Pesticide Case Studies
Albemarle County School Board Restricts Pesticide Use in County Schools
In 2007-08, the Albemarle County School Board acted to restrict the use of pesticides on county school property.
An act that raised questions as to whether it circumvented state authority to regulate pesticides, resulted in the Attorney General's office lawyers ruling otherwise. In this case, the Albemarle County School Board had the right to limit the use of pesticides on school property. This was not a violation of the Dillon Act - an act that restricts localities from circumventing state regulatory authority. In this case, school board authorities had every right to say what can or can not be used on school property.
This ruling was initiated by parent concerns about pesticide use in the schools. This is a common issue of our time. Many states have passed laws to require schools to use integrated pest management (IPM) methods and to set guidelines for pesticide use on school property. In Virginia, in 2009, the General Assembly passed HB1836 as follows:
CHAPTER 440 An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 22.1-132.2, relating to pesticide management. [H 1836] Approved March 27, 2009
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 22.1-132.2 as follows:
§ 22.1-132.2. Integrated pest management on school property.
The Department of Education shall make information available to school boards on integrated pest management programs that appropriately address the application of chemical pesticides and other pest control measures on school property. For purposes of this section, “integrated pest management” shall mean a managed pest control and suppression program that uses various integrated methods to keep pests from causing economic, health-related, or aesthetic injury and minimizes the use of pesticides and the risk to human health and the environment associated with pesticide applications. Methods may include the utilization of site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, evaluation of control requirements, and the use of one or more pest control methods including sanitation, structural repair, nonchemical methods, and pesticides when nontoxic options produce unsatisfactory results or are impractical. Each school shall maintain documentation of any pesticide application that includes the target pest, the formulation applied, and the specific location of the application. The guidelines and programs adopted pursuant to this section shall permit the immediate application of pesticides or other effective control measures to eradicate pest infestations that pose an acute danger to students and staff.
2. That the Virginia Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with the Pesticide Control Board, shall develop guidelines for integrated pest management no later than July 1, 2010.