TRENTON – The Senate Energy and Environment Committee released by a 3-0 vote, with one abstention, a bill requiring commercial pesticide application businesses to use uniform silver flags to mark areas where pesticides have been placed.
Only Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-13) of Red Bank, abstained, saying the bill is “out of our purview and should be handled by the DEP.”
According to the bill, the silver flags must be the same size and type, and must provide information in English and Spanish. The flags must stay in place for at least 72 hours after the pesticide application.
In addition, the bill would prohibit the use of silver flags to mark anything likely to be confused with a pesticide application. The exclusive color requirement is intended to distinguish pesticide flags from, among other things, those used for invisible dog fences, underground utility lines, septic tanks, and underground piping.
DEP would also be required to revise its rules to incorporate the changes, the bill states.
The bill has been proposed several times in prior years but has yet to be enacted.
Currently, white flags are used for pesticides, but that color flag is also used for other purposes. By making it clear that silver flags are put up when pesticides have been applied to a lawn, people will know it’s for that purpose, supporters said.
Opponents of the bill said it’s unnecessary and costly to small businesses.