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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Lawns/Landscapes' Category


03
May

State Court Upholds the Right of Local Governments in Maryland to Restrict Pesticides on All Lawns in Their Jurisdiction

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2019)¬†A Maryland Court of Special Appeals yesterday ruled that Montgomery County, Maryland has the right to restrict pesticides, under a 2015 landmark law, on all lawns and landscaped property in its jurisdiction more stringently than the state. This decision reverses a lower Circuit Court decision and upholds local democratic decision making in the face of a challenge by the industry groups representing lawn care companies and chemical manufacturers. Nine organizations, including Beyond Pesticides, filed an¬†Amicus brief¬†in support of the county law. The chemical industry has fought for nearly three decades to suppress the right of local governments in the U.S. to protect public health and safety with pesticide law, having successfully lobbied 43 states to preempt their local political subdivisions‚Äô authority. Seven states uphold local authority, including the state of Maryland, which has affirmed in its legislature the rights of localities by rejecting preemption legislation on numerous occasions. According to Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, ‚ÄúThis is an important win for the local organic land management movement sweeping the country, as local elected officials embrace practices that protect the health of people and the environment.‚ÄĚ The attorneys for the county expect that industry groups […]

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05
Feb

EPA-Registered Herbicide Found to Trigger Inflammation Linked to Onset of Multiple Sclerosis

(Beyond Pesticides, February 5, 2019) Linuron, an herbicide registered for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet recently banned in Europe due to health concerns, appears to trigger inflammatory signals that have been linked to the onset of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This new evidence, published in the journal Cell by researchers at Brigham and Women‚Äôs Hospital in Boston, MA, indicates that exposure to chemicals and pesticides in the environment may be a risk factor in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. ‚ÄúWe created a platform to systematically investigate the understudied effects of environmental exposures,‚ÄĚ said study coauthor Francisco Quintana, PhD. ‚ÄúThe goal of our work is to return results that can guide future epidemiological studies and identify actionable targets.” Researchers began their investigation with 976 chemicals identified by¬†EPA‚Äôs ToxCast program, an inventory of compounds that have undergone screening for a battery of laboratory tests. Within that inventory, 75 chemicals, including linuron, were found to interfere with the signaling pathways linked to MS. To confirm the adverse impacts, scientists used the embryos of zebrafish, animals often used as models in laboratory research. The zebrafish embryos were altered to contain low levels of myelin, a protein that protects nerve cells, as […]

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01
Feb

Largest County in Maryland Bans Glyphosate (Roundup) in Its Parks, Pending Complete Pesticide Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2019)¬†Prior to a pesticide ban taking effect in Montgomery County Maryland Parks, the Department of Parks announced in mid-December 2018 that it would discontinue the use of glyphosate-based herbicides through March 2019. The agency has used these hazardous herbicides as part of its IPM (Integrated Pest Management) program for weed management. Montgomery Parks indicates it will release further information on the use of glyphosate in mid-March. In November last year, Montgomery County Council member Tom Hucker wrote to the head of Parks, supported by a community-wide petition, urging that glyphosate be banned immediately, pending implementation of the county ban. He cited the finding of the International Agency for Research on Cancer‚Äôs (World Health Organization) finding that the chemical probably causes cancer in humans and the $289 million jury verdict last year that the chemical caused a school groundskeeper‚Äôs non Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2016, Montgomery Parks instituted a pesticide reduction program in compliance with Montgomery County, Maryland‚Äôs 2015 adoption of County Code 33B, which aimed to regulate use of pesticides on county-owned property, including parks, and on private property. In 2017, a Montgomery Circuit Court overturned the portion of the law pertaining to a ban on private […]

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24
Jan

Study Reveals Pollinator Conservation Necessitates Social Justice Perspective

(Beyond Pesticides, January 24, 2019) A UK Study has concluded that the expansion of community gardens, identified as ‚Äúpollinator hotspots‚ÄĚ with ‚Äúhigh pollinator diversity,‚ÄĚ offer an important opportunity for assisting ailing pollinator species and improving community quality of life, particularly in low income neighborhoods. Consequently, researchers suggest towns and cities can be planned and managed more effectively to steward existing urban biodiversity to create essential havens for pollinators and people under stress. The study finds that, ‚ÄúA high level of community robustness to species loss is increasingly recognized as an important goal in restoration ecology, since robust communities are better able to withstand perturbations.‚ÄĚ As previous research has shown that organic agriculture boosts local economies, researchers account for and compare a key socioeconomic factor; household income. Affluent neighborhoods have larger, more numerous, and more consistently maintained gardens and green spaces. To increase city-scale robustness, researchers suggest increasing community garden allotments, planting perennial flowering plants in cemeteries, and improving management of public parks. However, researchers explain that increasing the number of community gardens, particularly in communities of low-income, would be the best strategy per unit area, as it would expand viable habitat for pollinators throughout cities while providing much-needed green space […]

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01
Nov

Bumblebees Shown to Suffer Reproductive Failure after Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2018) A new study offers fresh evidence that wild bumblebee pollinators are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides, finding that exposure to these compounds interferes with mating success and population stability. Researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, measuring real-world harms of neonicotinoids, indicate that the impacts they found to bumblebee ‚Äúreproducers,‚ÄĚ namely queen and drone (male) bees, does not bode well for the array of plant species that relies on them. Though advocates warn that destabilizing managed pollinators could threaten U.S. food production and exports, with food prices increasing as cost of bringing pollinators to farms increases, the study‚Äôs authors and advocates insist that the impacts of such widespread poisoning of wild bees could be felt well beyond agriculture. Researchers in the lab compare behavioral and psychological responses of virgin queens, workers, and male Bombus impatiens from multiple colonies to field-realistic doses of the neonicotinoid clothianidin. While every bee was given a replenishing supply of pollen based on body weight and energy demands, four distinct concentrations of diluted analytical-grade (pure) clothianidin (including a control with no pesticide added) were mixed into a nectar-like solution and fed to the bumblebees orally for 5 […]

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24
Oct

Dolphins in Gulf of Mexico Contaminated with “Inert,” but Toxic, Pesticide Product Ingredients

(Beyond Pesticides, October 24, 2018) Bottlenose dolphins found along Florida‚Äôs west coast contain detectable levels of phthalates, chemicals used in plastics, cosmetics and as inert ingredients in pesticide products, research published in the journal GeoHealth last month indicates. The study, published by scientists from the College of Charleston, South Carolina, is the first to find detectable levels of these toxic industrial byproducts in dolphins. Given the transient nature of urinary detection, the findings indicate that dolphins and other marine mammals are at increased risk of health effects related to phthalate exposure. Scientists sampled a total of 17 dolphins found in Sarasota Bay, FL over the course of two years. Of the 17, phthalates were detected in 12 individuals, or 71% of dolphins. The type of phthalates discovered was indicative of the source of the contaminant. With researchers detecting mono‚Äź(2‚Äźethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) and monoethyl phthalate (MEP) most frequently. While MEHP is associated with plastic pollution, MEP is a breakdown product of diethyl phthalate (DEP), a compound that has been used in pesticide products as an inert ingredient. “These chemicals can enter marine waters from urban runoff and agriculture or industrial emissions, but we also know that there is a lot of […]

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25
Sep

Beyond Pesticides Joins Grassroots Groups, Organic Experts for Stonyfield Organic’s New #PlayFree Initiative

(Beyond Pesticides, September 25, 2018) Last week the pioneering yogurt maker Stonyfield Organic announced a new initiative to convert public fields and parks to organic land management in collaboration with Beyond Pesticides,¬†Nontoxic Neighborhoods, and natural land care experts Osborne Organics.¬†The StonyFIELDS #Playfree initiative will work with 35 communities over the next several years to ensure fields and community spaces are free from the use of toxic synthetic pesticides. The project launches at a critical time, as evidence of the dangers glyphosate and other pesticides pose to children, pollinators, and the wider environment continues to mount. ‚ÄúCommunities across the country are more and more interested in managing their public spaces without toxic pesticides because they are not necessary to maintain beautiful landscapes,‚ÄĚ said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. ‚ÄúMoms, dads, and pet owners are asking for these changes to protect their loved ones, municipal landscapers are adopting new methods to manage turf without subjecting themselves or bystanders to toxic exposure, and local elected officials are seeking out ways to improve public health and increase their community‚Äôs commitment to environmental protection.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúOver 26 million kids play on parks and fields, most of which are managed using a chemical cocktail of […]

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21
Sep

Bayer’s Monsanto Asks Judge to Reverse $289 Million Glyphosate Decision

(Beyond Pesticides, September 21, 2018) Monsanto, now an integrated unit of Bayer AG, is asking Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos to reverse the verdict, reduce the award, or grant a new trial for the company after a jury determined that a California groundskeeper contracted non-Hodgkin‚Äôs lymphoma from spraying glyphosate for years. Dewayne Johnson, who maintained the grounds of a California Bay-area school district, was awarded $289 million by a jury, which found that Monsanto acted with ‚Äúmalice or oppression.‚ÄĚ Mr. Johnson‚Äôs case was the first of its kind to go to trial ‚Äď fast tracked based on the severity of his illness ‚Äď but over 8,000 similar lawsuits are pending in U.S. courts. Bayer‚Äôs Monsanto claims that the verdict does not reflect the scientific data. ‚ÄúWhile we are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family, glyphosate is not responsible for his illness, and the verdict in this case should be reversed or set aside,‚ÄĚ Bayer said in a September 18 statement. While Bayer contends that glyphosate does not result in individual applicators contracting cancer, this view is at odds with a 2015 designation from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which determined the chemical is a probable carcinogen, […]

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01
Aug

Suburban Bees Still Vulnerable to Neonicotinoids Despite EU Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2018) According to new research from the University of Sussex, bees living in suburban habitats are still being exposed to high levels of neonicotinoid pesticides. Even though there is a European Union (EU) ban on these chemicals, the ban focuses on agricultural and not residential applications. The study‚Äôs authors are urging gardeners to forgo the use of these pesticides in favor of more holistic, pesticide-free approaches. The authors of the study say it is the first of its kind to highlight the risk to bees in urban areas posed by garden use of pesticides. Entitled¬†Monitoring neonicotinoid exposure for bees in rural and peri-urban areas of the UK during the transition from pre- to post-moratorium, the study sampled pollen and nectar from bumblebee colonies in rural and peri-urban habitats in three UK regions‚ÄďStirlingshire, Hertfordshire, and Sussex over three years. Sampling began prior to the ban (2013), during the initial implementation when some seed-treated winter-sown oilseed rape was still grown (2014), and following the ban (2015).¬†Honey bee colonies in rural habitats were also sampled to compare species-level differences between bumblebees and honey bees. Not surprisingly, the researchers find pesticide contamination in more than 50 percent of the samples, […]

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15
Jun

Plan Actions to Protect Pollinators During National Pollinator Week, June 18-24

(Beyond Pesticides, June 15, 2018)¬†In recognition of the importance of pollinators and biodiversity to a healthy environment and healthy people during National Pollinator Week, June 18-24, Beyond Pesticides announces a week of activities and actions. Monday (June 18) Watch and share the new short-film ‚ÄúSeeds that Poison.‚ÄĚ To kick off¬†Pollinator Week 2018, Beyond Pesticides is releasing a new video highlighting the hazards associated with a major use of bee-toxic pesticides ‚Äď seed coatings. Please watch and share with friends and family! Click here to watch Seeds that Poison. After distributing the film, please contact your state elected officials to ask that they act to protect pollinators. (Connecticut and Maryland have taken action.) Folks in the DC area can also attend a ‚ÄúPollinator Forum‚ÄĚ to learn about pollinators and celebrate them. The event is taking place at the Tabard Inn (Monday, June 18) and will feature Beyond Pesticides‚Äô Science and Regulatory Director Nichelle Harriott. Click here to purchase tickets. Tuesday Plant pollinator habitat. Explore Beyond Pesticides‚Äô resources to find ideas for native plantings or sources of untreated flowers and dig your pollinator-friendly garden today. Use the Bee Protective Habitat Guide and or Pollinator-Friendly Seed Directory to help! Wednesday Take local action. […]

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06
Mar

Dover, New Hampshire Eliminates Toxic Pesticide and Fertilizer Use

(Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2018) Dover, New Hampshire is the latest community in the U.S. to restrict the use of toxic pesticides, and move towards organic land management on all public property. By a unanimous vote of the City Council last week, Dover passed a resolution that requires the management of city land with ‚Äúsound land management practices, and the use of least toxic compounds only when necessary,¬† . . .¬† thereby eliminating exposure to toxic pesticides on the part of our citizens and the environment.‚ÄĚ The ordinance also instructs the city manager to ‚Äúdevelop and execute a plan to transition the City to eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers on City property.‚ÄĚ The resolution was spearheaded by¬†Non Toxic Dover, a group of local advocates that engaged the city government on this issue for several years. “We are so grateful to the City of Dover NH for voting unanimously to take this important step to protect public health and our Great Bay estuary,‚ÄĚ said Diana Carpinone, founder of Non Toxic Dover and lead advocate in the city for the new resolution. Ms. Carpinone said: ‚ÄúThank you to the council and especially Councilor Shanhan for sponsoring the resolution. We look forward […]

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10
Jan

Carlsbad, California Adopts Ordinance Prioritizing an Organic and “Least-Toxic” Approach

(Beyond Pesticides, January 10, 2018) At the end of 2017, the City of Carlsbad, CA voted unanimously to adopt a policy prioritizing the use of organic and defined “least-toxic” pesticides to manage pest problems on city-owned and controlled property and public rights-of-way. Buoyed by a strong and growing coalition of¬† Non Toxic advocates fighting for a healthier environment for their children, pets, and wildlife, Carlsbad is the newest in a string of southern California communities that are implementing safer pest control practices. In recognition of the significant progress and activity in southern California communities, Beyond Pesticides‚Äô 36th National Pesticide Forum,¬†Organic Neighborhoods: For healthy children, families, and ecology,¬†will take place in Irvine, CA from April 13-14, 2018 (stay tuned to Beyond Pesticides‚Äô website for additional updates!). Carlsbad‚Äôs new policy is, in fact, an update of an Integrated Pest Management plan the City last reviewed in 2003. While its previous policy only addressed City parks, the new plan will include all City maintained or operated land and facilities. The policy also takes a much tougher approach against toxic pesticides, prioritizing the use of organic products first and foremost when pest problems arise. Importantly, the policy also places pesticides last on the list […]

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22
Dec

It is an honor to work with you, the members and network of Beyond Pesticides

Thank you for your support and collaboration. Onward in 2018! (Beyond Pesticides, December 22, 2017)¬†¬†We deeply appreciate your donation to our program in 2017 and it is easy to donate¬†HERE. Year in Review At Beyond Pesticides, we collaborate with organizations and advocate across the country to get our message out on the threat that pesticides pose to human health and the environment. We support local action to stop this threat. And, we assist communities nationwide with the adoption of organic management practices that are more effective and¬†protective than chemical-intensive practices. The partnerships that have been established are, at a more rapid pace, resulting in the adoption of land management practices that are supported by Beyond Pesticides‚Äô strategic vision for a world free of toxic pesticides. Information for Action Beyond Pesticides expanded its role in the forefront of pesticide and organic advocacy with our Action of Week ¬†and Q&A of the Week,¬†in addition to our Daily News, which identifies and delves into key science, policy, and actions that inform local action. The Summer issue of our journal, Pesticides and You, highlighted David Montgomery’s talk at Beyond Pesticides‚Äô National Forum on the importance of soil microbiota and gut microbiome to healthy ecosystems […]

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02
Oct

Schoolchildren Lead the Charge Against Roundup and Other Toxic Pesticides in New York City Parks

(Beyond Pesticides, October 2, 2017) Elementary school students at New York City‚Äôs PS 290 are taking a stand against toxic pesticide use in New York City parks, supporting Intro 800, a bill introduced by Manhattan Councilmember Ben Kallos. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre going to make a great big fuss,‚ÄĚ the children in Mrs. Paula Rogivin‚Äôs kindergarten class chanted in a skit performed in front of the NYC Committee on Health this week. Since New York City (NYC) passed Local Law 37, Pesticide Use by City Agencies, in 2005 to stop toxic pesticide use on City owned and leased land, it turns out that some pesticides known to be hazardous were not captured by the law. As a result, the proposed legislation is intended to strengthen restrictions to ensure more comprehensive restrictions that limit pesticides to biological pesticides. Local Law 37 restricts the use of acutely toxic and carcinogenic pesticides as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and developmental toxicants as defined by the state of California under Prop 65. Exemptions allowing the use of these pesticides are granted based on a waiver review process that requires evidence that the chemicals are necessary to protect public health. Otherwise, City agencies are encouraged […]

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15
Aug

Beyond Pesticides Journal Articles Link Pesticides to Soil Microbiota and Gut Microbiome Poisoning and Resulting Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2017)¬†With increasing scientific understanding about the importance of beneficial bacteria in soil and the human body ‚ÄĒmicrobiota in the soil and microbiome in the human gut, the summer 2017 issue of Beyond Pesticides‚Äô journal, Pesticides and You, publishes two critical articles to advance the importance of community discussion and action on organic and sustainable practices. The lead article, Sustaining Life: From Soil Microbiota to Gut Microbiome by professor of geomorphology (University of Washington) and author David Montgomery, PhD, contains excerpts from Dr. Montgomery‚Äôs talk to Beyond Pesticides‚Äô 35th National Pesticide Forum, documenting the importance of soil microbiota to healthy soil, resilient plants, and sustainability. His piece explains the essentiality of bacteria in the human gut to a healthy life, with profound implications for both agriculture and medicine. Dr. Montgomery points to a ‚Äúbonafide scientific revolution‚ÄĚ in recognizing the failure to nurture the ecosystem in nature and the human body and the associated adverse health effects resulting from pesticide use ‚Äď21st century diseases, including asthma, autism, bacterial vaginosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Crohn‚Äôs disease, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, multiple sclerosis, obesity, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, and Parkinson‚Äôs. Also in the Journal, Monsanto‚Äôs Roundup (Glyphosate) […]

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04
Aug

Court Overturns Montgomery County, MD Pesticide Restrictions, Groups Say Decision Defies Local Authority to Protect Health

(Beyond Pesticides, August 3, 2017) A Circuit Court for the state of Maryland ¬†on Thursday struck down key components of the landmark Healthy Lawns Act pesticide ordinance passed in Montgomery County, Maryland in 2015. The court‚Äôs decision, issued by Judge Terrence McGann, eliminates pesticide use restrictions on private property, but does not touch provisions limiting toxic pesticides used on public, county owned land. Grassroots advocates who supported passage of the Healthy Lawns Act to protect children, families and the environment are dismayed by the court‚Äôs ruling, but nevertheless vow to keep up the fight for protections from hazardous pesticides used in their community. ‚ÄúThe court should have recognized that, in restricting lawn pesticides throughout its jurisdiction, Montgomery County is exercising a local democratic principle under Maryland and federal law to ensure the safety of the community, including children, pets, and the environment, from a known hazard not adequately regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the state,‚ÄĚ said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. ‚ÄúAfter extensive hearings and study, the county council understands that toxic chemicals are dangerous and not needed to have beautiful lawns and landscapes,‚ÄĚ Mr. Feldman said. By passing the Healthy Lawns Act, the Montgomery […]

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23
Jun

Portland, Maine City Council Urged to Stop Hazardous Lawn Pesticide Use and Go Organic

(Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2017) In a packed hearing room, the Portland, Maine City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee heard community members testify in support of an ordinance to restrict pesticides on playing fields, parks, and private lawns for nearly three hours on Wednesday night. The hearing focused on a draft pesticide policy that was recently released by the¬†Pesticide and Fertilizer Task Force, set up by Mayor Ethan Strimling. A range of community members testified, including doctors, parents, organic land managers, an organic products retailer, and public health advocates. Beyond Pesticides’ executive director, Jay Feldman, was at the hearing to support the adoption of ordinance language similar to that adopted by neighbor city South Portland in September 2016.¬†In reaction to the Task Force proposal, which advances an undefined integrated pest management (IPM) approach that allows the use of “least toxic” pesticides, Mr. Feldman testified, “An ordinance requires specificity if it is to accomplish the goals that the community embraces ‚Äďsafe playing fields, parks, playgrounds, and a community that does not allow the poisoning of soil, air, and water.” The lack of specificity in the draft contrasts with the South Portland ordinance, which adopts a list of allowed materials and envisions […]

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25
May

Maui County Kicks Off Pesticide-Free Pilot Program to Transition to Organic Management

(Beyond Pesticides, May 25, 2017) Four parks in Maui, Hawaii, have kicked off a year-long pesticide-free pilot program to transition to organic management. A series of training events in the county over the past few weeks focused on soil-based approaches to land management, a more effective solution than solely switching from synthetic to organic pesticides. Last Wednesday, Beyond Pesticides‚Äô executive director, Jay Feldman, and Chip Osborne, president of Osborne Organics, taught training sessions with county Parks and Recreation staff, ‚Äúdiscussing lawn care that relies less on outside products and aims to feed the soil, not just the plant.‚ÄĚ Beyond Pesticides worked to support the pesticide-free parks movement in Maui by¬†sponsoring these training sessions¬†for Maui County Parks, Department of Transportation, Maui public schools, several local resorts, and golf course management groups. Beyond Pesticides is working with Maui County to provide guidance on transitioning its parks to organic practices. Analysis of soil samples at each site has been conducted, which will provide a baseline to implement¬†cultural changes¬†to improve the biological health of the soil, making it more resistant to weed and insect¬†pressures. The next step includes creation of a report and action plan for each county park by Beyond Pesticides and Osborne […]

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09
May

San Juan Capistrano, CA Passes Organic Landscape Policy for City Lands

(Beyond Pesticides, May 9, 2017) Last month, San Juan Capistrano (SJC) became the latest community in Orange County, CA to pass an organic landscaping policy for city parks and open spaces. The city‚Äôs move follows the passage of an organic land care policy in nearby Irvine, CA last year, and like Irvine, was brought forward by a strong contingent of local advocates, health practitioners, and city officials working together to safeguard public health and the environment. By a vote of 4-0-1, San Juan Capistrano‚Äôs City Council put the community on the cutting edge of local changes to pesticide use that are taking place across the country. SJC‚Äôs policy is the result of persistent pressure and engagement by community group Non-Toxic San Juan Capistrano with city officials. A change.org petition hosted by the group, which received over 300 signatures, detailed the discussions and responses the group received from local leaders. At the time the City Council took up the issue at a mid-April meeting, Mayor Kerry Ferguson made a strong statement indicating that, ‚ÄúChemical pesticides and herbicides have been proven to be toxic to children, pets, and the general public.‚ÄĚ Mayor Ferguson further said, ‚ÄúWhile [chemical pesticide] use is somewhat limited […]

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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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18
Apr

Anchorage, Alaska Passes Law Restricting Toxic Pesticide Use in Public Spaces

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2017) Last week, the Assembly of Anchorage, Alaska voted 10-1 to pass AO2017-59, an ordinance instituting a pesticide-free program on public parks, lands, and properties. The measure codifies and strengthens important protections for public health, particularly children‚Äôs health, water quality and the wider environment from the hazards of toxic pesticide use. ‚ÄúParents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles should not have to worry whether their child will be exposed to a harmful pesticide that could have long-term health consequences when they visit public parks to enjoy the great Alaska outdoors,‚ÄĚ stated Pamela Miller, executive director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), which helped galvanize community support for the measure. The new law, introduced by Assembly chair Elvi Gray-Jackson and vice chair Dick Traini, was the product of months of community stakeholder meetings and input. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the way I like to do business in this community,‚ÄĚ Ms. Gray-Jackson said to KTUU on the night the bill was passed. ‚ÄúBring all the stakeholders together and have them work it out so we don‚Äôt waste a lot of time at this level.‚ÄĚ Like recent policies passed in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, MD and South Portland, ME, the law establishes a […]

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24
Feb

Oak Park and Evanston Act to Repeal Preemption, Assert Local Authority to Restrict Pesticides in Illinois

(Beyond Pesticides, February 24, 2017) Over the last two weeks, both Oak Park and Evanston, IL have taken steps to repeal preemption of local authority to restrict community-wide pesticide use in the state of Illinois. The Village of Oak Park has approved a Resolution in Support of the Repeal of the State Pesticide Preemption, and the City of Evanston has approved a Resolution Urging the State of Illinois to Repeal Preemption of Local Regulation of Pesticides. Both of these actions urge the state of Illinois to repeal the preemption of local government regulation of pesticides and re-establish the right of local home rule governments to adopt pesticide restrictions on public and private land within their jurisdiction, as they deem appropriate. The push to pass these resolutions grew out of hard work from passionate residents and activists. For the Village of Oak Park, a local advocacy group, Go Green Oak Park, reached out to Beyond Pesticides (see PAY Mail section) for assistance in talking to itslocal board about these issues. Peggy Mcgrath, a member of Go Green Oak Park, said about the issue: “Big corporations are calling more and more of the shots. To protect our government ‚Äė Of The People,‚Äô […]

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21
Feb

Take Action: Bill Will Eliminate Permit Requirement to Spray Pesticides into Waterways

(Beyond Pesticides, February 21, 2016) The Agriculture Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill last week that will eliminate protections from toxic pesticides for the nation‚Äôs waterways. The bill now moves on to the full House for a vote and the public has an opportunity to let Representatives hear the concerns about weakening local protection of waterways from toxic pesticides.¬†HR 953,¬†The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act¬†(code for the sponsors and supporters as legislation to eliminate environmental protection of water quality), is the committee‚Äôs latest effort in a multi-year string of attempts to rollback common sense protections for the public waterways all Americans use for swimming, fishing, and other forms of recreation. The bill would repeal the Clean Water Act requirement that those who apply pesticides to waterways, with an exemption for farm use pesticides not directly deposited into waterways, obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Last May, at the height of fears over the Zika epidemic, the same Committee ushered through the same bill under another misleading name, The Zika Vector Control Act. Pensive lawmakers and the public saw through the ruse, and the bill was defeated. But,¬†like previous iterations, including the 2015 Sensible Environmental […]

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