Education

Some Seeing Red Over ‘Green’ Bill

By Katie Ash — June 19, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Environmental-health advocates and the lawn-care industry are divided over what supporters say is one of the most restrictive lawn-care measures in the country—a nearly complete ban in Connecticut on chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides on elementary and middle school grounds.

The new legislation extends a previous bill passed in 2005 that banned the use of such lawn-care chemicals on preschool and elementary school grounds. The new restrictions go into effect in October, although the chemicals will be allowed for use on playing fields until July 2009. Schools will be expected to taper off use of chemicals on those fields over the next few years.

“This is a landmark piece of legislation that will reduce our most vulnerable population from the toxic effects of lawn-care pesticides,” said Nancy O. Alderman, the president of the North Haven, Conn.-based Environment and Human Health Inc., a nonprofit environmental research and advocacy group. “It is incredibly important for our children’s health.”

While the bill received overwhelming support in the legislature—it passed in the state House on a 140-9 vote and unanimously in the state Senate—not everyone is pleased.

“It’s a terrible bill passed for reasons that are unsubstantiated by any data,” said Dick Tice, the executive director for the Cheshire, Conn.-based Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association, a statewide trade organization for landscapers and lawn-care personnel. “If they’re properly used, there is no evidence that pesticides pose any danger at all to kids, pets, or the environment.”

According to Mr. Tice, industry officials pushed unsuccessfully for a compromise on the lawn-chemical ban—tougher regulations for integrated pest management, or IPM. Under this system, schools would be required to try other methods of lawn care before resorting to chemicals, and parents would be notified 72 hours before any chemical spraying.

For now, Connecticut is the only state to enact such a sweeping ban, but other states may follow. Rhode Island has a similar bill in its legislature. Liberty Goodwin, an advocate of the bill, is the director of the Providence, R.I.-based Toxics Information Project, a nonprofit organization that researches and distributes information about toxic products.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Connecticut. See data on Connecticut’s public school system.

For more stories on this topic see Safety and Health.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)