Support Pesticide Ordinance: City of Albany get in compliance, reduce pesticide use!
Save the Pine Bush calls on the City of Albany and the County of Albany to follow their own laws and stop using dangerous pesticides in the Pine Bush and other locations. Despite an Albany County Ordinance requiring the phase out of EPA Category I-III pesticides by the year 2001, in 2009 the City of Albany was found to be violating the ordinance at nearly all city properties. The environmental community is united behind the pesticide reduction and elimination philosophy contained in the City of Albany’s Pesticide Ordinance as well as the County of Albany’s Pesticide Ordinance. We are dismayed that the law has not been followed and urge the Common Council of Albany to help the City come into compliance. We oppose the use of anti-coagulant rodenticides, such as brodifacoum, which kill non-target wildlife such as owls, hawks and coyote, and which persists and accumulates in the food chain. We oppose the use of endocrine disruptors (and suspected endocrine disruptors) such as bifenthrin and cyfluthrin. These pesticides have been habitually used by the City of Albany, through their applicator, Rentokill Inc (a/k/a Ehrlich). We are also concerned by the large diversity of pesticides permitted by the City of Albany’s Rapp Road Landfill Expansion “Habitat Restoration” (mitigation) Plan. In this plan, herbicides may be sprayed nearly all year long. The Plan permits the use of Zinc phosphide, which should not be used in Albany County because of its lethal effects on non-target wildlife. The Plan also permits Sethoxydim which has been found to reduce butterfly populations in experiments in Europe. Pesticides with potential negative effects on the rare species of the Pine Bush should automatically be listed as never to be used in this fragile ecosystem. We agree with the language of the City of Albany Pesticide Ordinance which states that: “The purpose of this law is to phase out the use of pesticides in Albany, NY. The law sets forth a plan for “reduction, substitution and elimination” of pesticides for each of the City’s departments that have used and continue to use pesticides.” We oppose the use of any EPA Toxicity Category I-III pesticides by the City of Albany at any of its sites, and we support annual pesticide reviews to eliminate any remaining pesticide use. Our opposition to pesticide use stems from our respect for both the human beings and the other species for whom the Capital District is a home.