DIY Pesticide Ban On Private Properties Struck Down
A Maryland County Circuit court recently struck down a decision that would have prevented pesticide use on private properties. The decision may set an important precedent moving forward for surrounding Maryland counties.
The Original Law
In October 2015, the Montgomery County Council voted 6-to-3 to ban the use of pesticides on private lawns. The law was passed because of cancer concerns. The bill would have banned all pesticides, including those that contained chemicals that had been approved for residential use by the EPA. In fact, during debates and testimony, both Maryland and federal EPA officials testified that pesticides undergo rigorous testing, and are safe when used properly.
The law did not include any provisions that allowed for enforcement by county inspectors; instead, citizen complaints would have monitored the application of pesticides. Chief sponsor of the bill and Council President George Leventhal said at the time, “I believe we are acting in the interests of public health today.”
Even though the law applied to private homes, it would have exempted nearly 300 athletic playing fields in the county, in addition to agricultural land, gardens, and golf courses.
The law, which was the first of its kind for a major locality in the Maryland area, would have taken effect in 2018. Last November, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), along with several Montgomery County residents and businesses, challenged the law. A grassroots campaign began and gained momentum as more and more people backed repeal of the law.
The Ruling To Overturn
While overturning, Judge Terrence McGann stated that the ban “flouts decades of State primacy in ensuring safe and proper pesticide use, undermines the State’s system of comprehensive and uniform product approval and regulation, and prohibits products and conduct that have been affirmatively approved and licensed by the State.”
RISE President Aaron Hobbs said, “We are gratified that the Court agreed that the County’s ban on the use of State- and EPA- approved pesticides on private land is preempted by Maryland state law, which already provides uniform and comprehensive regulation of pesticide use across the state. Today’s decision is a win for resident and community choice. Pesticides purchased and applied by consumers and licensed professionals in the county help maintain healthy outdoor spaces for more than 1 million people who call the county home.”
Pest Control In Your Backyard
If you’ve been dealing with annoying pests in your home or backyard, contact the professionals at Bugout today. Our team of professionals will work with you to solve your problem quickly and efficiently. Unsure of what’s causing the problem? We’ll provide a free consultation to detail the potential problems you face, and how they can be eliminated. If you’re worried about safety, there’s no need to be alarmed. Our team will outline the products being used and will factor in any concerns that you may have, such as your pets or your children. Call us today at 410-840-7790.