Photo of Senator Cohen.

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford

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Sen. Cohen Leads Passage of Bill Requiring More Detailed Notification of Herbicide Use Around Lakes and Ponds


HARTFORD – State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) used her position as Senate Chair of the Environment Committee to help pass a bill in the state Senate this evening that requires anyone applying pesticides or herbicides to a lake or pond to let every abutting property owner or tenant know personally of that application, and to specify when the chemicals will be applied, rather than simply post a general notice in a local newspaper with a range of possible application dates – as is current law.

Senate Bill 116, "AN ACT CONCERNING NOTIFICATION OF PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS NEAR LAKES AND PONDS," passed the Senate this evening on a bipartisan and unanimous 32-0 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill prohibits blanket notices for pesticide applications near lakes and ponds, which fail to enable people to know exactly when pesticides and herbicides will actually be applied – and to require the party contracting with the pesticide applicator to receive notice of when such pesticides will be applied. Notices can be by telephone, mail or in-person, and include date of the application.

"This bill came out of situation in my district where we found that pesticide notifications were running in local papers with potential application dates that effectively lasted all summer long," Sen. Cohen said. "These blanket notifications are unfair and prevent planning and use of our waterways. This sent up a red flag to me that we really need to fine-tune our pesticide and herbicide application laws, and so this proposal was born."

The bill was proposed after some of Senator Cohen's constituents expressed concern and requested more timely information about the application of various herbicides – some of them possibly carcinogenic – being applied to nearby waterways to kill invasive aquatic plants, but with a possible range of dates that effectively stretched across any day during the summer. Often with such applications, people are warned against swimming fishing or boating on those waters for a certain period of time.