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New York State Pesticides Coalition v. Jorling

Citation: 19 ELR 20728
No. No. 88-CV-1220, 704 F. Supp. 26/28 ERC 1919/(N.D.N.Y., 01/19/1989)

The court holds that provisions of the New York state right-to-know laws and regulations imposing notification requirements on commercial lawn care companies are not preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The provisions require applicators to enter into a written contract with the property owner, provide the owner with a list of substances to be applied along with any warnings that appear on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label, post signs on the property, and notify the public by newspaper. The court holds that these notification requirements do not constitute a "label" or "labeling" under FIFRA § 2(p) and thus are not preempted under § 24(b), which prohibits states from engaging in the labeling of pesticides "in addition to or different from" those required by EPA. The phrase "in addition to" appears to bar states from adding language to the label itself, while the phase "different from" prohibits a state from requiring the dissemination of information that directly contradicts the information on the EPA label. A state's authority to regulate the sale and use of pesticides under § 24(a) allows it to require information on the label to be more widely distributed to the general population.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Thomas S. West
Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle
One KeyCorp Plaza, Albany NY 12207
(518) 434-6000

Counsel for Defendant
Martha McCabe, Ass't Attorney General
Department of Law, State Capitol, Albany NY 12224
(518) 474-7330