WASHINGTON, D.C. — We don't know how likely this legislation is to be passed, and it's not clear what impact it would have on pest control, landscape and grounds maintenance operations. But it bears watching.
U.S. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) and 14 of his colleagues put forward School Environment Protection Act of 2009 (SEPA), H.R. 4159. SEPA, if passed, would require all public schools to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) programs that emphasize non-chemical pest management strategies and only use defined least-toxic pesticides as a last resort.
A public health emergency provision allows the use of a pesticide, if warranted. In this case, notification of the pesticide application is required to be provided to all parents and guardians of students and school staff. Cleaning agents with pesticides fall under the bill's purview.
The legislation establishes a 12-member National School IPM Advisory Board that, with the help of a technical advisory panel, will develop school IPM standards and a list of allowable least-toxic pesticide products. In addition, under the language each state is required to develop its IPM plan as part of its existing state cooperative agreement with the U.S. EPA.
For a copy of H.R. 4195 click here.