|This year we are marking the 50th anniversary of the first meeting of MOFGA. MOFGA has been engaged in legislative actions from its inception and pesticides action has been at the core of that work. This year we have an opportunity to make significant changes to pesticides policy in the state and we need your help as we work on some important bills in Augusta. You can view updates on these items, as well as all of our policy activities on the Take Action page of our website.
|LD 155 – Resolve, Directing the Board of Pesticides Control To Prohibit the Use of Certain Neonicotinoids for Outdoor Residential Use
A growing body of scientific evidence links neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) with the alarming decline of bee populations. With your help we were able to garner a great deal of support for a minority report (Amendment B), which stays true to the original intent of the bill and stops use of these pollinator-killing chemicals just to make yards and gardens look pretty. Amendment B passed both the House and Senate on April 28. There will, however, be another reading and vote in each chamber. Now is the time to encourage our legislators – especially senators – who voted “yes” to do so again. Please take action to encourage your legislators to support Amendment B.
|LD 125 – An Act To Prohibit the Aerial Spraying of Glyphosate and Other Synthetic Herbicides for the Purpose of Silviculture
This is a MOFGA priority and also a priority of Maine’s Environmental Priorities Coalition. Forestry herbicides such as glyphosate threaten public health, ecological systems, and local farms—yet Maine’s largest forest landowner routinely uses aerial spraying of these hazardous chemicals to manage their property. A third work session will happen on Thursday, May 6 beginning at 9:00 a.m.
|LD 316 – An Act To Prohibit the Use of Chlorpyrifos.
Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide used for many food crops, mosquito control and turf management. It has been at the forefront of concern about synthetic pesticides for decades due to its neurotoxicity, especially among young children. The ACF committee voted unanimously in support of this bill to quickly sunset the use of chlorpyrifos in Maine. The bill has not been released from the ACF Committee and we must ensure that committee members do not change their position. We urge the ACF to maintain unanimous support for this bill and allow the full House and Senate to follow the lead. Chlorpyrifos must go.
LD 519 – An Act To Protect Children from Exposure to Toxic Chemicals.
This bill would ban the use of synthetic herbicides, including, but not limited to, glyphosate, within 75 feet of school grounds. The prohibition would not apply to agricultural land or residential property. A majority of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee voted to amend the bill by prohibiting the use of glyphosate and dicamba near schools and by asking a Medical Advisory Committee of the Board of Pesticides Control to review other herbicides sprayed near schools and report back to the Committee with a recommendation.
LD 1159 – An Act To Amend the Membership Requirements of the Board of Pesticides Control.
This bill amends the membership requirements of Maine’s Board of Pesticides Control to ensure that the two public members have a demonstrated interest in environmental protection, and no conflict of interest. This would restore the original intent of the BPC’s membership credentials. The interests of commercial applicators already are well represented and we need perspective of citizens who will prioritize the health of ecological systems. Adding a restriction on conflict of interest for the public members of the BPC would align with requirements for many boards and commissions of Maine state government.
LD 1599 – An Act To Establish A Maine Pesticide Sales and Use Registry.
The ACF will hold a public hearing on this bill on May 4. The bill directs Maine’s Board of Pesticides Control (BPC), in collaboration with the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Office of Information Technology, to create a publicly accessible online registry of pesticide dealers and applicators reporting pesticides sold, distributed or applied in the State, including the quantity, location and purpose of the use of pesticides in indoor and outdoor applications. The BPC would report annually to the Legislature on the developments and progress made in carrying out the state policy of minimizing the use of pesticides.
Thank you for taking the time to provide input on these bills.