Urgent: Stop Maine Legislation to Overturn Local Pesticide Ordinances

Last minute vote scheduled this week to stop local cities and towns from adopting ordinances that restrict pesticide use.

Tell your state legislators and members of the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to oppose LD1853.
Just last Thursday, a bill was introduced in the Maine state legislature to take away the authority of local governments in the state to restrict toxic pesticides use. The bill, LD1853, has the misleading title of “An Act to Ensure the Safe and Consistent Regulation of Pesticides throughout the State by Providing Exemptions to Municipal Ordinances that Regulate Pesticides” and is sponsored by Senator Tom Saviello of Franklin.

The democratic process is foundational to the culture of Maine and the country. LD 1853 betrays the democratic process and the will of communities and their elected officials to protect health and the environment. As you may know from the debate on a similar piece of legislation that failed last session, LD 1505, Maine communities want to be able to adopt standards that exceed or are more stringent than state standards as a matter of public health and environmental protection, or quality of life.

LD1853 is a blatant attempt to subvert the will of the democratic process to limit the commercial use of toxic pesticides, despite the availability of less or non-toxic alternative practices and products. From a health and environmental perspective in the community, it does not matter whether a pesticide is applied by a commercial operator or a homeowner. The point is that the democratic process has resulted in a restriction of toxic pesticide use in the community.

When the U.S. Supreme Court looked at this issue in 1991 and voted to uphold the rights of local communities under the federal pesticide law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), it found that the law “does not equate registration and labeling requirements with a general approval to apply pesticides throughout the Nation without regard to regional and local factors, like climate, population, geography and water supply [emphasis added].” In effect, the court recognized the value of local authority in addressing pesticide use in the context of local conditions and concerns.

When the chemical industry tried similar legislation last year, the bill failed. Now, pesticide proponents are trying again.

Tell your state legislators and members of the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to oppose LD1853. You will send an email to your state legislators and to the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.  (A personal note is best. We encourage you to change the subject and the body of your email.) If you would like to call a member of the committee, see the call list below.


Want to do more? Call the committee members and make your voice heard.

Call List

Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Contact information for the committee members:

Senator Paul Davis of Piscataquis - Chair of ACF Committee
Phone: 207-343-0258 or 207-287-1505

Senator James Dill of Penobscot
Phone: 207-827-3498 or 207-287-1515

Senator Thomas Saviello of Franklin
Phone: 207-645-3420 or 207-287-1505
Email: Thomas.Saviello@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Michelle Dunphy of Old Town - Chair of ACF Committee
Phone: 207-827-8989
Email: Michelle.Dunphy@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Kent Ackley of Monmouth
Phone: 207-512-2524
Email: Kent.Ackley@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Russell Black of Wilton
Phone: 207-491-4667
Email: Russell.Black@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Ralph Chapman of Brooksville
Phone: 207-326-0899
Email: Ralph.Chapman@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Norman Higgins of Dover-Foxcroft
Phone: 207-564-8214
Email: Norman.Higgins@legislature.maine.gov

Representative MaryAnne Kinney of Knox
Phone: 207-568-7577
Email: MaryAnne.Kinney@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Danny Martin of Sinclair
Phone: 207-231-1358
Email: Danny.Martin@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Carol McElwee of Caribou
Phone: 207-498-8605 or 207-551-7574
Email: Carol.McElwee@legislature.maine.gov

Representative Margaret O'Neil of Saco
Phone: 207-590-1679
Email: Margaret.O'Neil@Legislature.Maine.gov

Representative Thomas Skolfield of Weld
Phone: 207-585-2638
Email: Thomas.Skolfield@legislature.maine.gov

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