SUPPORT A BILL TO OVERTURN PESTICIDE PREEMPTION IN CT and allow municipalities the right to make decisions about pesticide use in their own towns. (Unfortunately, no bill has been raised in 2020 on this issue.)
CT State statutes give the State exclusive authority to regulate pesticide use in CT. This means that a municipality in CT is prevented (pre-empted) from taking any measures it might want to take to reduce, restrict or even eliminate the use of one or more synthetic chemicals in its town or city, if those measures are more restrictive than State law.
Municipalities are therefore dependent on an illogical, one-size-fits-all State pesticide policy which is not only a limited policy, it also fails to take into account municipality-unique issues such as whether that municipality is coastal (where pesticide use can have a direct impact on Sound water quality), how many golf courses or country clubs are in that municipality, how many farms, average property size and composition and even how their own residents feel about toxins. In addition to the inability of State law to necessarily protect local resources, the lack of funding at DEEP and the precarious condition of CT’s finances, precludes effective enforcement of those few laws that do exist.
We would like to see the “pre-emption” law repealed in this legislative session. A similar repeal effort (SB 76) was undertaken last year but did not pass. (Click here to see last year’s submission by the Pollinator Pathway.) Let’s make it happen this year!
BYO CT is spearheading an initiative to overturn this law (click here to see the letter recently sent by BYO CT to municipal leaders throughout the State seeking their support). But legislators need to hear from each of us to know that this is not a single group issue but one that concerns all of us individually. We are facing strong opposition from the chemical/pesticide industry (we understand that representatives from the industry have been spending a lot of time in Hartford), so that writing or calling your legislators is a most meaningful way to let them know that, despite the views of this self-interested body, their constituents care about their health and their local environment. Putting controls over dangerous chemicals into the hands of those who know and understand their communities will provide a better chance of putting in place appropriate safeguards and protections from exposure.
For additional information about the effects of pre-emption, click here
We have provided below a sample email for you to use or adapt as you wish to communicate with your legislators and a sample script if you prefer to make a phone call.
FIND YOUR STATE REP HERE.
I am writing to urge you to support an initiative to overturn CT's pesticide pre-emption law. Our State cannot legislate effectively for the particular needs of individual communities. Providing local rights can help protect unique local resources that are critically important for local economies. For example, in Vermont, the City of Burlington has a longstanding pesticide use ordinance that prohibits any outdoor pesticide use within 500 feet of Lake Champlain or its tributaries without prior approval from the board of health. Protection of sensitive resources, local populations and environments is better put in the hands of those who are thoroughly familiar with them, care about them and are in touch with them. This becomes even more important where local resources function as economic drivers for ecotourism and other recreation activities.
No legislation at the State level can possibly take into account local conditions in all towns and cities in CT, reflect concerns of local residents and be responsive to unique situations. This can only happen at a local level.
There is no evidence that local ordinances regulating pesticides creates confusion any more than other local ordinances governing zoning, building codes, or protection of the water supply. Historically, local communities have adopted ordinances to respond to nuisance and matters of public health and welfare. In the context of pesticides, local communities are eager to protect pollinators, water quality, and children’s health. And they should be allowed to do so.
Restoring local authority to regulate pesticides is one of the most important battles in pesticide reform. We urge you to support state protections for the democratic right of local communities to adopt pesticide restrictions that can protect unique local resources and incentivize the adoption of land management practices that support healthy ecosystems and people.
As your constituent, I urge you to take action by supporting repeal of the pesticide pre-emption law. Please reach out to the leadership of the Environment Committee to express your support for repeal and your willingness to cosponsor a bill when introduced.
Thank you for your consideration of this critical issue.
SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR PHONE CALL:
I'm calling to urge you to support an initiative to overturn the CT State pesticide pre-emption law.
Our State cannot possibly legislate effectively for the particular needs of individual communities or take into account unique conditions in all towns and cities in CT. This can only happen at a local level.
Protection of sensitive local resources, populations and environments is better put in the hands of those who are thoroughly familiar with them, care about them and are in touch with them.
And there's no evidence that local ordinances regulating pesticides creates confusion any more than other local ordinances governing zoning, building codes, or protection of the water supply.
As your constituent, I urge you to take action by supporting repeal of CT's pesticide pre-emption law. Please reach out to the leadership of the Environment Committee to express your support for repeal and your willingness to cosponsor a bill when introduced.
Thank you for your time.