SECTION 1 – Chapter 132B of the General Law is hereby amended by inserting the following after Section 11 the following Section: Section 11B. Prohibition of Pesticides on Golf Courses
SECTION 1 – An Act Relative to the Prohibition of Chemical Pesticides on Golf Courses
This document specifies the prohibition of the use of pesticides on golf courses in order to prevent additional risks to public health in a time of pandemic as well as curb the environmental impacts of chemical use on large swathes of land.
SECTION 2 – DEFINITIONS
Golf Course – grounds where the game of golf is played comprising a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, a fairway, the rough and other hazards, and a green
Pesticide – a substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest, and any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; provided that the term ”Pesticide” shall not include any article that is a ”new animal drug” within the meaning of section 201 (w) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. s 321 (w), or that has been determined by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare not to be a new animal drug by a regulation establishing conditions of use for the article, or that is an animal feed within the meaning of section 201 (x) of such act (21 U.S.C. s 321 (x))
Department – the Department of Food and Agriculture
Technical Evaluation – a comparative analysis by the Department to understand the environmental impacts of the use of any pesticide on any golf course
Waiver – an official exception authorized by the Department to use pesticides on a specific golf course after a technical evaluation
SECTION 3 – STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Even though pesticides are sprayed on land, many times, they can make their way into a water source, such as a river, ocean, or pond. For instance: Pesticides from an orchid may end up in a nearby stream due to runoff. If a body of water becomes contaminated with the chemicals, many fish and other animals may die and get sick. This can throw the whole ecosystem off balance. Pesticides can also affect groundwater by a process known as leeching. Many people depend on groundwater for their drinking supply, yet, if that water has pesticides in it, it is unsanitary and harmful for the people to drink.
Another way pesticides can spread and cause potential harm is by volatilization. Volatilization occurs when a pesticide turns into a gas or vapor after it has been sprayed, allowing it to travel through the air and spread to different pieces of land. (Vapor Drift) This can be harmful for wildlife, such as frogs. Some scientists even believe that the pesticide, atrazine, causes reproductive problems in the frogs that affect the frog’s biological goal, which is to survive to reproduce.
Not only are pesticides dangerous to the environment, but they are also hazardous to a person’s health. Pesticides are stored in your colon, where they slowly but surely poison the body. You may not realize this, but when you are eating a non-organic apple, you are also eating over 30 different pesticides that have been sprayed on the apple. Even if you wash a piece of fruit, such as an apple, there are still many pesticides lingering on it and they could have seeped into the fruit or vegetable. Strawberries, apples, carrots, celery, spinach, grapes, apples, cucumbers are just a few types of food that you should not eat if they are not organic because the pesticide level is the highest on them.
After countless studies, pesticides have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD, and even birth defects. Pesticides also have the potential to harm the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the endocrine system. Pesticides can even be very harmful to fetuses because the chemicals can pass from the mother during pregnancy or if a woman nurses her child. Although one piece of fruit with pesticides won’t kill you, if they build up in your body, they can be potentially detrimental to your health and should be avoided as much as possible.
SECTION 4 – PROVISIONS
The use of pesticides on golf courses is prohibited.
The department shall by regulation determine the means to inspect and enforce the prohibition of the use of pesticides on golf courses.
The department shall by regulation establish such additional restrictions and prohibitions upon the use of pesticides as it deems necessary to protect health and the environment.
SECTION 5 – SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS
The department may grant a waiver to golf courses that, after a technical evaluation, are able to prove the use of pesticides on their land has no environmental impact and no public health risks.