling solutions for our cities and towns. Learn more about the CCSMM process and coalition recommendations here.
Initiatives under discussion are:
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). CT DEEP Working Group materials here
Food Scraps/Organics Collection and Diversion. CT DEEP Working Group materials here
Increase Recycling. CT DEEP Working Group materials here
Unit-Based Pricing (UBP) or “pay as you throw”. CT DEEP Working Group materials here
No Net Loss of Forest Policy
The Working and Natural Lands Working Group, part of Governor Lamont’s Council on Climate Change (GC3), recognizes natural and working lands as important carbon sinks that could help mitigate emissions from electricity generation, transportation and building sectors which together account for 60% of CT’s greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, The Forests Subgroup of the WNL Working Group recommends an overarching policy of “No Net Loss of Forest”. This policy recognizes the ability of trees to drawn down or sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, providing significant potential to mitigate climate change. Trees are also effective air filters, removing pollution and particulate matter through their respiration. Their root systems filter and cleanse surface water and can slow vast quantities of water during storm events which helps prevent flooding and stormwater runoff. And then there is the cooling effect of street trees that can help alleviate the urban “heat island effect” by reducing surface temperatures that, combined with air temperatures, have caused deaths in some cities. This makes urban tree planting critical, especially in underserved neighborhoods. Trees also provide critical food and habitat for pollinators, not to mention the solace and mental health benefits we have all felt from walking in woodlands during the pandemic.
An NNLF policy would: 1. Avoid conversion of existing forest to non-forest purposes; 2. Protect healthy forests from the impact of development; 3. Offset all forest losses; 4. Provide incentives for stewardship of forests, particularly privately owned forests and 5. Protect urban forests with more urban parks and trees, particularly in underserved communities.
Click here for background and summary of the No Net Loss of Forest policy.
Click here for information on the Municipal Funding Option, proposed legislation that would allow – but not require – municipalities to establish a dedicated fund to acquire, preserve, and steward open space, water resources, and farmland, create and maintain urban greenspaces, and to implement climate mitigation, resilience and adaptation strategies and other environmental projects at the local level by enacting a conveyance fee of up to 1% paid by buyers of real property over $150,000 in value.
Vegetation Management by the DOT
Connecticut’s transportation corridors, which include 964 miles of state roads and 629 miles of passenger and freight rails, produce 38% of CT’s greenhouse gases. Their wooded rights-of-way (ROW) are part of our state’s extensive urban forest and are managed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Unfortunately, clear cutting has been the favored vegetative management strategy along transportation corridors throughout the state. This management approach is inconsistent with the goals of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change recommendations and with the DOT’s mandate to install pollinator plantings along transportation corridors. Last year's concept Bill SB 466 would have updated the DOT’s safety and vegetation management guidelines to ensure that aggressive pruning and clear cutting are not used as vegetation management. CTDOT would be required to follow guidelines that protect and enhance our natural assets instead of destroying them. Click here for more information.
Another way to help preserve our natural lands so that they are available to work as envisaged by the GC3, is to oppose the construction of the Killingly natural gas plant. Submissions to Governor Lamont who appears to be leaning towards opposing it himself, could be very helpful. Click here for testimony submitted by PPNE to DEEP in opposition to the latest permit. Click here for testimony submitted by the Darien Pollinator Pathway.
Watch this space for possible legislation strengthening CT’s environmental justice law.
The Governor's Act Concerning Climate Change Adaption includes several proposals which provide municipalities with funding tools to better respond to the impacts of climate change. We support a bill that enables communities to establish a limited buyer's conveyance fee program to generate revenue for land stewardship, climate adaption, resilience, and other local environmental projects including urban forestry, invasive species control, and tree planting.
Additional Information and Resources
Useful Phone Numbers
CT DEEP Commissioner, Katie Dykes: 860.424.3001
House Democrats – 860-240-8500
House Republicans – 860-240-8700
Senate Democrats – 860-240-8600
Senate Republicans – 860-240-8800
Other Useful Information
How to find my CT legislator: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp
A list of Members of the CGA Environment Committee can be found here
Email address for submission of written testimony to the Environment Committee: email@example.com
To receive updates on proposed legislation, sign up for action alerts from the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters. The annual summit of the CLCV, which takes place at the start of each year’s legislative session, brings together lawmakers, advocates, policy experts and members to the public. The summit is a not-to-be missed opportunity to learn about key environmental issues facing the CGA in the upcoming session!
Please Send Us Updates and Information from Your State to Add to this Page!