Herbicide permit needed for non-contractor community volunteer?

NotForHireAugust 17, 2013

I was going to ask my local township in New York State next week but would like to go in as informed as possible first.

I live on a quiet cul-de-sac and have been landscaping and hand-weeding the quiet center island, as well as walking my dogs there, for several years. While the Highway Department and Public Safety do basic maintenance (tree pruning, bark mulch and weed whacking) they do not remove weeds. Since I already use a backpack sprayer to spray regular Roundup on my property I thought I'd spray the cul-de-sac too but am wondering, particularly since you can't please all the neighbors, whether I'd need a permit. I am not a contractor, I am not paid, and saying I'm a community volunteer is a bit of a stretch - I'm just a private citizen trying to beautify town property in my neighborhood.

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I forgot to mention - lest anyone think I'm irresponsible, Roundup is pet-safe within 30 minutes and I'd apply it at a quiet time of day with no child or pet traffic, and post signs as well. Thanks much!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 12:14AM
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If you are to spray poisons on any property other then your own you will need to be a Licensed Pesticide Applicator.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 6:44AM
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Thanks. You state this as fact, but is it a fact or an assumption? For example, when I asked my landscaping company, which is so reputable that it plants and maintains all the center medians in the local village for free in exchange for placing their small signs there, he said that in his native Minnesota if you are just a private citizen not being paid you didn't need a permit to apply herbicide like Roundup if used as directed (he knew I was asking about TOWN property, including road shoulders). I should also mention that every time I contact my local Highway Department to do big jobs like bark mulch delivery, asphalt curb repair and clear-cutting for safety sight line issues to get them to expedite the job I ALWAYS reveal to them that I personally have been reducing the number of calls to them by maintaining the smaller cul-de-sac projects myself, and have mentioned potential use of Round-Up and have ALWAYS been thanked and NEVER told I was needed a permit, or to not use the product. Btw, the town applies through licensed permitted contractors much stronger herbicides for non-aesthetic reasons to problem public areas. But I have not made a FORMAL inquiry so the answer for NEW YORK STATE might be different. But to be clear:

I will be making a formal inquiry to the Town on Monday but want to approach them somewhat informed, hence my first seeking expertise on - GASP! - an online forum. The purpose is for my own personal protection - even if I don't need a permit I want to see if I can obtain one from the town as a private citizen so I can wear it laminated around my neck to show it to any passerby with issues that might be a problem. The fact is, while a lot of people appreciate my efforts, some people resent them.

This post was edited by NotForHire on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 12:10

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:23AM
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This post was edited by NotForHire on Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 12:33

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 11:31AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It's a fact. Check with your municipal agency.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 4:18PM
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    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 11:44PM
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    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Why not just pull the weeds? RU shouldn't be used as a maintenance plan by an able-bodied person. Who told you it was safe? Monsanto? FDA? Choose your source if you care to read about that good ol' boy network.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:27AM
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I have a cervical herniation and am not going to continue hand weeding a full acre. The able-bodied neighbors, who can't be bothered to pick up their own raccoon-strewn food garbage, aren't about to start either.

I went to Town Hall and had an interesting outcome. I spoke first to the Highway Department, then to Public Safety Code Enforcement, then to the Town Attorney, then to Urban Planning, Parks & Recreation and finally to the Town Beautification Committee. Even though I live not in some rural backwater but a pricey suburb near Manhattan on Long Island's ritzy North Shore no one knew if an unpaid volunteer needed a permit to spray a herbicide as innocuous as Roundup on the type of town property I was asking about. As far as complaints were concerned and local precedents set there was nothing on the books. As I suspected, it seems that I fell into some sort of grey area, a loophole if you will, and the take-away was that it was something I probably shouldn't do in case someone else had already sprayed (definitely inapplicable) in which case there then might be environmental issues, or I'd risk being confronted by a local who'd take issue (definitely applicable), and while they wouldn't give me formal permission to do it even if I signed a waiver of liability they wouldn't tell me NOT to do it. To which my response was that without the town having my back by granting formal permission I wasn't going to do anything anymore, not even divide hosta and lilies, because I couldn't deal with any more crazies (gave relatable examples) and as public servants they could probably empathize. So instead I was invited to join two Town Hall committees.

This post was edited by NotForHire on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 9:06

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 6:03PM
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