Tompkins County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by Tompkins County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted by the Board of Supervisors (now County Legislature) 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 11-2002]
A. 
This Legislature finds that individuals and their personal property are, or can be, unwittingly exposed to pesticides applied on their neighbor's property from commercial and residential lawn applications. This Legislature further finds that pesticides may pose health and safety risks to people, particularly children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with infirmities. The intent of this article is to provide information to county residents about certain pesticide applications to which they may be exposed, so that they can take steps to minimize such exposure to themselves, their families, pets, crops, livestock, backyard wildlife, and property.
B. 
Accordingly, this Legislature hereby adopts the special notice requirements for commercial and residential lawn applications of pesticides as set forth in § 33-1004 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law. It is intended that this article be read and applied consistently with that section and all other applicable provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations promulgated thereunder.
C. 
This article shall be known as the "Tompkins County Neighbor Notification Law for Pesticides."
All terms used herein shall be as defined in Article 33 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law:
ABUTTING PROPERTY
Any property which has any boundary point in common with the property on which the pesticide is to be applied.
AGENCY
Any state agency; municipal corporation; public authority; college, as that term is defined in the Education Law; railroad, as that term is defined in the Railroad Law; or telegraph, telephone, telegraph and telephone, pipeline, gas, electric, or gas and electric corporation as those terms are defined in the Transportation Corporations Law, which applies pesticides.
COMMERCIAL LAWN APPLICATION
The application of pesticides to ground, trees, or shrubs on public or private outdoor property. For the purposes of this article the following shall not be considered commercial lawn application:
A. 
The application of pesticide for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity;
B. 
Residential application of pesticides;
C. 
The application of pesticides around or near the foundation of a building for the purpose of indoor pest control;
D. 
The application of pesticides by or on behalf of agencies, except that agencies shall be subject to visual notification requirements pursuant to § 33-1003 of the Environmental Conservation Law where such application is within 100 feet of a dwelling, multiple dwelling, public building or public park; and
E. 
The application of pesticides on golf courses or turf farms.
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
DWELLING
Any building or structure or portion thereof which is occupied in whole or in part as the home, residence or sleeping place for one or two families.
GENERAL USE PESTICIDE
A pesticide which does not meet the state criteria for a restricted pesticide as established under authority of § 33-0303 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law.
MULTIPLE DWELLING
Any dwelling which is to be occupied by or is occupied as the residence or home of three or more families living independently of each other.
A. 
Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest; and
B. 
Any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.
PREMISES
Land and improvements or appurtenances or any part thereof.
RESIDENTIAL LAWN APPLICATION
The application of general use pesticides to ground, trees, or shrubs on property owned by or leased to the individual making such application. For the purpose of this article the following shall not be considered residential lawn application:
A. 
The application of pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity;
B. 
The application of pesticides around or near the foundation of a building for purpose of indoor pest control;
C. 
The application of pesticides by or on behalf of agencies shall be subject to visual notification requirements pursuant to § 33-1003 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law where such application is within 100 feet of a dwelling, multiple dwelling, public building or public park; and
D. 
The application of pesticides on golf courses or turf farms.
The provisions in this section are adopted in their entirety and without exception, pursuant to § 33-1004 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law.
A. 
Retail consumer information sign. All retail establishments that sell general use pesticides for commercial or residential lawn application shall display a sign meeting standards established by the Commissioner pursuant to Subdivision 1 of § 33-1005 of the Environmental Conservation Law, in a conspicuous place, and such sign shall be placed as close as possible to the place where such pesticides are displayed.
B. 
Prior notification of commercial lawn applications.
(1) 
At least 48 hours prior to any commercial lawn application of a pesticide, the person or business making such application shall supply written notice, as defined in Subdivision 3 of § 33-1005 of the Environmental Conservation Law, to:
(a) 
Occupants of all dwellings on abutting property with a boundary that is within 150 feet of the site of such application; and
(b) 
Owners, owners' agents, or other persons in a position of authority for all other types of premises that are on abutting property with a boundary that is within 150 feet of the site of such application. Owners or owners' agents of multiple-family dwellings and for all other types of premises, owners, owners' agents or other persons in a position of authority shall post such written notice in a manner specified by the Commissioner.
(2) 
Such prior notification provisions shall not apply to the following:
(a) 
The application of antimicrobial pesticides and antimicrobial products as defined by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in 7 U.S.C. Section 136 (mm) and 136 q (h) (2);
(b) 
The use of an aerosol product with a directed spray, in containers of 18 fluid ounces or less, when used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging and biting insects, including venomous spiders, bees, wasps and hornets. This section shall not exempt from notification the use of any fogger product or aerosol product that discharges to a wide area;
(c) 
The use of nonvolatile insect or rodent bait in a tamper-resistant container;
(d) 
The application of a pesticide classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an exempt material under 40 CFR Part 152.25;
(e) 
The application of a pesticide which the United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined satisfies its reduced-risk criteria, including a biopesticide;
(f) 
The use of boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate;
(g) 
The use of horticultural soap and oils that do not contain synthetic pesticides or synergists;
(h) 
The application of a granular pesticide, where "granular pesticide" means any ground-applied solid pesticide that is not a dust or powder;
(i) 
The application of a pesticide by direct injection into a plant or the ground;
(j) 
The spot application of a pesticide, where "spot application" means the application of pesticide in a manually pressurized or nonpressurized container of 32 fluid ounces or less to an area of ground less than nine square feet;
(k) 
The application of a pesticide to the ground or turf of any cemetery; and
(l) 
An emergency application of a pesticide when necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health; provided, however, that prior to any such emergency application, the person providing such application shall make a good-faith effort to supply the written notice required pursuant to this chapter. Upon making an emergency application, the person making such application shall notify the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, using a form developed by such Commissioner for such purposes that shall include minimally the name of the person making such application, the pesticide business registration number or certified applicator number of the person making such application, the location of such application, the date of such application, the product name and United States Environmental Protection Agency registration number of the pesticide applied and the reason for such application.
C. 
Posting of residential lawn applications.
(1) 
All persons performing residential lawn applications treating an area more than 100 square feet shall affix markers to be placed within or along the perimeter of the area where pesticides will be applied. Markers are to be placed so as to be clearly visible to persons immediately outside the perimeter of such property. Such markers shall be posted at least 12 inches above the ground and shall be at least four inches by five inches in size.
(2) 
Such markers shall be in place on the day during which the pesticide is being applied and shall instruct persons not to enter the property and not to remove the signs for a period of at least 24 hours. Such instruction shall be printed boldly in letters at least 3/8 of an inch in height.
Pursuant to § 33-1004 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law, the Tompkins County Department of Health and Department of Weights and Measures shall enforce the provisions of this article administratively, provided that all sanctions, which shall be assessed after providing a hearing or opportunity to be heard, shall be as specified in the penalties provision herein of this article and shall be payable to and deposited with Tompkins County. In particular, the Department of Health shall be responsible for neighbor and applicator provisions and the Department of Weights and Measures shall be responsible for retail establishment provisions.
A. 
Administrative sanctions.
(1) 
A person providing a commercial lawn application who violates any provision of this article shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for a first violation, and not to exceed $10,000 for a subsequent offense.
(2) 
An owner or owner's agent of a multiple dwelling or owner, owner's agent or a person in a position of authority for all other types of premises, who violates any rule or regulation pursuant to the section on prior notification of commercial lawn applications, and a person who violates any provision of the subdivision posting of residential lawn applications shall for a first such violation, in lieu of penalty, be issued a written warning and shall also be issued educational materials prepared by the Commissioner pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 33-1005 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law. Such person shall, however, for a second violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $100, and not to exceed $250 for any subsequent violation.
(3) 
A person who violates the provisions of the section on retail consumer information sign shall be issued a warning for the first violation and shall be provided seven days to correct such violation; and shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for a second violation, and not to exceed $250 for a subsequent violation.
B. 
Criminal sanctions for persons providing commercial lawn applications.
(1) 
Any person providing a commercial lawn application and having the culpable mental states defined in Subdivision 1 or 2 of § 15.05 of the New York Penal Law who violates any provision of this article, except an offense relating to the application of a general use pesticide, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000 for each day during which such violation continues or by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. If the conviction is for a subsequent offense committed after a first conviction of such person under this subsection, punishment shall be by a fine not to exceed $10,000 for each day during which such violation continues or by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) 
Any person providing a commercial lawn application who violates any provision of this article relating to the use of a general use pesticide shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $2,500. If the conviction is for a subsequent offense committed after the first such conviction of such person under this subsection, punishment shall be a fine not to exceed $5,000.