The Group for the East End was joined by a host of other environmental organizations and health communities at a press conference last week where they collectively called on state government to ban certain pesticides in an effort to protect Long Island’s drinking water.
On Wednesday, January 11, the Group called on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to legally ban three pesticides that are most prevalently found in Long Island’s drinking water supply.
“These toxic chemicals are making their way into the underground water supply or into our local surface waters, posing threats to the health of humans and animals,” said the Group in a press release issued last week. “The solution is clear — ban the most harmful pesticides and create a plan to eliminate all pesticides from Long Island’s drinking water supply. The DEC has legal authority to adopt a zero tolerance policy for pesticides in groundwater within the Long Island Pesticide Use Management Plan, and environmental advocates are calling for action.”
“The science of pesticide development and standards for application must evolve over time if we are serious about protecting human and environmental health, and creating a safe and sustainable agricultural future for Long Island,” said Bob DeLuca, President of Group for the East End in a statement.
According to the Group a total of 123 pesticides have been detected by the DEC in drinking water wells on Long Island. The most prevalent and toxic are atrazine, metalaxyl, and imidacloprid. According to the Group, while banned in Europe, atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and has been linked to cancer. Metalaxyl is a fungicide that can cause kidney and liver damage, and it is toxic to birds. Imidacloprid, a chemical that is toxic to fish and shellfish, is found in many common products for lawns, pets, and in households. This chemical has been found in wells clustered throughout the North Fork of Long Island, with some wells revealing imadacloprid in concentrations that exceed drinking water standards by 800 percent, according to the Group.