DEEP: 1975 - Connecticut Pesticide Control Act Enacted

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Environmental Accomplishments of the Past 40 Years

Connecticut Pesticide Control Act Enacted


Connecticut has had a pesticide licensing law since the early 1960ís. With the creation of the DEP (1970), EPA (1970) and the banning of DDT (1972), however, a more comprehensive system for the regulation of pesticides became necessary.

In 1972, when the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) underwent a major revision, it transferred responsibility of pesticide regulation from the United States Department of Agriculture to the Environmental Protection Agency and shifted emphasis from pesticide efficacy to protection of the environment and public health. While FIFRA gave EPA authority to review and register pesticides for specified use it also gave states primary enforcement and certification (licensing of applicants) authority over this type of activity, provided that their laws were adequate to protect people and the environment. The 1975 Connecticut Pesticide Control Act was this stateís response.

The certification requirements of the stateís Pesticide Control Act went beyond the original federal law, and were designed to ensure that private or commercial applications of pesticide were made by trained applicators who had taken and passed appropriate tests administered by the state. For the first time, farmers were required to obtain this type of training and certification, and the requirements for commercial applicators such as exterminators and lawn care applicators were increased significantly. The examinations for applicators to demonstrate their competence were also upgraded. Connecticutís licensing system was made significantly more stringent than the federal law, requiring certification of all commercial applicators, not just those using restricted use pesticides.

With DDT banned on both the state and federal levels three years earlier, the 1975 state Pesticide Control Act and regulations promulgated under it, provided a route to start restricting and eventually banning the more environmentally damaging pesticides of that era. The federal law allowed states to make determinations about the use of chemicals. As a result, products such as kepone, dieldrin, chlordane, phosphorus paste, and lindane were either restricted severely or banned outright . In several cases, these actions predated those taken by EPA.

Today, pesticides undergo more testing and evaluation before marketing and new pesticides reaching the market are safer than those of the 1970ís and the control over their use is much tighter. Most of the older products have been phased out or severely restricted. Virtually all of the states have active regulatory programs, and Connecticut had one of the first. In addition, there is greater public awareness that the most effective means of controlling pests is understanding the entire system and using an integrated approach, not just reaching for the nearest poison.

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What You Can Do
  • Consumers should check all credentials before hiring a pesticide applicator for their homes and businesses. Businesses that offer commercial pesticide application services, such as landscapers or exterminators, must register their business with the Department of Environmental Protection and anyone performing pesticide applications for hire must have a commercial pesticide certification. Business registrations and supervisory certification can be verified on the Departmentís website or by calling the Pesticide Management Program at 869-424-3369
  • Integrated Pest Management is good for the environment and your health and can help prevent and eliminate pests. Look at non-chemical pest control options that would effectively reduce the pest population (sanitation, structural maintenance, use of traps, methods of exclusion, etc. before you turn to injudicious use of pesticides.
  • Consider organic approaches to lawn care