Evanston becomes first in Illinois to adopt city-wide pesticide control policy

Grace Johnson

Evanston’s new pest control policy, which limits pesticide use, is the first of its kind in Illinois, the City announced Monday in a press release.

The new policy makes Evanston the first municipality in Illinois to have a city-wide policy reducing the use of pesticides.

The “Sustainable Pest Control and Pesticide Reduction Policy,” approved by Evanston City Council on April 26, bans the use of certain pesticides on public property in the city. Starting in two years, all pesticides will be banned on the city’s public property under the policy, except in the case of a specific threat, according to the press release.

“We haven’t used a lot of chemicals since the 1990s,” said Carolyn Collopy, sustainable programs coordinator for Evanston. “This policy reenforces current policies and makes them stronger.”

The effort to implement a new pest control policy started in multiple city departments.

“This is actually an effort that started in a few places,” Collopy said. “The Health Department was approached to do a pilot project on what our current practices are, and the Environment Board was interested in taking a look into pesticide use as well.”

The Health Department and the Environment Board worked with outside organizations as well, including Beyond Pesticides, a Washington organization advocating against pesticides, the press release reported.

In explaining the new policy, the press release said pesticide exposure has been associated with cancer, reproductive problems, asthma and Parkinson’s disease.