According to a government DEEP website, there are particular laws banning pesticides on school property. We asked Bethel town and school officials about the process by which the pesticide was approved for school application, the contents of the product (exactly what chemicals are being applied to fields), the hazards if any, and how warnings will be posted during time of application (to keep people off of fields), in order that we may provide more information to readers.
Report by Paula Antolini
April 18, 2016 10:49AM EDT
Pesticide Application Planned for Bethel School Fields on April 21, Is It Safe?
Parents, Guardians and and School Staff recently received a letter from Dr. Christine Carver, Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools, on April 15, 2016 (see text of letter below), regarding the application of fertilizer on Bethel school fields, planned for April 21, 2016. Do we know exactly what is in the product that will be added to the fields shortly?
The product is named as “Stage 1” in a link in the school letter, which is another letter from the Bethel Parks and Recreation Department on April 14, 2016 (see text of letter below). That letter indicates the date and times of application, who will be doing the work, and their license numbers, but no information about the contents or safety of the actual product, or that it adheres to CT state laws.
According to a government DEEP website, there are particular laws banning pesticides on school property (see text from government website below). We asked Bethel town and school officials about the process by which the pesticide was approved for school application, the contents of the product (exactly what chemicals are being applied to fields), the hazards if any, and how warnings will be posted during time of application (to keep people off of fields), in order that we may provide more information to readers.
We contacted Dr. Christine Carver and received email information that she is out of town until April 22nd, so then we heard back from Dr. Kristen Brooks, Assistant Superintendent of Bethel Public Schools, who referred our questions to Eileen Earle, Director of Bethel Park and Recreation, whom we had also emailed. We sent the same questions to other Bethel officials, but have not heard back yet. We will post the additional responses when we receive them.
We asked the following questions:
- The product that will be applied to fields is named as “Stage 1” in the Bethel Parks and Recreation letter. Can you indicate what the exact product this is, what the ingredients are, and how it conforms the CT State laws regarding the application on school property?
- Can you indicate if this (link below) is the particular product that will be used and how it was deemed safe? This is what is shown as Stage 1: http://www.scotts.com/smg/goprod/lawn-pro-step-1-crabgrass-preventer-plus-fertilizer/prod70050
- Regarding a government DEEP website that describes the above mentioned laws (CLICK HERE TO VIEW), there are particular CT state laws banning certain products. When I look at the label on the Stage 1 product above (IF that is in fact the one planned to be used) it indicates many hazards.
- Also under number 3 on the DEEP website, it indicates the following restrictions: “Under CT’s pesticide ban there are no restrictions on the use of straight fertilizer. Since the law prohibits the use of pesticides, combination fertilizer-pesticide products that contain an herbicide (e.g., for broadleaf weed control), an insecticide (e.g., for grub control), or a fungicide (e.g., for disease control) are not allowed to be used.” So how do we know what type is being used on school grounds?
- Who can verify (town official) what the exact products are and that the products are safe and adhere to Ct State laws? Can you provide contact information of who can verify the products are safe and allowed by law, and is responsible for the verification? What was the process by which these products were checked for safety according to CT laws? Also is this a synthetic or organic product, and what is the difference etc.?
- This product also indicated things like a wait time for people not to walk on fields until the product is dry etc. How will this be handled, to insure safety of students and staff and residents who might walk on the fields? Will warning signs be installed until fields are dry etc. and what is the time frame until fields are safe? Will a time and date be indicated ahead of time for safety?
Eileen Earle replied in an email:
“All applications are being done within the guidelines of the CT laws in regards to school applications for K-8 and high school, which have different regulations.
Ms. Earle also provided the person’s name and contact information for the lawn company doing the work, and her own phone number too.
Bethel Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Christine Carver, sent the following NOTICE to Parents, Guardians, and Staff on April 14, 2016:
Fertilizer Application on Fields, Thursday, Apr. 21st
“As per Section 436 of Public Act 15-5, we are providing you prior notice of pesticide application to some of fields in the Educational Park. Please read the notification letter: Fertilizer Application Letter.pdf A copy of this notification can be found on our district website under Office of Facility & Security Operations.”
Bethel Parks & Recreation sent the following NOTICE on April 14, 2016:
An April 14, 2016 letter from Eileen T. Earle, Director of Bethel Parks and Recreation, reads:
“On Thursday, April 21, 2016, Lawn Doctor, under the direct supervision of Manager John Demeyer, License #S-5363, will be treating athletic fields with Stage 1, which is a pre-emergent crabgrass control and fertilizer.
“The applications will be performed by Andreas Crespo, License #0-42596, Michael Snow, License #0-22411, and Ryan Andrew, License #S-5990. They will be performing this treatment between the hours of 5 a.m. and noon.
“The following fields scheduled to be fertilized are:
• Hunt Field
• DeSantis Field
• Rockwell Field
• Middle School Field
• Lower Soccer Field
“If you have any questions call the Parks and Recreation Office at 203-794-8531.”
VIEW CT STATE LAWS REGARDING PESTICIDES ON SCHOOL PROPERTY: