Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Works to Make Local Parks Rat-Free

Urges city to direct rodent-control funding to Upper West Side

New York, NY – In response to an alarming increase in rodent activity in parks across the Upper West Side, Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) conferred with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as it expedites a decision enabling the use of dry ice to remediate rodent populations in City parks.

“City parks should not be playgrounds for rats,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “My constituents and their children have all but given up on their neighborhood parks because the rats have taken over. I am pleased that the State is helping to identify and quickly implement solutions to address the rodent problems before the summer is over.”

Conventional rodenticide is not used in Upper West Side parks because of the poisoning risks it poses to hawks, which have taken up residence in the area. Dry ice is a safe, efficient, cost-effective and humane method of controlling rat populations that does not jeopardize the hawks. Dry ice is inserted into rat burrows, where it removes the oxygen from the environment, causing the rats to fall asleep and asphyxiate.

Recently, the City had to stop using dry ice because it was not registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as a rodenticide. Now that dry ice has been registered with the EPA, DEC is working to expedite its use in State and City parks.

In July of this year, the City announced a $32 million Neighborhood Rat Remediation Plan. Surprisingly, despite parents complaining that rats are literally jumping into their children’s strollers while they visit neighborhood parks, no City funds were allocated for the Upper West Side.

“The City must invest Neighborhood Rat Remediation resources in my district now so my constituents and their families can play safely in our public parks,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Clinton/ Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods in Manhattan.