The following is brought to you by the Green Industry Alliance and the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
LEGISLATIVE ALERT: ACTION REQUIRED
Representative Dylan Fernandez of Falmouth, a member of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, has introduced legislation on Beacon Hill that directly threatens the existence of your business.
H 3927 is titled An Act empowering towns to protect their environment and residents from harmful pesticides. In it, he proposes to remove the strict preemption that MDAR has over the regulation of pesticides.
If it passes, each of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts will be free to regulate the use of pesticides more stringently than the state does. That means that potentially there will be a different set of rules in each town that you must keep track of and abide by.
That is if they allow industry to use pesticides at all.
Make no mistake – if this bill passes, cities and towns will begin to ban pesticides use and lawn and tree care are the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. We will be first. We will be the sacrificial lambs.
What you can do:
- Be prepared. Members need you to attend any committee hearing on this bill that is scheduled and to testify (either orally or in writing). We do not know what date this bill will come up for debate. There is nothing more important to do the day of that hearing than to be in Boston in that committee room. Your business, literally, is on the line here.
- Get in touch. Contact your local representative and senator NOW to express your opposition to this bill. Explain how you are complying with the current regulations and how your business will be devastated, if not destroyed, with the passage of this bill. Our products and our application of them is highly regulated both at the federal and state level. Explain that you have great faith in Taryn LaScola and her staff at MDAR’s Division of Crop and Pest Services. Explain that the Pesticide Board is comprised of pesticide experts: physicians, chemists, toxicologists, public health experts and so on. These people know what they are doing and use sound science in the discharge of their duties. Individual cities and town cannot amass nor afford the experts necessary to properly regulate pesticides.
- Watch carefully. MLP, with the help of NALP and the GIA, will communicate any news that we learn about this bill immediately. The hearing will, in all likelihood, be scheduled on short notice and it will be very inconvenient for members to attend. But we must be in the room, otherwise the committee will draw the conclusion that we are perfectly fine with the bill.