TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-25
Pesticide Control

SECTION 23-25-37


§ 23-25-37 Pesticide applications and notification of pesticide applications at schools.

(a) The department of environmental management and the department of health shall develop regulations as follows: (1) to restrict the use of hazardous pesticides in schools, pre-schools and child care centers in Rhode Island; (2) for the promotion and implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) as defined in § 23-25.2-2; (3) to cover situations where an emergency application of pesticide must be conducted to eliminate an immediate threat to human health, and establish reporting requirements for these emergency applications.

(b) On and after July 1, 2001, no person other than a licensed or certified commercial applicator as defined in § 23-25-4, shall apply pesticide within any building or on the grounds of any school. This section shall not apply in the case of an emergency application of pesticide to eliminate an immediate threat to human health, where it is impractical to obtain the services of any such applicator; provided the emergency application does not involve a restricted use or state limited use pesticide. For purposes of this section, "emergency" means a sudden need to mitigate or eliminate a pest which threatens the health or safety of a student or staff member.

(c)(1) On and after July 1, 2002, at the beginning of each school year, each local school authority shall provide the staff of each school and the parents or guardians of each child enrolled in each school with a written statement of the committee's policy on pesticide application on school property and a description of any pesticide applications made at the school during the previous school year.

(2) The statement and description shall be provided to the parents or guardians of any child who transfers to a school during the school year. The statement shall: (i) indicate that the staff, parents, or guardians may register for prior notice of pesticide applications at the school; and (ii) describe the emergency notification procedures provided for in this section. Notice of any modification to the pesticide application policy shall be sent to any person who registers for notice under this section.

(d) On and after July 1, 2002, parents or guardians of children in any school and school staff may register for prior notice of pesticide application at their school. Each school shall maintain a registry of persons requesting the notice. Prior to providing for any application of pesticide within any building or on the grounds of any school, the local school authority shall provide for the distribution of notice to parents and guardians who have registered for prior notice under this section, such that the notice is received no later than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the application. Notice shall be given by any means practicable to school staff who have registered for the notice. Notice under this subsection shall include: (1) the common or trade name and the name of the active ingredient; (2) the EPA registration number as listed on the pesticide label; (3) the target pest; (4) the exact location of the application on the school property; (5) the date of the application; and (6) the name of the school administrator, or a designee, who may be contacted for further information.

(e) On and after July 1, 2003, no application of pesticide may be made in any building or on the grounds of any school during regular school hours or during planned activities at any school. No child shall enter an area where the application has been made until it is safe to do so according to the provisions on the pesticide label. This section shall not apply to the use of germicides, disinfectants, sanitizers, deodorizers, antimicrobal agents, insecticidal gels, non-volatile insect or rodent bait in a tamper resistant container, insect repellants or the application of a pesticide classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an exempt material under 40 CFR 152.25.

(f) On and after July 1, 2002, a local school authority may make an emergency application of pesticide without prior notice under this section in the event of an immediate threat to human health, provided the board provides for notice, by any means practicable, on or before the day that the application is to take place, to any person who has requested prior notice under this section.

(g) On and after July 1, 2002, notice of any pesticide application at a school shall be given, by any means practicable, to the parents or guardians of any child enrolled at the school and to the staff of the school not later than one week after the application. The notice shall include: (1) the common or trade name and the name of the active ingredient; (2) the EPA registration number as listed on the pesticide label; (3) the target pest; (4) the exact location of the application on the school property; (5) the date of the application; and (6) the name of the school administrator, or a designee, who may be contacted for further information. A copy of the record of each pesticide application at a school shall be maintained at the school for a period of five (5) years.

(h) Not later than July 1, 2002, the department of environmental management and the department of health shall jointly establish a task force which shall specifically address methods to promote public education and professional training about pesticides, their potential health effects and IPM least toxic alternatives, and for evaluation and analysis of current pest control practices at school and child care facilities.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2001, ch. 293, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 418, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 69.)