Protecting our Clean Water through Chemical Safety Reform
- Banning Neonicotinoids (Neonics) and Chlorpyrifos
Why is this on our agenda?
Clean drinking water is a human right. In a state as densely populated as New Jersey, safeguarding our water supply from contaminants is a difficult but necessary task for the well-being of our families, ecosystems, and economy.
Neonicotinoids (“neonics”) are systemic insecticides being used on hundreds of crops and in many home gardens. Research has shown that these chemicals are a leading cause of the massive declines in bee populations vital to agricultural production and seriously harm other species fundamental to healthy natural ecosystems, such as aquatic invertebrates. According to an analysis of research composed by New Jersey Audubon, these substances are proving toxic to birds and has possible impacts on human health, with data showing “neonics” commonly appear in the food we eat and in New Jersey’s waters.
With federal action unlikely, New Jersey can follow the example of states like Maryland and Connecticut to protect its natural resources and lead the nation by acting to regulate specific uses of these pesticides. Legislation is needed to direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to classify neonicotinoid pesticides as restricted-use pesticides, and establish a list of chemicals that belong to the neonicotinoid class of chemicals to be included under this classification.
Moreover, Chlorpyrifos are another type of pesticide used in agriculture for feed and food crops, can be used on golf courses, and to treat wood and utility poles. Like Neonics, this pesticide is very toxic to fish and other aquatic wildlife as well as bees, earthworms and birds. New Jersey can join states like New York and Hawaii to ban this pesticide, since federal action is unlikely.