Potomac Brief: Council Approves Pesticide Ban

Potomac Brief: Council Approves Pesticide Ban

County Council approved amended Bill 52-14 in a 6-3 vote on Oct. 6 that bans the use of pesticides on county-owned and private lawns. One of the amendments to the original bill will allow the county’s Department of Parks to continue to use pesticides on playing fields as part of an integrated pest management program and requires the department to develop a plan that would lead to maintaining fields without pesticide use by 2020. The department will conduct a pilot program in the interim period to study the impact of maintaining fields without using pesticides.

Voting in favor were Council President George Leventhal, Council Vice President Nancy Floreen, Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer. Councilmembers Roger Berliner, Sidney Katz and Craig Rice were opposed.

The enacted bill provides for a phasing of effective dates, with provisions related to county-owned property and county parks taking effect July 1, 2016. The bill was amended to have provisions related to private property taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018 rather than the originally proposed Jan. 1, 2017.

In addition to lawns, the bill also restricts the use of certain pesticides on public and private playgrounds, mulched recreation areas and children’s facilities such as child care centers. The bill’s restrictions do not apply to gardens. They do not restrict pesticide use for the control of noxious weeds or invasive species, for human health or agricultural purposes or to prevent significant economic damage.

More details about Bill 52-14 and related amendments are available at: http://tinyurl.com/q56xdsr .