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For Release: Wednesday, June 8, 2022

DEC Proposes New Rules Prohibiting Glyphosate Use on State Properties

Proposal Helps Transition Away from Glyphosate-Based Weed Killers

Public Comment Period on Proposed Regulation Ends Aug. 22, Virtual Public Hearing to be Held on Aug. 17

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced a proposed regulation to prohibit the use of glyphosate on State property to protect public health and environmental resources from exposure to this pesticide. In addition, as part of the proposed regulation, DEC will collect new data to help determine where and how much glyphosate products are used on State property, as well as the potential impacts these pesticides may have.

"Advancing this proposal to prohibit the use of glyphosate on New York State properties would bolster DEC's ongoing efforts to protect communities by requiring the safe and correct use of certain pesticides," Commissioner Seggos said. "I commend our staff for developing this important proposal and crafting a strategy that provides for the targeted use of these compounds under specific and limited circumstances to further protect water quality and the environment."

The proposed regulation, required by a recent amendment to New York's Environmental Conservation Law, would prohibit State departments and agencies, public benefit corporations, and their contractors and subcontractors, from applying glyphosate on State properties under most circumstances. Critical use exemptions in the law include maintenance of critical infrastructure, management of roadside vegetation to ensure public safety, habitat management for the control of invasive species and pests of significant public health importance, noxious weeds injurious to ecosystem health, protection of critical native plant species, and research of glyphosate alternatives. The use of glyphosate under the appropriate circumstances and conditions is highly effective in meeting these control needs. However, under the proposed regulation, glyphosate can only be used on these State properties when there is no actual or significant threat of direct human exposure.

The proposal outlines the documentation required to meet these prerequisites. In addition, the proposed regulation establishes reporting and recordkeeping procedures to assist DEC in its responsibilities to report glyphosate use by State departments and agencies, public benefit corporations, and their contractors or subcontractors on State property.

The comment period on the draft regulation ends on Aug. 22, 2022. DEC will also hold a virtual public hearing at 1 P.M. on Aug. 17. Information on how to participate in the hearing can be found at DEC's website. The public is encouraged to submit comments in writing to NYSDEC, Pesticide Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Section, Bureau of Pesticides Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7254, or by email to: glyphosateregs@dec.ny.gov.

Today's announcement follows DEC actions earlier this year to protect public health and the environment by restricting the use of products containing the neonicotinoid ("neonic") insecticides imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and acetamiprid to help prevent potentially harmful exposure to honeybees and other beneficial insects. DEC is reclassifying certain products containing these neonic insecticides as "restricted use" to ensure applications are limited to trained pesticide applicators in specific situations.

For more information about DEC's pesticides program, go to DEC's website.

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