The following letter to the editor was published in the Times Union on August 8, 2019 and was written by Kate Kurera, our Deputy Director.
LTE: Cuomo, Sign Ban On Dangerous Pesticide
The Trump administration isn't slowing down with its anti-environmental agenda. Their most recent attack on public health and safety was to abandon a ban on the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, a chemical that is extremely toxic to human health and wildlife. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency ended nearly all residential uses of chlorpyrifos. In 2015, the EPA proposed banning the use of chlorpyrifos on food, based on scientific assessments. The Trump administration has once again ignored science and will not further restrict the use of chlorpyrifos.
Chlorpyrifos is widely used in New York. It has been linked to developmental delays and brain disorders in children, and is known to be harmful to human nervous systems. This is why we worked with state lawmakers to eliminate this chemical from our environment. Fortunately, this year, a bill to ban chlorpyrifos passed both houses and now awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature.
Legislation like this is critical as the Trump administration continues its reckless environmental rollbacks. States must fill the void when our leaders in Washington fail to do so. Unfortunately, we are witnessing the prioritization of profit over public health. But there is hope. Hawaii and California have taken steps to ban the chemical, and now New York is poised to join them. The Empire State is on its way to becoming a national leader on the environment. We applaud state lawmakers for passing a ban on chlorpyrifos, and now call on Cuomo to sign this bill into law.