Environmental and Public Health Research
Pesticides: Increasing Knowledge, Decreasing Risk
CCFE has long worked to ensure the public is educated about the dangers of using pesticides, particularly lawn pesticides. In 2011, CCFE continued statewide efforts to educate the public on the unacceptable risks posed by aesthetic pesticides.
LI Pesticide Use Management Plan
The Long Island Pesticide Use Management Plan (LIPUMP) is being developed to ensure the protection of Long Island's groundwater, its only source of drinking water. The shallow depth of soil underlying Long Island’s aquifer system, sandy and permeable nature of the soils, relatively abundant precipitation, and annual regional use of millions of pounds of pesticides underscores the critical need to properly manage the use of pesticides in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. There are already 129 pesticide active ingredients and degradates that are currently found in LI’s groundwater. CCFE serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for the development of the plan. CCFE provided comments on the initial draft of the LIPUMP in January of 2011. On November 11, 2011, the Technical Advisory Committee reconvened to review an updated draft. CCFE then provided comments on the updated draft in December 2011. The draft document is expected to be released to the public in 2012.
In February 2011 CCFE joined community members in Southern Brookhaven to address issues surrounding the Brookhaven Town Landfill. The Town had recently begun accepting sewage sludge from New York City at the Town Landfill, which is causing serious odor and quality of life problems for the community. CCFE worked with stakeholders to establish the Stop the Sludge Coalition (STS), made up of over 30 member organizations including school boards, a library, fire departments, civic organizations, a local ambulance company, business associations, and residents. In just months, the group successfully pressured the DEC to revoke the permit for the town to accept sludge in the town landfill. After this victory, the STS became the Brookhaven Community Coalition (BCC). The BCC works to address other issues facing the community, including several compost facilities operating out of compliance, which cause odor, dust, environmental and public health threats. CCFE serves on the executive board for the BCC and has been successful in organizing and empowering community stakeholders. The group successfully worked to have the DEC revoke a variance given to the Long Island Compost/Great Gardens facility. This is a 62 acre operation that was provided a variance from establishing an enclosed operation. The company has appealed the DEC ruling.