- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2000

The governor of New York state, who needs all the business he can get, recently announced a program that may put one group out of business. The governor wants the lawn care companies to inform every neighbor within 150 feet that they are going to apply a pesticide to a lawn in the area. I bet the governor has spent most of his life in a high rise, or he would know that all neighbors with lawns already have enough trouble blaming each other for crab grass and dandelions.

Let’s look at a case where neighbors are already antagonistic to each other over some minor border dispute. What are the chances of these neighbors approving the application of a pesticide that the state feels is dangerous enough to require your approval, but not dangerous enough to ban? Would you say the governor has caved in to some environmental zealots? What about neighbors who have never quarreled, but now find out one is for and one is against pesticides?

There is also the problem of the lawn care people finding the neighbor at home. Very few homes are occupied during the day, so I imagine the lawn people will have to leave a notice requiring the neighbor to raise his objection before they spread their deadly potion. Or, will neighbors have to sign off on a release of some sort? You don’t want to be sued because your neighbor’s cat had a litter of kittens with five legs. It looks to me like the governor has created a new field for his lawyer friends.

Some communities are proposing that the owner of the lawn seek permission from his neighbor rather than have the lawn care people do it. I would presume there would have to be a signature involved by having the neighbor sign a release or the owner of the lawn signing that he received approval from the neighbor. This is the kind of bureaucratic paper mill nonsense you would expect in Albany, but it should not be exported to every citizen with a lawn.

Anyone who has a lawn infested with grubs realizes the necessity for spraying these pesticides. If they are too dangerous to use, they should be banned. I see no reason why my neighbor needs to know in advance that I’m going to apply a pesticide. All lawn care companies are required to post a sign warning people that pesticides have been applied, which should suffice. My neighbor should then take heed and keep his kids and pets indoors, where they belong.

This is an unworkable law that will only be made workable by compounding one bad decision by adding 10 more. I see a time when neighbors will sneak out after midnight and apply their lawn treatments with no regard for neighborhood cats. Dogs are required by law to be on a leash. Cats wander freely about the neighborhood using your property for a litter box, and if their little paws get sore because of a pesticide application, it serves them right. Don’t let your state adopt this idiotic procedure.

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