Are you confused about neighbor notification?

Isn't it simply about neighbors getting notified when there are pesticide applications? What is so hard about enforcement?
What neighbors will get notified? Those that reside next to a property that is serviced by a certified commercial lawn care company except the following:
Exempt are where 92% of the pesticide are applied:

Neighbors next to farms
Neighbors that live on the edge of golf courses
Neighbors of homeowners that do it themselves
Neighbors of municipalities, government owned property, parks, offices etc.
Neighbors of cemeteries

At least the neighbors will get notified by 8% of all users of pesticides right? Wrong. All granular pesticides, solid granules of grub and weed killer are exempt. However, signs will still be posted so you will know there was a treatment.
Well at least all sprays that might drift will be enforced right?
Wrong. Lawn care applicators often spray the entire lawn with liquid fertilizer, which may be perceived as a pesticide. Sign posting is not required.

Tree care companies can spray tall trees with horticultural oil, pyrethrums and other organic compounds that may be perceived as pesticides. Signs must be posted for these exempt materials because they are registered as pesticides in which when used by certified applicators, must follow all existing state laws. The carriers are often petroleum derivatives. Fortunately, these products are covered by existing state law that does not allow drift. Did you know that organic alternatives cannot be legally used by professionals unless they are registered by the EPA as a pesticide?

Are you confused? Do you just want to be notified?
Ok, here is a scenario. You have a neighbor on each side and behind you that uses a professional trained company. Company A sends you a notice that is received on Friday, that states they are coming on Monday unless it rains, and then it will be Tues. or Wed. Company B sends you a notice that you receive on Monday stating they will be there on Wed. unless it rains then they will come on Thurs. or Fri.
Company C is planning to come on Fri. You received their notice on Wed. with a stipulation that they will be there on Sat. or the next Mon. if weather is a problem.

What day should you take extra precautions?
Wouldn't it be better to get a call the night before a treatment?
Isn’t It better to get notified whenever there are pesticides used? Even if it is granular?

How can the county possibly enforce something that is so confusing? Unnecessary investigations and confusion take needed county staff from other priorities. Enforcement will be on a complaint basis, so there is no way to say for sure that people are getting notified. Since the law states the notification can be by mail or dropping off a note, how can you prove if you were or were not notified?

The county can pass a resolution that mandates all citizens have the right to be notified. Just sign up to be put on the registry that will be distributed to all certified applicators. County agencies such as Cornell Co-op or the EMC can administer the data base.
An oversight committee can be appointed to review the effectiveness of this system. Problem solved. Notification is provided to those that want it. IPM practices can continue the trend of education and less pesticide treatments. County government, small business and the community's citizens work together.

Submitted by
Laurie Broccolo
CEO, Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care, Inc.
Past president of NYS Lawn Care Assoc.
Board member of the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce
Chairperson of the Henrietta Audubon Sustainable Communities Program