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"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."
- Aldo Leopold
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Pesticide Applications: Your Right to Be Notified

Do you want to be notified when a neighbor’s lawn, farm or orchard is being treated with pesticides? Maine law assures you that right through a notification registry or a self-initiated request for notification.

The Notification Registry is a list of Maine residents who wish to be contacted by commercial and at-home applicators before they use pesticides. The registry best serves urban and suburban residents who otherwise have no way of knowing when pesticides are going to be applied on neighboring lawns, in landscapes or around structures.

For an annual fee of $20, residents’ names and addresses are distributed to licensed commercial applicators. Once on the list, residents can expect applicators to provide pretreatment notification via telephone, personal contact or mail. Such communication must occur between six hours and 14 days before outdoor pesticide use within 250 feet of a registrant’s property.

At-home applicators treating their own property will be required to notify registrants too. Pesticides used in agriculture are exempt from notification via the registry, however.

To receive an application in November so that you can be listed on the next registry, contact the BPC at 207-287-2731 or pesticides@maine.gov, or download the Pesticide Notification Registry Application (PDF).

Self-Initiated Request

If you live or work within 500 feet of any outdoor site sprayed with pesticides – including agricultural land – you are entitled to be notified. This law exists to enable you to obtain basic information from your neighbor applicator, such as what pesticides are applied and a forewarning as to when they are applied.

This right of notification begins with you, however; you must ask your neighbor to notify you. That request may be made in any fashion, as long as the applicator is aware of your name, address, phone number and – of course – your interest in being notified. Be as specific as possible about what you are requesting to minimize misunderstandings. Making a request in person is your best means of communicating.

The request should be made to the person responsible for managing the land on which a pesticide application takes place. If you aren’t sure who this is, contact the landowner directly. Your town or municipal office keeps names and addresses of landowners in the local tax records.

Thereafter, the law says your neighbor must make sure you are notified before pesticides are used, at no cost to you. Once the applicator, land manager or landowner receives your request for notification, you can expect to be informed. The timing of this notification must be agreed upon both by you and your neighbor.

Communications between pesticide users and you can prevent the most common aggravation between neighbors: the element of surprise. Communication informs the applicator to stop pesticides from drifting onto your property as required by law. And, you can take measures to protect yourself and your family from unintended or accidental exposure by closing windows, taking clothes off the laundry line or keeping children and pets indoors.

Availability

Nineteen citizens are listed on the 2005 registry, which was distributed to all commercial master-level applicators in Maine. The list is also available to anyone upon request. For more information contact Henry Jennings, acting staff director, at 207-287-2731 or henry.jennings@maine.gov.

For a copy of the regulation that assures your right to notification, call the BPC at 207-287-2731 or download Chapter 28: Notification Provisions for Outdoor Pesticide Applications (Word document).

For more information, including links to the Notification application and the regulation, see www.maine.gov/agriculture/pesticides/public/registry.htm.



    

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