NJ Assembly Appropriations Committee Passes Legislation To Restrict Neonics Pesticide Linked to Bee Die-Off

Media Contacts

Environment New Jersey

Trenton, NJ — The New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee passed legislation (A2070) by a 8-3 vote this morning to classify neonicotinoids, commonly known as neonics, as restricted use pesticides through a recurring review process.

New Jersey is a step closer to joining other states, such as Maryland, Connecticut and Vermont, that have implemented similar restrictions on neonics. The restriction would limit application of the pesticide to select applications, eliminating widespread use in non-agricultural settings such as gardens, lawns and golf courses. The bill states that any person may petition to classify a neonicotinoid pesticide for restricted use at any time which will then go to a review process that occurs every three years.

These systemic pesticides are known to harm pollinators and are linked to bee population declines. When bees are exposed, neonics can kill bees or impair their ability to fend off disease, navigate, grow, or survive the winter. Neonics have also been found to negatively affect butterflies and birds.

In response, Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, released the following statement:

“Bees carry a vital role in contributing to the richness of New Jersey’s landscapes. This restriction on neonics in key areas would significantly reduce the amount of exposure to our state insect, the honeybee, and the many native bee species that call New Jersey home.

“This bill takes the necessary steps to protect species like the monarch butterfly, which has recently been listed as a candidate for protections under the Endangered Species Act, from unnecessary exposure to deadly pesticides.

“We thank the Assembly Appropriations Committee and lead sponsor Asm. Clinton Calabrese for their efforts to pass this legislation and we urge Speaker Coughlin to post this legislation for a full vote in the Assembly as soon as possible.”