County Bill Would Prohibit Use of Certain Pesticides on Lawns

A bill expected to be introduced Tuesday could have an impact on the way you take care of your lawn.George Leventhal oct 28 2

Montgomery County Council Vice President George Leventhal, who chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee,  is scheduled to introduce  Bill 52-14 on Tuesday  that seeks to prohibit use of certain pesticides on county lawns and on county properties. The bill is based upon growing concerns that long-term exposure to certain pesticides may lead to health risks, according to the county press release.

The bill is co-sponsored by Councilmember Marc Elrich. A public hearing will be held on the bill on a date yet to be determined.

Bill 52-14 also would require posting of notice for certain lawn applications of pesticides and would require the county to adopt an integrated pest management program for certain county-owned property.

Some studies have linked pesticide exposure to the health problems including birth defects; numerous cancers, including non-Hodgkins lymphoma; Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, according to a county press release.

Due to the fact that the vast majority of states have preempted local jurisdictions from regulating pesticides, there are only two examples of local jurisdictions that have banned pesticide use on public and private property. The City of Takoma Park in Montgomery County and Ogunquit, Maine, have approved regulations on certain pesticides. Several local jurisdictions have enacted legislation or adopted administrative policies related to pesticide reduction on public property.

“This bill is aimed at protecting the health of families, and especially children, from the unnecessary risks associated with the use of certain cosmetic pesticides that have been linked to a wide-range of diseases, and which provide no health benefits,” said Council Vice President Leventhal. “This is a bill that balances the rights of homeowners to maintain a beautiful lawn with the rights of residents who prefer to not be exposed to chemicals that have known health effects. I view this bill as a starting point in our discussion, which can be tweaked along the way.”

The bill requires the following:

1) Require the posting of notice when a property owner applies a pesticide to an area of
lawn more than 100 square feet, consistent with the notice requirements for when a
landscaping business treats a lawn with a pesticide;

2) Require the Executive to designate a list of “non-essential” pesticides including:
• all pesticides classified as “Carcinogenic to Humans” or “Likely to Be Carcinogenic
to Humans” by the u.s. EPA;
• all pesticides classified by the U.S. EPA as “Restricted Use Products;”
• all pesticides classified as “Class 9” pesticides by the Ontario, Canada, Ministry of
the Environment;
• all pesticides classified as “Category 1 Endocrine Disruptors” by the European
Commission; and
• any other pesticides which the Executive determines are not critical to pest
management in the County.

3) Generally prohibit the application of non-essential pesticides to lawns, with exceptions
for noxious weed and invasive species control, agriculture and gardens, and golf courses;

4) Require the Executive to conduct a public outreach and education campaign before and
during the implementation ofthe Bill;

5) Generally prohibit the application of non-essential and neonicotinoid pesticides to
County-owned property; and

6) Require the County to adopt an Integrated Pest Management program.

Gaithersburg Voter on Election 2015 (VIDEO)

Gaithersburg Voter on Election 2015   YouTube

Linda Stein has lived in Gaithersburg for 18 years. In this MyMCMedia Extra, Stein says that pesticides on residential lawns is one issue that matters to her this election. Gaithersburg polls are open until 8 p.m. tonight, you can visit the election site for more information.

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Leggett Does Not Sign Pesticide Bill (VIDEO)

Grass Close Up 450x280

In an Oct. 19th memo addressed to County Council President George Leventhal, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said he is not signing Bill 52-14, also known as the pesticide bill. “I am concerned about the opinions of an Assistant Attorney General regarding whether a ban on the use of certain pesticides in the County would […]

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Montgomery County Council Passes Pesticide Bill

Blades of grass

The Montgomery County Council passed Bill 52-14 by a 6 to 3 vote on Tuesday. The legislation, commonly known as the pesticide bill, bans the use of EPA-registered pesticides in lawn care for most uses in the county including public and private playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, child care centers, and county property. Advocates and opponents of […]

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Five Things to Know Today, Oct. 6, in Montgomery County

Five Things List-03 for slider

Here are your five things to know today, Oct. 6, in Montgomery County: 1. Montgomery County Councilmembers are expected to vote on a pesticide bill today- a proposed legislation that would ban certain pesticides from being applied to lawns and county-owned properties. The chief sponsor of this bill is Council President George Leventhal. Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Nancy […]

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Safe Grow Montgomery Supports Bill 15-42 (VIDEO)

lawn with pesticide use sign

UPDATED In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Jennifer Quinn, a volunteer with Safe Grow Montgomery, explains Bill 15-42 and why her organization supports this legislation.   The County Council is scheduled to vote on Bill 15-42 on Oct. 6. Related:

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Pesticide Bill Vote Set for Oct. 6 (VIDEO)

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In this MyMCMedia Extra, Jennifer Quinn, a volunteer with Safe Grow Montgomery, explains who she thinks is opposed to Bill 52-14, the pesticide bill, and she says Montgomery County Councilmembers have heard from supporters more than opponents. Take a look: The Council has scheduled an Oct. 6 vote on the bill. Related:

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Safe Grow Montgomery Volunteer Explains Pesticide Bill (VIDEO)

lawn being treated with chemicals

In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Gaithersburg resident Jennifer Quinn, a volunteer with Safe Grow Montgomery, explains why she believes Bill 52-14 is so important. You can find more information about this bill on Montgomery County’s website, here. The County Council is scheduled to vote on the bill at its Oct. 6th meeting. Related:

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County Council Expected to Enact Pesticide Bill (VIDEO)

lawn with pesticide use sign

A bill before Montgomery County Council that would restrict pesticide use on private lawns and some private property is scheduled for a vote in the coming weeks. Susan Kenedy reports: Visit our PEG partner County Cable Montgomery to view more of its local programming.

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Council President George Leventhal News Briefing (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

George Leventhal

Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal met with reporters on June 15th to discuss a variety of topics including the pesticide bill, earned sick and safe leave bill, public financing of elections, privatization of the Department of Economic Development and his reaction to news that the Gazette newspaper is closing. You can watch the briefing […]

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EXCLUSIVE: Attorney General Refuses to Weigh in on Berliner Pesticide Measures


The Maryland Office of the Attorney General refused to give County Councilmember Roger Berliner advice on his provisions for reducing the use of pesticides in Montgomery County. In a letter dated May 28, Berliner asked Attorney General Brian Frosh to weigh in on whether four measures being proposed by Berliner would be preempted by state law. […]

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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


3 Responses to “County Bill Would Prohibit Use of Certain Pesticides on Lawns”

  1. On October 29, 2014 at 7:15 am responded with... #

    I appreciate that the bill appears to be based on science and targets pesticides (bug-killers) that usually disrupt the central nervous system rather than herbicides (weed-killers), which can be safe if used properly..

    • On December 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm responded with... #

      actualy this bill does target herbicides I.e.pesticides. These chemicals are designed to kill organic organisms. In this case weeds.but to think that something formulated to kill one organic organism is not harmful to others is foolish!the fact of the matter is that all weed killers ” herbicides ” are one of two things if not both. They are either a neurotoxin or a carcinogen. Even in mild exposures they are harmful!
      When smaller beings such as pets and children are exposed these chemicals the concentrations in their systems is much higher as their bodies are much smaller and less able to metabolize and excrete these chemicals. These chemicals have also been linked to both physical and developmental problems. These chemicals are most commonly absorbed into the system through the skin as well as oral ingestion. If you think about it, young children are always putting hands and toys into their mouths. And pets such as dogs, are always liking their paws. If they have been on s recently treated lawn, even if dry, the residue of these chemicals accumulate on the surfaces which they are playing. Furthermore pesticides are poisoning wildlife and even waterways through storm run-off .furthermore up to four times more pesticides are used on the average acer of residential lawn than is used on the average acer of agricultureal land we are simply poisoning our selfs.our loved ones and our environment in the name of a pretty lawn! The fact of the matter is that we can have that pretty lawn without the chemicals.

  2. On October 30, 2014 at 10:40 pm responded with... #

    Three cheers for Councilmembers Leventhal and Elrich for sponsoring this bill. This is a great step in the right direction.

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