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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Maryland' Category


27
Apr

Groups File Amicus in Support of Montgomery County, MD Pesticide Restrictions

(Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2017) Nine organizations filed an Amicus brief this week in support of a 2015 landmark Montgomery County, Maryland ordinance that restricts the use of toxic pesticides on public and private land within its jurisdiction. The law, intended to protect children, pets, wildlife, and the wider environment from the hazards of lawn and landscape pesticide use, is facing a legal challenge filed in November last year by the pesticide industry group Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE). The plaintiffs, which include local chemical lawn care companies and a few individuals, allege that the local ordinance is preempted by state law, despite the fact that Maryland is one of  seven states  that has not explicitly taken away (or preempted) local authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the state. The law at issue, 52-14 (the Healthy Lawns Act), which restricts the cosmetic lawn care use of toxic pesticides on public and private land, protects over one million people, the largest number to be covered by any local jurisdiction to date. Passing the Montgomery County Council by a vote of 6-3, the bill allows time for transition, training, and a public education program over several years. In limiting the pesticides […]

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12
Apr

Maryland Passes Ban of Bee Toxic Pesticides on State Managed Pollinator Habitat

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2017) Earlier this week, the Maryland General Assembly took action to protect pollinators found in designated state pollinator habitat by passing SB 386/HB 830, Pollinator Habitat Plans- Plan Contents- Requirements and Prohibition, with bipartisan support. With this bill, the legislature will require pollinator habitat plans developed by any state agency to be as protective of pollinators as the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s managed pollinator protection plan requires. This translates to prohibiting, with some exceptions, the use of neonicotinoid pesticides or neonicotinoid-treated seeds or plants on state land designated as pollinator habitat. The bill’s passage represents the third major legislative victory to protect bees and other pollinators coming out of Maryland in the past year. Last spring, in a historic move, the Maryland legislature voted to become the first state in the nation to ban consumers from using products containing neonicotinoid pesticides, a class of bee-toxic chemicals that has been linked to the startling decline in bees and other pollinators around the world. The Maryland Pollinator Protection Act (Senate Bill 198/House Bill 211), which also received bipartisan support, stipulates that consumers will not be allowed to buy pesticide products containing neonicotinoids starting in 2018. However, the legislation’s reach does not extend […]

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30
Nov

Industry Challenges Local Maryland Restrictions of Lawn Pesticides as Preempted by State

(Beyond Pesticides, November 30, 2016) A landmark Montgomery County, Maryland ordinance, which protects children, pets, wildlife, and the wider environment from the hazards of unnecessary lawn and landscape pesticide use, is facing a legal challenge filed last week by the industry group Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE). The plaintiffs, which include local chemical lawn care companies and a few individuals, allege that the local ordinance is preempted by state law, despite the fact that Maryland is one of  seven states  that has not explicitly taken away (or preempted) local authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the state. This challenge comes on the heels of a recent decision by the 9th  U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down local laws in Hawaii aimed at protecting the environment from toxic pesticide use. An industry victory in Maryland state court would significantly impact the ability of local communities in Maryland to exercise their democratic right to adopt local public health and environmental protections that go above and beyond state and federal regulations that are deemed inadequate. The bill at issue, 52-14, which bans the cosmetic lawn care use of toxic pesticides on public and private land, protects over one […]

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01
Sep

Maryland Begins Spraying for Zika before Finding Infected Mosquitoes

(Beyond Pesticides, September 1, 2016) With the apparent mosquito transmission of the  Zika virus in Florida, local officials around the United States have been feeling pressure to step-up preemptive mosquito spraying, prior to the virus actually emerging  locally in infected mosquitoes. The Zika virus has been contributing to public anxiety in the U.S. for several months and, because of this, the state of Maryland has started spraying with hazardous insecticides. The state has made targeting mosquitoes its  number one priority, while many argue that the state’s spraying  puts the well-being of residents at risks. As of August 24, there are 77 travel-associated cases of Zika in the state of Maryland. Without a finding of infected mosquitoes in the state, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Mosquito Control Program is focusing its  control actions on female (the ones that bite) aedes albopictus, commonly known as Asian tiger mosquitoes, the most common type of mosquito in Maryland that studies indicate “has the potential” to transmit the Zika virus. MDA’s Mosquito Control Program implements the state’s mosquito management, which is conducted in accordance with an undefined  Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  program; basing the  approach broadly on prevention, monitoring, and control of mosquitoes. As […]

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30
Aug

Minnesota Governor Issues Executive Order Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 30, 2016) Last week, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued an executive order aimed at reversing pollinator decline in the state by limiting the use of toxic, systemic neonicotinoid (neonics) pesticides. The order tasks state agencies with a range of pollinator protective activities, and follows the completion of a Special Registration Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Given that a change in administration could lead to a rescinding of an executive order, it is critical that advocates continue to pressure for concrete legislative changes that institutionalize bee protective practices. “Bees and other pollinators play a critical role in supporting both our environment, and our economy,” said Governor Dayton. “This order directs state government to take immediate action to alleviate the known  risks that pollinators face. It also will create a new task force to study the issues impacting pollinators and recommend long-term solutions.” The executive order directs the Department of Agriculture to immediately initiate steps requiring neonics only be applied when there is “an imminent threat of significant crop loss.” This move applies  to sprays, drenches, or granular applications of neonics, however, and not seed coatings, which will require separate legislative action to […]

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17
Aug

Decrease Found in Retail Sales of Plants Treated with Bee-Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2016) In response to dramatic scientific findings, a severe decline in bee populations, and growing public demand for bee-safe plants, a new report confirms  the decision  of  major retailers to phase-out  the sale of flowers and trees treated with the pesticides most closely associated with the decline —neonicotinoids. A new report released by Friends of the Earth, analyzes plants purchased at  Home Depot,  Lowe’s, Ace Hardware,  True Value  and  Walmart. Many of these major retailers have made public commitments to stop selling bee-toxic neonicotinoids and treated plants. Additionally, the states of Maryland and Connecticut have passed legislation that stops the retail sales of neonics. The report,  Gardeners Beware 2016, released yesterday is a follow-up to previous testing that demonstrated the presence of bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides in more than half of bee-attractive flowers tested. The 2016 analysis found that 23 percent of flowers and trees tested contain neonicotinoid insecticides at levels that can harm or kill bees, compared to 51 percent in 2014, indicating that stores are selling far fewer plants treated with bee-killing neonics. This reduction is likely due to changes in store policies that commit retailers to eliminate neonicotinoid use on garden plants. Retailer commitments […]

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30
Jun

Howard County, MD, Plans to Ban Neonics on Parklands

(Beyond Pesticides, June 30, 2016) In a move that goes one step further than the recently passed state-wide bill restricting consumer sales of neonicotinoid (neonics) products, Howard County, Maryland has taken the initiative to restrict the use of neonicotinoids on parklands. The new policy, announced June 16, cites the growing number of studies linking neonicotinoid use to adverse effects on pollinator species. The Department of Recreation and  Parks (DRP) manages approximately 10,000 acres of parkland within Howard County. According to the new policy and procedure, DRP is restricting the use of neonicotinoids, “due to recent research suggesting that there is a link between pesticides that contain neonicotinoids negatively effecting populations of pollinator species, such as; honeybees, native bees, butterflies, moths and other insects.” Neonics were often used on parklands for grubs on turf, Japanese beetles on trees,  and aphids on flowers and are now prohibited on all County parkland, including sports fields, garden plots, golf course and open space. Exemptions exist for agricultural uses and invasive pest infestations. Read the new neonicotinoid policy. Just this past May, Maryland officially became the first state in the nation to pass legislation  against neonicotinoids. The state legislature passed the  Maryland Pollinator Protection Act […]

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26
May

Maryland Residents Asked to Urge Governor to Sign Pollinator Protection Act, Under Threat of Veto this Week

(Beyond Pesticides, May 26, 2015) Maryland’s historic Pollinator Protection Act, (SB 198 and HB 211) may be in danger. Last month, lawmakers approved the bill by a 98-39 vote in the Maryland House of Delegates, however it faces the possibility of a veto by Governor Larry Hogan (R). While the governor’s office says that the bill is currently under review, according to local news source WBAL, the governor is prepared to veto the bill, which he has until tomorrow, Friday, May 27, to do. If the governor does veto the bill, Maryland’s Pollinator Protection Act will go back to the legislature for an override vote, which will take place in early 2017. Meanwhile, beekeepers continue to lose their bees at unprecedented rates. Last week, we reported results of 2015-16 Colony Loss Survey, which show no sign that the crisis of abating. According to the survey, beekeepers lost 28.1% of their colonies over this past winter, and a total of 44% of their colonies over the last year. This marks the second year in a row that summer declines (28.1%) were on par with declines experienced during winter. WBAL reports that the governor is likely to veto the bill because of […]

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28
Apr

Antioch College and UMD Pledge to Protect Pollinators

(Beyond Pesticides, April 28, 2016) This week, Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio,  became the third university to become a neonicotinoid-free campus.  Antioch College gains recognition from the Beyond Pesticides’ and Center for Food Safety’s  BEE Protective  Campaign, which seeks to protect honey bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticides. Signing the  BEE Protective  resolution, Antioch signaled its continued commitment to using neonicotinoid-free insecticides on campus, making them one of the leading higher education institutions committed to the protection of pollinator species. In addition to joining the Bee Protective Campaign, the Village of Yellow Springs, where Antioch is located,  is  considering an organic land care policy, and Beyond Pesticides is working with the Village to assist with a transition to organic turf care. “At Antioch College, we have an opportunity, and an urgency, to be change leaders in turning around pollinator decline, exposing misleading research and recognizing the importance of inter-species cooperation. To paraphrase our president Thomas Manley, ”˜If we are not leaders in discovering and implementing  new and better ways of living  , then what is the point?’” said Beth Bridgeman, the faculty member who drove the effort to ban neonicotinoids from campus. Antioch students and staff maintain about […]

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11
Apr

Maryland Legislature Bans Retail Sales of Bee-Toxic Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2016) In a historic move, the Maryland legislature voted to become the first state in the nation to ban consumers from using products containing neonicotinoid pesticides, a class of bee-toxic chemicals that has been linked to the startling decline in bees and other pollinators around the world. The bill now heads to Governor Larry Hogan to sign or veto. The Pollinator Protection Act was approved by lawmakers on Thursday by  a 98-39 vote in the Maryland House of Delegates. While consumers will not be allowed to buy pesticide products containing neonicotinoids starting in 2018, the legislation’s  reach does not extend to farmers, veterinarians, and certified pesticide applicators, who will still be permitted to apply  the chemicals. Consumers can also buy treated plants and seedlings from stores without any labeling. Cumulatively, these present major sources of exposure for bees and other pollinators. The bill originally included a requirement that companies put labels on plants and seeds that are treated with neonicotinoids, but that provision was ultimately pulled from the bill. Hardware stores  like Home Depot and Lowe’s  had previously announced that they were voluntarily phasing out the supply of neonicotinoid-treated plants over the next two to three […]

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07
Oct

Maryland County Bans Cosmetic Lawn Pesticides on All Land in County, One Million People Protected

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2015) The largest county in the country to act to ban pesticides will forbid toxic pesticides on public and private land within its jurisdiction, based on legislation passed yesterday by a 6-3 vote. The ban, an historic public health measure, will protect one million people in a county outside Washington, DC, as it allows time for transition, training, and a public education program over the next several years. The amended bill was enacted with the support of Council President George Leventhal (the lead sponsor of the original bill), Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, Nancy Navarro, Hans Riemer and Council Vice President Nancy Floreen, who voted in favor. Maryland is one of seven states that has not taken away (or preempted) local authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the state. One of the cities within the county, Takoma Park, passed a similar ordinance back in 2013. The Town of Ogunquit, Maine  adopted a similar ordinance by ballot initiative in November, 2014. “Today’s action is another step in the ongoing effort to make Montgomery County the healthiest, safest county in the country,” said Council President Leventhal. “Countless studies have linked pesticides to a wide range of health […]

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06
Oct

Maryland County Bans Cosmetic Lawn Pesticides on All Land in County, One Million People Affected

(Breaking News, October 6, 2015, Washington, DC) The largest county in the country to act to ban pesticides will forbid toxic pesticides on public and private land within its jurisdiction, based on legislation passed today by a 6-3 vote. The ban, an historic public health measure, will protect one million people in a county outside Washington DC, as it allows time for transition, training, and a public education program over the next several years. Maryland is one of seven states that has not taken away (or preempted) local authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the state. The Montgomery County Parks Department has fought against the bill, suggesting that fields cannot be managed with organic practices. Extensive testimony on alternatives has educated council members on the viability of organic practices. There is movement across the country to adopt ordinances that stop pesticide use on public property and, where allowed, private property. Pesticides when used move off the target site through drift and runoff, exposing non-target sites and people. The legislation passed today is a major victory for public health and environmental protection. While the chemical lawn care industry strenuously opposed the bill, in testimony before the Council an industry spokesman […]

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21
Sep

County-wide Lawn Care Pesticide Ban Bill in Maryland Stripped of Major Provisions in Committee

(Beyond Pesticides September 21, 2015) Last Thursday, the  Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee in Montgomery County, Maryland voted 2-1 to strip major provisions of the Healthy Lawn Bill 52-14, including a  ban of (i) cosmetic use of lawn pesticides throughout the county on private and public property and (ii) the treatment of playing fields with hazardous pesticides. The amended bill retains a pesticide ban on all playgrounds and sets up an organic pilot program on some  playing fields and parks. The bill’s prime sponsor and two of its cosponsors said they will work to gather the five votes necessary to restore critical protections for human health and the environment. The T&E Committee voted 2-1 on substitute legislation, proposed by Committee Chair Roger Berliner, to remove the central portions of the bill intended to transition Montgomery County land, including public and private property, to non-toxic sustainable management practices. While Committee members Nancy Floreen, an original co-sponsor of the bill and Mr. Berliner both voted for the substitute legislation, Council member Tom Hucker, a lead co-sponsor of the bill rejected the changes, stating that the county had a “very clear responsibility to protect public health.” Joining the committee discussion were Montgomery County […]

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13
May

Montgomery MD Councilmembers Ask County Hospitals to Ban Landscape Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2015) In a letter sent this week, two Montgomery County Councilmembers are requesting that hospitals in the county assume a leading role in increasing awareness of the health concerns regarding pesticides by voluntarily agreeing to eliminate their use on hospital grounds. The letter states that this step  would help to reduce pesticide exposure for some of the county’s most vulnerable residents, and would increase awareness in the  community of pesticides’  potential harmful effects. Currently, Montgomery County is considering a bill that would limit the non-essential pesticide use on county property. On Monday, Council President George Leventhal, who chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee, and Councilmember Roger Berliner, who chairs the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, wrote to the leaders of the five organizations that operate hospitals in Montgomery County and asked them to voluntarily stop using pesticides on the grounds of their respective facilities. The text of the letter can be found here. In Monday’s press releases from the their’ offices,  Councilmembers Leventhal and Berliner said, “We are writing today to ask that hospitals in our County assume a leading role in increasing awareness of the health concerns regarding pesticides by voluntarily […]

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29
Oct

Ordinance to Outlaw County-wide Landscape Pesticide Use Introduced in Maryland

(Beyond Pesticides, October 28, 2014) A landmark ordinance to protect children, pets, wildlife, and the wider environment from the hazards of unnecessary lawn and landscape pesticide use was introduced yesterday in Montgomery County, Maryland by County Council Vice President George Leventhal, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Bill 52-14 is based upon growing concerns in the community of the health risks associated with exposure to pesticides, and creates a safe space for residents in Montgomery County by prohibiting the use of non-essential land care pesticides on both public and private property. Introduction of this ordinance follows successful lawn pesticide regulations on private and public property in the City of Takoma Park in Montgomery County, and provides equal safeguards for human health and the environment. Similar cosmetic pesticide policies have been in place in Canadian provinces for many years. Unfortunately, most U.S. jurisdictions are unable to enact these same basic safeguards for their citizens.  Maryland is one of seven states that does not prohibit local governments from enacting protections from pesticides that are stricter than state laws. The role of local government in imposing pesticide use requirements is important to the protection of public health and the environment. This […]

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26
Jun

Study Finds Majority of “Bee-Friendly” Plants Sold at Garden Stores Contaminated with Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 26, 2014) Over half of the “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at garden supply centers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released yesterday by Friends of the Earth, Beyond Pesticides and allies. The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright and concentrations in the flowers’ pollen and nectar are assumed to be comparable. Further, 40% of the positive samples contained two or more neonics. Gardeners Beware 2014 is a larger follow up to a first-of-its-kind pilot study co-released by Friends of the Earth, Beyond Pesticides, and other groups last August. The new study expanded the number of samples and number of locations where plants were purchased, and also assessed the distribution of neonic pesticides between flowers and the rest of the plant. “Our data indicate that many plants sold in nurseries and garden […]

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25
Jul

Cosmetic Lawn Pesticide Use Outlawed In Takoma Park, MD, First Local Ban Of Its Type in U.S.

(Beyond Pesticides, July 25, 2013) In a sweeping victory for the protection of human health and the environment, the Takoma Park, Maryland  City Council on July 22, 2013  unanimously passed the Safe Grow Act of 2013, which generally restricts the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides on both private and public property throughout the Maryland city. This is the first time that a local jurisdiction of this size has used its authority to restrict pesticide use broadly on private property, exercising it responsibility to protect the health and welfare of its residents through its local government. This landmark legislation stops involuntary poisoning and non-target contamination from pesticide drift and volatility that occurs as these toxic chemicals move off of treated  private yards. The new law fits into the city’s strategic plan to lead community efforts in environmental sustainability, protection and restoration, and secures Takoma Park’s role as a leader in sustainability in the state of Maryland and the nation.  The action in Takoma Park brings to the U.S. an approach to outlawing cosmetic pesticide use on lawns and landscapes that has been in place in Canadian provinces for many years. The role of local government in imposing pesticide use requirements is […]

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11
Jul

Hospital Ends Toxic Lawn Pesticide Use and Supports Local Bill To Do the Same

(July 16, 2013 update) On July 15, the Takoma Park City Council unanimously passed the first reading of the Safe Grow Zone ordinance, which could enact important protections for the health of Takoma Park residents and the environment. The ordinance is expected to get a second and final vote at the council’s meeting next Monday. Help us ensure that it passes on July 22! We urge Takoma Park residents to  call or write your Councilmember and tell them you support their efforts to curtail toxic pesticide drift and exposure within the town limits. If you are in the area, please also consider attending the July 22nd meeting to show your support. The meeting will be at 7:30pm Monday at the Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. See the current agenda here. (Beyond Pesticides, July 11, 2013) In a show of support for a local initiative that would restrict the use of cosmetic pesticide use on lawns and gardens within the city limits of Takoma Park, MD, the Washington Adventist Hospital announced that as of June 17, 2013 it will no longer use insecticides or herbicides for its grounds maintenance program. The Safe Grow Zone Ordinance […]

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13
May

New Report Details Mounting Bee Losses

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2013) According to preliminary results of a survey by the Bee Informed Partnership, 31.1 percent of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. were lost during the 2012/2013 winter.   Though these preliminary loss reports are similar to the past six year average of 30.5 percent, the new loss numbers represent a 42 percent increase compared to the previous winter. Survey participants indicate that they consider a loss rate of 15 percent as “acceptable,” but 70 percent of participants suffered losses greater than this. With continued winter bee losses of over 30%, and concern whether there will be enough bees to pollinate U.S. crops this year, beekeepers and environmentalists say it is imperative  that regulators act by banning the neonicotiniod pesticides that have been implicated in the global decline of honey bee populations. In addition to this national report, several state level incidents of large scale honey bee colony losses have been reported. In a recent incident in Florida, citrus groves experienced an acute foliar poisoning that resulted in severely damaged colonies. Oranges had an early bloom this year, and were still blooming near the end of April. One beekeeper’s colonies suffered immense losses due to […]

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15
Mar

Activists File Petition to Stop Pesticide Spraying in D.C.-Area National Park

(Beyond Pesticides, March 15, 2013) A group of Washington D.C. area activist led by Alan Cohen, the president of Safe Lawns for DC Kids and Critters, and Beyond Pesticides delivered a petition to the National Park Service (NPS) that urges officials to stop the seasonal spraying of Rodeo, a glyphosat-based herbicide, to control for fig buttercup in Rock Creek Park in the DC metropolitan area. The group is asking the park to adopt an alternative weed management strategy. According to Mr. Cohen, “We are not saying they should do nothing. We should do something to manage this invasive plant, but it shouldn’t be this treatment with Rodeo.” The activist group gathered over 250 signatures to a petition that asks the park service to stop the spraying of Rodeo by canvassing in the park over several weekends and through their online petition. The group argues that spraying within 25 feet of waterways violates DC’s Pesticide Education and Revisions Act of 2012.  The group says that through this process of petitioning that they want to start a dialog between community members and the NPS on how to best manage fig butter cup. However, NPS has not been responsive to this request. The […]

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23
Jan

Toxic Contamination Remains Widespread In the Chesapeake Bay

(Beyond Pesticides, January 23, 2013) A new federal report finds toxic contamination remains widespread in the Chesapeake Bay, with severe impacts in some places, which health and environmental advocates say lends support to their push in Maryland for legislative action on pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. In spite of some cleanup, the health of the Bay has not significantly improved. The report, “Technical Report on Toxic Contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay and its Watershed: Extent and Severity of Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects” is based on a review of integrated water-quality assessment reports from the jurisdictions in the Bay watershed (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.), Federal and State reports, and articles in scientific journals. It notes that nearly three-fourths of the Bay’s tidal waters are “fully or partially impaired” by toxic chemicals, with people warned to limit fish consumption from certain areas. Contamination is severe in a handful of “hot spots” around the Bay, including Baltimore’s harbor, largely a legacy of past industrial and shipping activity. Previous reports have called on federal, state and local government to accelerate research into what threats chemical contamination may pose to the Bay, and to step up efforts […]

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31
May

Maryland Continues Pesticide Study Despite Warnings from Environmental Groups

(Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2012) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have enrolled Maryland households in a study that involves spraying the controversial pesticide bifenthrinon their property to determine the efficacy of this approach in controlling Lyme disease. Now in the beginning of its second year, the study found no evidence in the first year that the spraying works to reduce the transmission of Lyme disease. Beyond Pesticides is concerned that study participants have not been provided complete information about bifenthrin’s potential health risks to people. According to the Baltimore Sun, the study is an effort to find new ways to combat the disease, which infected 1,600 people in Maryland in 2010. Half of the 185 families that have volunteered for the study will have water sprayed on their lawns to serve as a control group, while the other half will receive the bifenthrin treatment. The 185 families that have signed up so far this year get a $25 gift card, lowered from $40 given to the 440 participants last year. Last year, while the pesticide reduced the amount of ticks on treated lawns compared to the control group, […]

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16
May

Report Puts Potomac River as “Most Endangered,” Highlights Why Clean Water Protections Critical

(Beyond Pesticides, May 16, 2012) With Congress considering drastic cuts to national clean water protections, and rivers nationwide facing threats from natural gas drilling, chemical pollution, and new dams, American Rivers yesterday released its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers. ® It names the Potomac River, known as ”˜the nation’s river’ as it flows through the capital, the most endangered in the country. While the Potomac is cleaner than it used to be, the river is still threatened by urban and agricultural pollution —and it could get much worse if Congress rolls back critical clean water safeguards. As the country commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act this year, the Potomac is emblematic of what is at stake for rivers nationwide. American Rivers launched a national call to action, giving citizens the opportunity to contact members of Congress and speak up for clean water. The report, “America’s Most Endangered Rivers,” notes that urban development is funneling tons of polluted rainwater to the river, that chemical fertilizer and manure from farms make matters worse, and that wastewater overflowing from sewers, along with pharmaceuticals flushed down toilets, contribute to dead zones in which marine life dies and might cause […]

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