State law requires districts to utilize environmentally-safe chemicals and/or to reduce chemical exposure in schools.
216-RICR-20-10-4.28 Pesticide Applications and Notification of Pesticide Applications at Schools
All school buildings are subject to the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter § 23- 25-37 for the notification and application of pesticides.
250-RICR-40-15-2.19 General Rules
Q. No person other than a licensed or certified commercial applicator shall apply pesticide within any building or on the grounds of any school, and no pesticide shall be applied in any building or on the grounds of any school during regular school hours or during planned activities at any school. This subsection shall not apply to the use of germicides, disinfectants, sanitizers, deodorizers, antimicrobial agents, insecticidal gels, non-volatile insect or rodent bait in a tamper resistant container, insect repellants, the application of a pesticide classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an exempt material under 40 C.F.R. § 152.25 (2015), a pesticide application by public health officials during a state public health emergency or the emergency application of a pesticide to eliminate an immediate threat to human health, where it is impractical to obtain the services of a licensed or certified applicator; provided the application does not involve a restricted use or state limited use pesticide. R. No person shall apply "restricted use" pesticides or "state limited use" pesticides in or around school property of grades preschool through twelve (12) at any time (without prior written approval from the school administration and Department of Environmental Management.) This subsection is not applicable to pesticide applications by public health officials during a state public health emergency. In addition this subsection shall not apply to emergency situations where children's health and well being are at risk, such as stinging insects, poisonous plants or other known life or health threatening pests.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 23-25-37. Pesticide applications and notification of pesticide applications at schools.
(a) The department of environmental management and the department of health shall develop regulations as follows: (1) to restrict the use of hazardous pesticides in schools, pre-schools and child care centers in Rhode Island; (2) for the promotion and implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) as defined in § 23-25.2-2; (3) to cover situations where an emergency application of pesticide must be conducted to eliminate an immediate threat to human health, and establish reporting requirements for these emergency applications.
(b) On and after July 1, 2001, no person other than a licensed or certified commercial applicator as defined in § 23-25-4, shall apply pesticide within any building or on the grounds of any school. This section shall not apply in the case of an emergency application of pesticide to eliminate an immediate threat to human health, where it is impractical to obtain the services of any such applicator; provided the emergency application does not involve a restricted use or state limited use pesticide. For purposes of this section, "emergency" means a sudden need to mitigate or eliminate a pest which threatens the health or safety of a student or staff member.
(c)(1) On and after July 1, 2002, at the beginning of each school year, each local school authority shall provide the staff of each school and the parents or guardians of each child enrolled in each school with a written statement of the committee's policy on pesticide application on school property and a description of any pesticide applications made at the school during the previous school year.
- (2) The statement and description shall be provided to the parents or guardians of any child who transfers to a school during the school year. The statement shall:
- (i) indicate that the staff, parents, or guardians may register for prior notice of pesticide applications at the school; and (ii) describe the emergency notification procedures provided for in this section. Notice of any modification to the pesticide application policy shall be sent to any person who registers for notice under this section.
(d) On and after July 1, 2002, parents or guardians of children in any school and school staff may register for prior notice of pesticide application at their school. Each school shall maintain a registry of persons requesting the notice. Prior to providing for any application of pesticide within any building or on the grounds of any school, the local school authority shall provide for the distribution of notice to parents and guardians who have registered for prior notice under this section, such that the notice is received no later than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the application. Notice shall be given by any means practicable to school staff who have registered for the notice. Notice under this subsection shall include: (1) the common or trade name and the name of the active ingredient; (2) the EPA registration number as listed on the pesticide label; (3) the target pest; (4) the exact location of the application on the school property; (5) the date of the application; and (6) the name of the school administrator, or a designee, who may be contacted for further information.