ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Long Island's population of approximately three million people receives its drinking water from a sole source aquifer. Although Long Island's soil quality helps ensure a plentiful groundwater supply, this same quality helps contaminants such as pesticides to leach from the surface into the groundwater. For example, in 1979, Long Island became the site of the first detection of a pesticide in groundwater when the pesticide Aldicarb was detected despite prior laboratory studies showing it could not contaminate groundwater.
Recent water quality studies have detected increasing pesticide contamination. For example, studies conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, the Suffolk County Water Authority and the United States Geological Survey detected the pesticide Metalaxyl 1,292 times at 727 locations.
In a 1998 annual report issued pursuant to the State Pesticide Reporting Law, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recommended the development of a Long Island Pesticides Management Plan. The plan was first released in 2011, as a draft plan and indicated "With the exception of situations involving verifiable unlawful misuse of a pesticide (including unlawful disposal), and in the absence of a critical pest management need that cannot be met by alternative means, prohibiting regional use of pesticides that pose a threat to Long Island groundwater will be a first option." DEC has thus far opted not to finalize the 2011 draft proposal and instead, on January 30, 2013, released a new Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy for public comment. This hearing is intended to solicit comments on the new Long Island pesticide policy proposed by DEC.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation. Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Oral testimony will be limited to ten minutes duration. In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.
Robert K. Sweeney
Member of Assembly
Committee on Environmental Conservation