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Eco-Justice Resolutions

a Resolution to Reduce the Use of Toxic Chemicals in the Care of Parish Buildings and Grounds

This resolution passed at the November 2002 Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

A CALL TO REDUCE THE USE OF TOXIC CHEMICALS IN THE CARE OF PARISH BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS:  Submitted by the Committee on Faith and the Environment and the Social Ministries/Public Policy Ministry Area

Resolved that this Convention call upon the Diocese of Massachusetts to evaluate the use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals for pest control in parish and Diocesan buildings and grounds and to institute the use of alternatives, recognizing that children are the population most susceptible to toxins; and be it further

Resolved that the Committee on Faith and Environment provide resources and support; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention will call upon the General Convention of the National Church to urge congregations, dioceses, provinces and all church institutions to initiate a plan in the next triennium for the management of Church buildings and grounds that phases out the use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals to control pests and institutes the use of alternatives, recognizing that children are the population most susceptible to toxins.

A national consensus has developed that the common use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals has an adverse impact on the health of children as well as on adults who work in agricultural or other industries where such products are used.
An effective alternative to indiscriminate use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals in the maintenance and rehabilitation of buildings and grounds exists in the use of green practices and integrated pest management using biodegradable and non-toxic products.   Integrated pest management (IPM) incorporates the idea that less dangerous synthetic pesticides will need to be used as a last resort. The objectives are to manage more aspects of the pest problem in systemic ways and to eliminate those substances posing the greatest risk of harm.  

This resolution will position the Episcopal Church in solidarity with schools, municipalities, public health officials and citizen groups that are concerned with pesticides’ effects on the health of vulnerable populations and implementing institutional practices to control them.  

Statement Against 
Existing regulations require warnings preceding pesticide application and are sufficient.   Property committees have enough to handle with aging buildings and deferred maintenance.

Impact Statement
The Committee on Faith and the Environment will provide resources about alternative substances and methods for pest control.  CFE will follow and track several parishes’ experience and report on the results.  This can be accomplished under the existing budget.

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The Episcopal Ecological Network is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church.  Members come from the provinces of the Episcopal Church USA.  The activities of the Episcopal Ecological Network are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action.  We invite you to visit us often as we expand the information on our pages.

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last update:  03-03-09
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