LEADING ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS APPLAUD PASSAGE OF ASSEMBLY BILL THAT LIMITS USE OF DANGEROUS/HARMFUL INSECTICIDES
TRENTON, NJ – A leading group of environmental organizations applauded the passage of A2070/S1016 by the New Jersey Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, which limits the unnecessary use of neonicotinoid insecticides (“neonics”)—neurotoxic pesticides that decimate bee and wildlife populations, extensively contaminate New Jersey’s water and lands, and may be harming the health of its residents.
“In New Jersey honeybees are a $7 million industry, and they help pollinate nearly $200 million worth of fruits and vegetables annually. Neonicotinoid pesticides are a major threat to the species that farmers depend on for crops and that each of us depends on for our food,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “We appreciate Assemblyman Calabrese’s leadership and the Environment Committee’s action to move this important legislation forward to protect our pollinators, and we are urging Speaker Coughlin to move this bill forward.”
The bill would prohibit most outdoor non-agricultural neonic uses—the largest source of neonic contamination in the state — and gets it out of the hands of people who do not know how to correctly and safely apply it. These steps eliminate harmful cosmetic neonic uses that are easily replaced by less damaging alternatives.
“We are excited to see the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee move forward with this critical legislation to protect pollinators and other wildlife such as birds,” said Drew Tompkins, Director of Policy for NJ Audubon. “Research over the past few years has shown unequivocally that neonicotinoids are having significant negative impacts to pollinators, which are vital to our food supply and overall ecosystem. We applaud the committee’s action and now call on the full Assembly to vote on this bill to restrict how much of this dangerous pesticide is entering our environment.”
“The neonic chemicals in New Jersey waters come overwhelmingly from needless use on lawns, gardens, and other nonagricultural sources,” said Lucas Rhoads, attorney with NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “By advancing this legislation, New Jersey is positioning itself as a national leader in protecting people’s health and the environment against widespread neonic pollution; not to mention protecting bee populations already decimated by these potent pesticides.”
The Senate version of the bill S1016, sponsored by Senator Bob Smith (D) and Senator Kip Bateman (R), has already passed a full Senate floor vote in March 2020 in a strongly bipartisan fashion: 33-6-1.