New York to ban aerial use of pesticide


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is prohibiting the aerial spraying of an agricultural pesticide that can harm the nervous systems of infants and young children.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s directing the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ban nearly all uses of the pesticide by December 2020. But New York will allow the spraying of the pesticide on apple tree trunks until July 2021.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth says New York’s ban, announced Tuesday, follows similar steps in Hawaii and California. The group says the pesticide also poses the risk of acute poisoning and neurological damage in farm workers.

Lawmakers approved a bill this spring to prohibit the pesticide. Environmental groups have since pushed Cuomo to act to ban the pesticide, chlorpyrifos.

The pesticide is used on golf courses and crops including corn, soybeans and broccoli.

Apple farmers have argued that chlorpyrifos is the only pesticide available for use against pests such as the rosy apple aphid.