May 31 —A state ban on consumer use of neonicotinoid pesticides is slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2018, after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced that he will allow S.B. 198/H.B. 211 to become law without his signature.
The legislation, which includes exceptions for certified applicators, farmers and veterinarians, makes Maryland the first state to adopt such a ban on consumer use, according to a coalition of environmental organizations operating as Smart on Pesticides Maryland.
The measure was prompted by concerns that neonicotinoid pesticides contribute to mortality of pollinators such as bees, birds and butterflies.
Hogan informed lawmakers May 27 that he had invoked a provision in the state constitution that allows legislation to become law without being signed unless the governor vetoes it within 30 days, which he has declined to do.
Although the governor won't lend his signature to the measure, spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver-Churchill told Bloomberg BNA in a May 31 e-mail that Hogan “recognizes how devastating the recent honey bee losses are to beekeepers and how vital pollination services are to fruit and vegetable crop production throughout the state.”
She noted that he previously signed H.B. 132, which requires certain state agencies to establish pollinator habitat plans to foster best management practices.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture had submitted testimony against the consumer ban under S.B. 198/H.B. 211.
Under the legislation, a person who violates the ban will be subject to a $250 civil penalty, although language added just before passage specifies that such violation isn't considered a misdemeanor under existing penalty provisions of the state's agriculture statute.
The ban will apply to the sale and use of imidacloprid, nithiazine, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam and any other chemical designated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture as a neonicotinoid.
Exceptions are provided for pet care products used to mitigate fleas, mites, ticks and heartworms; personal care products used to mitigate lice and bedbugs; and indoor pest control products, including ant bait.
In a nod to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's pending risk assessment of several neonicotinoid pesticides, the legislation gives the state agriculture department six months after the EPA completes its review to recommend to lawmakers any changes in state policy necessary to ensure protection of pollinators.
The legislation originally included language that would have required any plants, seeds or nursery stock treated with neonicotinoids to have signage indicating so, but that was removed during early deliberations.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kathy Lundy Springuel in Annapolis, Md., at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)