Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions



For immediate release:
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
William Cooke, Director of Government Relations, 518-461-9947 (mobile)


Governor Paterson and State Legislature Applauded for taking Action to Protect NY’s kids

Albany, NY – On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, Governor Paterson signed the Child Safe Playing Fields Act to law, eliminating the use of toxic pesticides on playing fields and green spaces at schools throughout New York State. With bipartisan support this bill passed both the Senate and Assembly. This law will take effect in one year, giving schools time to train groundskeepers.

"The archaic practice of poisoning children's play grounds is coming to an end in New York State. We will now raise a generation of healthier, safer children because of this legislation. We are thrilled and profoundly grateful for the Governor, Senator Foley and Assemblyman Englebright for this legacy bill," said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Assemblymember Steven Englebright (D, Setuaket) stated “This is a historic day for New York State! Our hard work has paid off after nine years of efforts to pass this legislation. Kudos to Governor Paterson, Senator Foley and all of the advocates who made this happen. We have achieved a real and lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren by granting them a pesticide-free outdoor environment at school.”

Over 8,000 letters have been sent & over 18,000 signatures have been collected in favor of this commonsense legislation that protects children where they spend the most time – at school.

“Today is a great day for our children and our environment,” said State Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point). “The signing of this legislation will result in a sharp reduction in children’s exposure to pesticides that were applied on school grounds. Keeping pesticides away from our children will protect them from the harmful side effects that could result, including, as a recent study suggested, the development of ADHD. Any time we can reduce the use of pesticides it a win for the environment as well.”

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.

“We applaud Senator Brian Foley and Assemblyman Steven Englebright for championing this critical environmental bill, which will save schools money while protecting children and birds from the dangers of pesticides,” said Albert E. Caccese Executive Director of Audubon New York. “Each year, millions of pounds of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are used on schools and lawns across the state and nation, creating one of the largest sources of pollution runoff and causing the death of over 7 million birds annually. By eliminating the use of these chemicals at schools, we are now making these places safe and inviting for, birds, other wildlife and children.”


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  5/19/10