Montgomery County, Maryland Approves Restrictions on Lawn Pesticides Use
Greatly Impacts Landscape Professionals Ability to Operate in the County
The lawn pesticides use ban on Montgomery County, Maryland-owned property and parks goes into effect on July 1, 2017.
Montgomery County Council in Maryland passed legislation to restrict the use of pesticides on both county-owned and private property by a 6-3 vote. As a result of intense industry advocacy efforts, some changes were made to the bill to delay the implementation on private property and provide exceptions for gardens, invasive species, human health and county athletic fields, but this legislation will still greatly impact our members' ability to operate in the county.
In addition to eliminating the use of pesticides on private lawns beginning on January 1, 2018, the bill limits pesticide use on public and private playgrounds, mulched recreation areas and children's facilities such as child care centers. The bill provides for pesticide use to address noxious weeds or invasive species, for human health or agricultural purposes or to prevent significant economic damage.
Under the legislation, the county's department of parks may continue to use pesticides on playing fields as part of an integrated pest management program, but must develop a plan to maintain fields without pesticide use by 2020. In addition, the legislation establishes a five field pilot program using organic pesticide products.
National Association of Landscape Professionals plans to keep its members updated about implementation of this measure. The association held a webinar for our members in May highlighting the real threat of a ban in Montgomery County. We asked our members to be diligent in defense of the industry and to continue to reach out to their customers in the area.