Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions



For immediate release:
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, aesposito@citizenscampaign.org


Environmental and Public Health Advocates now urge the Governor to sign the Child Safe Playing Fields Act

Albany, NY – On Tuesday, May 4th, with strong bipartisan support, the New York State Assembly joined the Senate to pass critical legislation to eliminate the use of toxic pesticides on playing fields and green spaces at our children’s schools. The Senate passed the bill on April 20, with bipartisan support. The bill now must be signed by the Governor to become law.

"Toxic pesticides pose an unacceptable risk to our children’s health, and will have no place at our school playing fields thanks to the actions of the legislature. Congratulations to Senator Foley and Assemblyman Englebright as the sponsors of this bill," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Over 8,000 letters have been sent & over 9,500 signatures have been collected in favor of this commonsense legislation that protects children where they spend the most time – at school.

“Science tells us that poisoning our school yards is no longer an acceptable policy and we need to change. This legislation enjoys overwhelming public support, and we are counting on the Governor to sign this bill into law,” continued Esposito.

“I am proud to sponsor this major legislation and led the fight to protect our children from harm,” said Senator Brian X. Foley, who has championed environmental causes throughout his career in public service. “Given the potential harm that pesticides present to our children during critical developmental stages and the availability of cost-effective alternatives, it is simply unacceptable to continue to use pesticides to care for fields and playgrounds where children spend hours playing. I congratulate Assemblyman Englebright for passing the bill in the Assembly and urge Governor Paterson to sign it into law as soon as possible.”

“Children are more sensitive to and are at increased risk from pesticide exposure. Environmental links have been established for many illnesses and research is continuing to provide new evidence each day. Limiting children’s exposures to pesticides is a practical and reasonable precautionary measure,” said Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation.

Assembly Member Steve Englebright (D, Setauket) stated, “This bill is a culmination of nine years of effort to protect our children from poisons that are used in schools and daycare centers were kids spend up to half of their weekdays. I applaud the hard work of Senator Brian X. Foley to get this bill through the Senate. When this bill becomes law our most vulnerable citizens will have some measure of relief from the chemical onslaught!”

Studies show that after the first two years, schools save 7 percent to 25 percent annually by not purchasing toxic chemicals. The bill wisely provides a clear process to allow rapid response for pesticide applications to address any emerging emergency situation.


Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  5/5/10