Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of certain local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Agricultural operations — See Ch. 274.
Cesspool and sewer additives — See Ch. 374.
Environmental protection — See Chs. 446 and 943.
Fertilizer — See Ch. 459.
Vector control — See Ch. 1162.
Uncodified Local Law Provisions
[Adopted 10-5-1999 by L.L. No. 34-1999 (Ch. 380, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]

§ 647-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Disinfectants intended to destroy or irreversibly inactivate infectious or other undesirable bacteria, pathogenic fungi or viruses on surfaces or inanimate objects.
B. 
Sanitizers intended to reduce the number of living bacteria or viable virus particles on inanimate surfaces, in water or in air.
C. 
Bacteriostats intended to inhibit the growth of bacteria in the presence of moisture.
D. 
Sterilizers intended to destroy viruses and all living bacteria, fungi and their spores on inanimate surfaces.
[Amended 2-29-2000 by Res. No. 45-2000]
E. 
Fungicides and fungistats intended to inhibit the growth of, or destroy, fungi (including yeasts) pathogenic to man or other animals on inanimate surfaces.
F. 
Commodity preservatives and protectants to inhibit the growth of or destroy bacteria in or on raw materials (such as adhesives and plastics) used in manufacturing or manufactured procedures (such as fuel, textiles, lubricants and paints), but not in the pulp and paper process or cooling towers.
A. 
Any insect, rodent, fungus or weed.
B. 
Any other form of terrestrial or aquatic or animal life or virus, bacteria or other microorganism (except viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms on or in living man or other living animals) which the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation declares to be a pest.
A. 
Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.
B. 
Any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliator or desiccant.
C. 
Includes all pesticide products registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and all products for which experimental use permits and conditional registrations, special local needs registrations and emergency exemptions have been granted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

§ 647-2 Prohibitions.

[Amended 12-18-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
A. 
Effective January 1, 2000, no County department or agency, nor any pesticide applicator employed by the County or agency as a contractor or subcontractor for pest control purposes, shall apply on County property (as owner or tenant) any pesticide classified as Toxicity Category I by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or any pesticide classified as a known, likely, or possible carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, except as provided for in § 647-3 of this article.
B. 
Effective January 1, 2001, no County department or agency, nor any pesticide applicator employed by the County or agency as a contractor or subcontractor for pest control purposes, shall apply on County property (as owner or tenant) any pesticide classified as Toxicity Category II by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or any pesticide classified as restricted use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, except as provided for in § 647-3 of this article.
C. 
Effective July 1, 2003, no County department or agency, nor any pesticide applicator employed by the County or agency as a contractor or subcontractor for pest control purposes, shall apply any pesticide on County property (as owner or tenant), except as provided for in § 647-3 of this article.

§ 647-3 Exemptions.

A. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions, this article shall not apply to the following:
[Amended 12-18-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
(1) 
Pesticides otherwise lawfully used for the purpose of maintaining a safe drinking water supply at drinking water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, reservoirs, and related collection, distribution, and treatment facilities;
(2) 
Antimicrobial pesticides;
(3) 
Pesticides in containerized baits where the least toxic of the effective alternatives available are used;
(4) 
Pesticides classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as exempt materials under 40 CFR 152.25;
(5) 
Biological controls and biological pesticides, such as bacillus thuringiensis or milky spore;
(6) 
Low-toxicity pesticides, such as boric acid, as determined by the Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the Commissioner of the County Department of Environment and Energy, after certifying, in writing, that the pesticide is of such a low hazard as to have a de minimis adverse impact on the health and safety of Suffolk County residents;
[Amended 11-21-2006 by L.L. No. 59-2006]
(7) 
In a situation in which a written declaration has been issued by the Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services that a public emergency exists requiring the temporary use of a particular pesticide during the period of such public emergency. The Commissioner must, in such an emergency, use the least toxic approach to the health issue that the Commissioner believes is adequate to address the emergency. After taking such action, the Commissioner shall document in a report, within 30 days, the steps taken to resolve the emergency, the nature of the emergency, the cause and effect of this emergency, and how and why such pesticidal actions were taken. The Commissioner shall also report how the problem causing the health emergency arose and what steps and procedures the County is taking to ensure that a similar problem will not occur again;
(8) 
Low-toxicity pesticides used for the control of vectors capable of transmitting diseases such as the arthropod-borne encephalitis virus, as determined by the Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the Commissioner of the County Department of Environment and Energy;
[Amended 11-21-2006 by L.L. No. 59-2006]
(9) 
County-owned property leased to another party as of the effective date of this article, said exemption to apply until the expiration of such lease (exclusive of renewal periods);
(10) 
Insect repellents personally applied by County employees in the course of performing County duties and/or responsibilities at County facilities; and
(11) 
Pesticides used in medical treatment or practices.
B. 
Nothing in this article should be interpreted to supersede any settlement of Long Island Neighborhood Network v. County of Suffolk with regard to proposed new County golf courses. On County-owned and -operated golf courses, the Superintendent is permitted to declare a "golf course emergency" if, in his or her discretion, there is an imminent threat of property damage that requires the use of materials otherwise prohibited by this article.
(1) 
In the event that this happens, the Superintendent shall:
(a) 
Notify the Chairman of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); or
(b) 
Contact two members of the CAC and inform them of his/her next step to solve the problem. The Superintendent shall then meet with the Committee in its entirety, within a reasonable period of time.
(2) 
After three times, per golf course, of the Superintendent taking the above action, he/she must meet with the CAC prior to taking any actions.
(3) 
The Superintendent has 30 days to submit a written report to the Chairman of the CAC. The report shall include the nature of the emergency, the cause and effect of the emergency, the steps taken to resolve the emergency and how and why these pesticidal actions were taken. The Superintendent shall take the least toxic approach to its resolution.
(4) 
A meeting shall be held with the CAC within 60 days of this action being taken. The meeting will discuss the contents of the above report.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 380-4, Pest management plan; Committee, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).

§ 647-4 Community Advisory Committee; exemptions for special-use properties.

[Amended 3-13-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2001; 12-18-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2002; 11-21-2006 by L.L. No. 59-2006]
A. 
A Suffolk County Advisory Committee (CAC) is hereby created to oversee the implementation of this article by the County Department of Environment and Energy in conjunction with the County Department of Health Services.
B. 
The CAC shall consist of the following nine members:
(1) 
One individual to be selected by the County Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Energy, or his or her designee, to serve as Chairman;
(2) 
The County Commissioner of Health Services, or his or her designee;
(3) 
The County Commissioner of Public Works, or his or her designee;
(4) 
The County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, or his or her designee;
(5) 
One individual and an alternate to be selected by the County Executive from a recognized and acknowledged anti-cancer advocacy group with membership in Suffolk County;
(6) 
One individual from the Cornell Cooperative Extension selected by the Extension;
(7) 
One individual and an alternate to be selected by the Chairman of the Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature, or any successor committee thereto, from the medical community (not employed by the County of Suffolk); this may include veterinarian medicine or Health and Safety Officer;
(8) 
One individual and an alternate to be selected by the Chairman of the Environment, Planning, and Agriculture Committee of the County Legislature from a recognized and acknowledged environmental organization represented within the County of Suffolk; and
(9) 
One individual to be selected by the Chairman of the Environment, Planning, and Agriculture Committee of the County Legislature with a background in organic pest management practices or one from a recognized environmental group.
C. 
The CAC shall hold four public meetings each year with representatives of the County Department of Health Services and the County Department of Environment and Energy, open to public participation.
D. 
The CAC shall issue annual reports to the Suffolk County Legislature on the progress of implementation of this article.
E. 
The CAC may grant a temporary exemption of up to one year for special-use property located within Suffolk County. The list of specific properties may be determined in the exemption so granted, and the specific pesticides to be used may be determined by the CAC. The list may be amended periodically by the CAC. Any such exemption may be periodically renewed for a period not to exceed one year. If a vote on an exemption by CAC results in two or more votes being cast in opposition to the request, then such exemption shall not take effect unless and until it is ratified by a duly enacted resolution of the County of Suffolk, even if a majority of the entire membership of the CAC has voted in favor of the exemption.

§ 647-5 Pesticide application for mosquitoes; notice to public; notification waivers.

[Added 5-9-2000 by L.L. No. 10-2000]
A. 
Pesticide application for adult mosquitoes by the County of Suffolk, or by persons or businesses under contract or lease with the County, on County-owned or County-leased parks, golf courses or recreational areas or any property adjacent to municipally owned, state-owned or federally owned parks, golf courses or recreational areas shall comply with the public-notice requirements set forth in § 647-6 of this article.
B. 
Pesticide applicators shall notify the public at least 24 hours prior to discharging or causing to be discharged any pesticide for adult mosquitoes on municipally owned, state-owned or federally owned parks, golf courses or recreational areas.
C. 
Warning notices shall be visibly posted only at entry points to all streets or areas to be treated.
D. 
The County Department of Health Services may issue notification waivers granting exemptions for limited, localized or emergency applications of small amounts of the least toxic chemical pesticides or for facilities, where the cost of compliance exceeds the health benefit to be derived from compliance or where there is imminent danger to the public health as certified in writing by the Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services or his/her designee.

§ 647-6 Notices of pesticide applications.

[Added 5-9-2000 by L.L. No. 10-2000]
A. 
The County Department of Health Services shall prepare a notice of pesticide application, copies of which are to be completed and posted at least 24 hours prior to pesticide application specified in § 647-5 above.
B. 
The warning notice shall consist of a standard eight-and-one-half by eleven-inch international orange form. Such notices shall include:
(1) 
Date of posting.
(2) 
Address, date, approximate time, pest to be controlled, method of application and specific sites to be treated.
(3) 
Common and trade names of the pesticide.
(4) 
Name and telephone number of person responsible for the application.
(5) 
A statement that: "This notice form is issued by the County Department of Health Services."
C. 
Such notices shall remain in place for the duration of the acute toxicity of the pesticide.
D. 
In the event that the County Department of Health Services determines that emergency circumstances preclude the use of the warning notice set forth in Subsection B of this section, the Department may use an alternative means of notification as long as it achieves the goal and objective of making people living in the immediate vicinity of the affected community aware of the pesticide application about to occur.

§ 647-7 Rules and regulations.

[Amended 11-21-2006 by L.L. No. 59-2006]
The Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the County Department of Environment and Energy, is hereby authorized to promulgate and issue such rules and regulations as shall be necessary, appropriate, and sufficient to implement the provisions of this article.
[Adopted 8-31-2000 by L.L. No. 20-2000 (Ch. 380, Art. II, of the 1985 Code)]

§ 647-8 Legislative intent.

A. 
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that a recent amendment to the New York Environmental Conservation Law (§ 33-1004) authorizes the County of Suffolk to adopt a local law providing for all of the special requirements for commercial and residential lawn applications established by the State of New York, including a requirement for prior notification of certain spray pesticide applications by commercial lawn applicators.
B. 
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to adopt the special requirements for commercial and residential lawn applications as set forth in § 33-1004 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law, in order to mitigate public concerns regarding pesticide exposure.

§ 647-9 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABUTTING PROPERTY
Any property which has any boundary or boundary point in common with the property on which the pesticide is to be applied.
DWELLING
Any building or structure or portion thereof which is occupied in whole or in part as the home, residence or sleeping place for one or two families.
MULTIPLE DWELLING
Any dwelling which is to be occupied by or is occupied as the residence or home of three or more families living independently of each other.
MULTIPLE DWELLING UNIT
That portion of a multiple dwelling occupied by one or more persons as the residence or home of such persons.
PREMISES
Land and improvements or appurtenances or any part thereof.
RESIDENTIAL LAWN APPLICATION
The application of general-use pesticides to ground, trees or shrubs on property owned by or leased to the individual making such application. For the purpose of this article, the following shall not be considered residential lawn application:
A. 
The application of pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity.
B. 
The application of pesticides around or near the foundation of a building for the purpose of indoor pest control.
C. 
The application of pesticides by or on behalf of agencies, except that agencies shall be subject to visual notification requirements pursuant to § 33-1003 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law where such application is within 100 feet of a dwelling, multiple dwelling, public building or public park.
D. 
The application of pesticides on golf courses or turf farms.

§ 647-10 Signs; notice requirements.

A. 
All retail establishments that sell general-use pesticides for commercial or residential lawn application shall display a sign meeting standards established by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and such sign shall be displayed in a conspicuous place as close as possible to the place where such pesticides are displayed.
B. 
Such signs shall contain the following information at a minimum:
(1) 
A warning notice directing consumers to follow directions on labels.
(2) 
A provision to inform the customer of the posting requirements set forth in § 647-11 of this article.
(3) 
A recommendation that the customer notify neighbors prior to the application of pesticides so that such neighbors may take whatever precautions are necessary to avoid pesticide exposure.
C. 
At least 48 hours prior to any commercial lawn application of a pesticide, the person or business making such application shall supply written notice, as defined in Subsection D of this section, to occupants of all dwellings on abutting property with a boundary that is within 150 feet of the site of such application; and to owners, owners' agents or other persons in a position of authority for all other types of premises that are abutting property with a boundary that is within 150 feet of the site of such application. Owners or owners' agents of multiple-family dwellings shall supply such written notice to the occupants of such multiple-family dwellings, and for all other types of premises, owners, owners' agents or other persons in a position of authority shall post such written notice in a manner specified by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The prior notification provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the following:
(1) 
The application of antimicrobial pesticides and antimicrobial products as defined by FIFRA in 7 U.S.C. §§ 136(mm) and 136q(h)(2).
(2) 
The use of an aerosol product with a directed spray, in containers of 18 fluid ounces or less, when used to protect individuals from an imminent threat from stinging and biting insects, including venomous spiders, bees, wasps and hornets. This subsection shall not exempt from notification the use of any fogger product or aerosol product that discharges to a wide area.
(3) 
The use of nonvolatile insect or rodent bait in a tamper-resistant container.
(4) 
The application of a pesticide classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an exempt material under 40 CFR 152.25.
(5) 
The application of a pesticide which the United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined satisfies its reduced-risk criteria, including a biopesticide.
(6) 
The use of boric acid and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate.
(7) 
The use of horticultural soap and oils that do not contain synthetic pesticides or synergists.
(8) 
The application of a granular pesticide, where "granular pesticide" means any ground-applied solid pesticide that is not a dust or powder.
(9) 
The application of a pesticide by direct injection into a plant or the ground.
(10) 
The spot application of a pesticide, where "spot application" means the application of pesticide in a manually pressurized or nonpressurized container of 32 fluid ounces or less to an area of ground less than nine square feet.
(11) 
The application of a pesticide to the ground or turf of any cemetery.
(12) 
An emergency application of a pesticide when necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health; provided, however, that prior to any such emergency application, the person providing such application shall make a good-faith effort to supply the written notice required pursuant to this article. Upon making an emergency application, the person making such an application shall notify the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, using a form developed by such Commissioner for such purposes, which shall include at least the name of the person making the application, the location of such application, the date of such application, the product name and United States Environmental Protection Agency registration number of the pesticide applied and the reason for such application.
D. 
The content and form of such notification shall be in accordance with the requirements established by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and shall consist of at least the following:
(1) 
The address of the premises where application is to be done.
(2) 
The name and telephone number and pesticide business registration number or certified applicator number of the person providing the commercial lawn application.
(3) 
The specific date of the pesticide application and two alternative dates to the proposed date of application when, due to weather conditions, the pesticide application on the proposed date is precluded. The alternative dates shall be consecutive business days to the proposed date.
(4) 
The product name or names and the United States Environmental Protection Agency registration number or numbers of the pesticide or pesticides to be applied.
(5) 
A statement which reads: "This notice is to inform you of a pending application to neighboring property. You may wish to take precautions to minimize pesticide exposure to yourself, family members, pets or family possessions. Further information about the product or products being applied, including any warnings that appear on the labels of such pesticide or pesticides that are pertinent to the protection of humans, animals or the environment, can be obtained by calling the National Pesticides Telecommunications Network at 1-800-858-7378 or the New York State Department of Health Center for Environmental Health Info line at 1-800-458-1158."

§ 647-11 Markers.

A. 
All persons performing residential lawn applications treating an area of more than 100 square feet shall affix markers to be placed within or along the perimeter of the area where pesticides will be applied. Markers are to be placed so as to be clearly visible to persons immediately outside the perimeter of such property. Such markers shall be posted at least 12 inches above the ground and shall be at least four inches by five inches in size.
B. 
The markers required pursuant to this section shall be in place on the day during which the pesticide is being applied and shall instruct persons not to enter the property and not to remove the signs for a period of at least 24 hours. Such instruction shall be printed boldly in letters at least 3/8 of an inch in height.

§ 647-12 Enforcement.

A. 
The County Department of Health Services shall enforce the provisions of this article in accordance with § 71-2907 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, and any sanctions assessed pursuant thereto shall be payable to and deposited with the County of Suffolk.
B. 
The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health shall review any emergency form submitted pursuant to § 647-10C(12) of this article to ensure that the circumstances warrant such emergency application. Such forms shall be kept on file at the New York State Department of Health for three years from the date of application and shall be made available to any person upon written request.
C. 
The Commissioner of the County Department of Health Services shall process and investigate alleged violations of this article which pertain to persons performing residential lawn applications in accordance with the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

§ 647-13 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an owner or owner's agent of a multiple dwelling, or an owner, owner's agent or a person in a position of authority for all other types of premises, who violates any rule or regulation or order issued pursuant to § 647-10C of this article (written notice of commercial lawn application), and any person who violates any provision of § 647-11 of this article (markers for residential lawn application) shall be issued at the time of the offense a written warning and shall also be issued educational materials pursuant to § 33-1005, Subdivision 2, of the New York Environmental Conservation Law. Such person shall, however, for a second violation be liable to the people of the state for a civil penalty not to exceed $100, and not to exceed $250 for any subsequent violation, such penalties to be assessed by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation after a hearing or opportunity to be heard.
B. 
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person who violates the provisions of § 647-10A of this article (retail establishment disclosure signs) or any rule, regulation or order issued thereunder shall be issued a warning for the first violation and shall be provided seven days to correct such violation, and shall be liable to the people of the state for a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for a second violation, and not to exceed $250 for a subsequent violation, to be assessed by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation after a hearing or opportunity to be heard.
C. 
Any person who, having the culpable mental states defined in § 15.05, Subdivision (1) or (2), or § 20.20 of the New York Penal Law, violates any provision of this article, except an offense relating to the application of a general-use pesticide, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000 for each day during which such violation continues or by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. If the conviction is for a subsequent offense committed after a first conviction of such person under this subsection, punishment shall be by a fine not to exceed $10,000 for each day during which such violation continues or by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Prosecution hereunder may be conducted by the District Attorney consistent with § 71-0403 of the New York Environmental Conservation Law.

§ 647-14 Applicability.

This article shall apply to all actions occurring on or after March 1, 2001.

§ 647-15 When effective; filing with state.

A. 
This article shall take effect on the first day of the first January immediately succeeding the filing of this article with the New York Secretary of State.
B. 
Within 20 days after adoption of this article, the Clerk of the County Legislature shall forward one certified copy hereof to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and one certified copy to the New York State Attorney General.