The Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL)
The Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL) (Environmental Conservation Law Article 33, Title 12) was enacted on July 8, 1996. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is responsible for implementing the data collection portion of this law.
The PRL requires the annual submission of reports by February 1 of each year, detailing pesticide activities for the prior calendar year. Certified Commercial Applicators, Technicians, Aquatic Anti-Fouling Paint Applicators and Commercial Permittees (including Importers, Manufacturers and Compounders) are required to submit the annual reports.
Water Quality Monitoring for Pesticides
In order to meet the requirements of ECL §33-0714, this program provides the Department with information that is necessary to have an adequate understanding of the health and environmental impacts of pesticide use in the State. This information will be used in making pesticide registration decisions; reviewing suspensions and cancelations of pesticide registrations; and assessing the status, trends, and health impacts of any pesticide contamination of ground and surface waters on Long Island and throughout the State.
There are three main components to this program run by three participating agencies: the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS), the New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI), and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Suffolk County Department of Health Services - SCDHS
The SCDHS continues to evaluate the presence and distribution of pesticides in groundwater beneath both Nassau and Suffolk Counties with a comprehensive network of public and private water supply wells combined with a network of groundwater monitoring wells. On an annual basis, SCDHS samples over 200 monitoring wells to better understand the effects that specific pesticide-intensive land uses have on Long Island groundwater quality. Additionally, the SCDHS annually collects over 1,000 groundwater samples for pesticide analysis from public and private water supplies in Suffolk County and 25 to 50 wells in Nassau County. A large number of these wells have been sampled by SCDHS annually since 2000 and provide the Department with locations to evaluate trends in pesticide detections over time.
New York State Water Resources Institute - WRI
In cooperation with the Department, the WRI continues to collect and analyze groundwater samples for pesticides from vulnerable aquifers located in upstate New York. Specifically, since 2003, over 300 groundwater samples have been collected for pesticides from aquifers in Cayuga, Cortland, Genesee, Orange, Schenectady, and Wayne Counties. In 2013, the program was expanded to evaluate the susceptibility of water supplies located near lakeshores that have surrounding land uses requiring significant pesticide usage.
United States Geological Survey - USGS
In cooperation with the Department, the USGS continues to collect groundwater samples from around the State. Each year, groundwater samples are collected from a combination of domestic and private water supply wells from within two to three of the major hydrologic basins in New York. Data collected under this program is used by the Division of Materials Management, Pesticide Product Registration Section to understand baseline groundwater quality conditions and to assess long-term trends in pesticide contamination.