BUFFALO, N.Y. – The New York State Senate approved the Foley bill Wednesday that would ban pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides from public and private schools, playgrounds and athletic fields. The bill still needs approval from the Assembly and Governor before becoming law. But there is opposition from a group that represents pesticide-makers.
Fertilizers are used to improve athletic fields. They prevent and control bugs and weeds from ruining lawns and gardens. Pesticides and insecticides are used at schools and daycare centers to prevent rodents and pests.
Environmental advocates are in favor of the Foley bill. But Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, known as RISE, represents the makers of the materials. It actually promotes benefits of the products.
Karen Reardon is with RISE. The organization says controlling pests and weeds prevents illness, the possible spread of disease and damaging playing surfaces.
"Loss of the products would in fact remove some of the protections that are available at the school level out on the playground and sports turf that are helping to keeping kids safe," said Reardon.
State DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis says the DEC cannot take a stand. Instead, he offered what he referred to as a "generic response."
"Every time these kinds of issues come up the industries involved say woe is us. It's the end of the world, we will go out of business, things will go wrong. But what happens is it pushes technology and pushes innovation. Green detergents are more and more on the shelves. There are other alternatives," said Grannis.
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