Resolution No. 342

Supporting New York State Senate Bill S699D And New York State Assembly Bill A7429A, The New York State Birds And Bees Protection Act

Resolution Information




Referred to:  The Energy, Environment and Sustainability Committee (Chairwoman Greene and Legislators Hansut, Erner, Maloney, and Stewart)


Legislator Kathy Nolan and Legislators Erner, Hansut, Heppner, Stewart and Uchitelle offer the following:


WHEREAS, the Birds and Bees Protection Act concerns use of neonicotinoids, or "neonics," which is a class of neurotoxic pesticides that includes imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, c1othianidin, dinotefuran, and acetamiprid; and


WHEREAS, research shows that widespread use of neonics is a leading cause of decline in honeybees as well as pollinators and a threat to birds, fish, whitetail deer, and entire ecosystems; and


WHEREAS, New York's agricultural economy depends on healthy populations of bees and other pollinators to produce valuable and healthy foods like apples, squash, tomatoes, cherries and other top crops, worth an estimated $439 million annually; and


WHEREAS, Ulster County’s agricultural economy similarly depends on healthy populations of bees and other pollinators to produce valuable and healthy crops and foods; and


WHEREAS, Ulster County has designated itself a Pollinator Friendly Municipality pursuant to Resolution No. 375 of September 17, 2019; and


WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and other independent research has found that neonics can harm human health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that half of Americans are regularly exposed to neonics; and


WHEREAS, Federal and State water testing has detected neonics in waters across New York State, with 30% of Long Island groundwater samples containing a neonic; and


WHEREAS, a Cornell University review from 2020 of over 1,100 peer reviewed papers on neonics and cost-benefit analysis of neonics against their likely alternatives ("Cornell Report") concluded that neonic-treatments on corn, soybean, and wheat seeds — which account for roughly three-quarters of all neonic use in New York agriculture — produce "no overall net-income benefit" to farmers using them; and





WHEREAS, the Cornell Report also found that non-agricultural, turf and ornamental neonic uses, with the exception of certain treatments for invasive species, were similarly unneeded or replaceable with safer, effective alternatives; and


WHEREAS, the bill would: (1) prohibit sale and use of neonic-treated corn, soybean, and wheat seeds effective January 1, 2025; (2) prohibit non-agricultural uses of neonics on turf and ornamental plants, effective January 1, 2024; and (3) allow the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to permit use of neonics to combat invasive species, including but not limited to emerald ash-borer and hemlock woolly adelgid; and (4) require DEC, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, and the New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry to study alternatives to neonics; and


WHEREAS, the Birds and Bees Protection Act addresses a serious threat to pollinators and ecosystems and safeguards the future of New York's food system by banning high risk, low-to-no benefit uses of neonicotinoid insecticides; now, therefore be it


RESOLVED, that the Ulster County Legislature does hereby support and encourage advancement of S699D / A7429A, banning neonic-treated corn, soybean, and wheat seeds and most outdoor, non-agricultural uses of neonicotinoid insecticides; and, be it further


RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the Ulster County Legislature shall provide a copy of this resolution to Governor Kathy Hochul; Basil Seggos, NYS Commissioner of Department of Environmental Conservation; Mary T. Bassett, M.D., M.P.H., NYS Commissioner of Health; Richard Ball, NYS Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture; and our local New York Senate and Assembly representatives, Honorable Michelle Hinchey, Honorable James Skoufis, Honorable Peter Oberacker, Honorable Kevin Cahill, and Honorable Jonathan Jacobson,


and move its adoption.





AYES:                        NOES:    





Passed Committee: Energy, Environment and Sustainability on _______________.





Current Text: PDF



Updated: August 2, 2022