County Pesticides Bill
Time for David to prevail over Goliath
By Barbara Hoover, CM Board
Grass Roots Environmentalists are facing off against the Goliath of pesticide lobbies in Montgomery County, Maryland. Across the County, citizens by the thousands are standing up and saying that they want the law to protect them from the harmful effects of pesticide used in lawn care. The health effects due to exposure to these toxins are widely documented by organizations both in the U.S. and around the globe.
The debate over Bill 52-14 has been described by some members of the Montgomery County Council as the most contentious in the county’s history, but those who know better see something entirely different. What we see is a movement of committed individuals who without financial backing, professional lobbying or high-powered writers, have supported and brought Bill 52-14 to the County Council for passage on October 6, 2015.
Imagine the wealthy pesticide lobby, represented by trade organizations like CropLife America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), and The Fertilizer Institute, able to access limitless funds to create doubts, falsify studies, and arrange attendance at critical meetings and hearings. Imagine, if you will, what unlimited financial resources mean to a movement: effective communications made possible with paid staff; professional writers, lobbyists and activists; websites, leaflets, booklets, studies, offices. The pesticide lobbies & lobbyists have contributed tremendous sums of money in Montgomery County in a variety of ways, including contributions from senior executives, through political action committees, and through other industry trade groups. In spite of this financial and political power, the pesticide lobby can no longer hide the facts: Many of these pesticide products cause cancer, reproductive harm, developmental delays in children and contamination of our water resources. The citizens of Montgomery County are demanding the passage of Bill 52-14 in its original form.
Councilmember Roger Berliner has proposed compromises to Bill 52-14 that render it useless, with the excuse that this debate is contentious, and his compromises represent a middle of the road arrangement between the health of his constituents and the wishes of a multi-billion dollar industry. HOOEY! It is time for all the Montgomery County Council to wake up and realize that the mere fact that the “David” of concerned citizens has matched the pitch and volume of the Goliath of the pesticide lobby means there is a tidal wave of support to pass this vital legislation.
County Legislative Information
URGENT! Don't let the county pesticides bill get washed away. Sign this petition to make your voice heard.
Healthy Lawns Bill 52-14 is heading to its final stages and needs your urgent help. The bill aims to lead the country in protecting residents, children, pets, bees, wildlife, and our air and waterways from exposure and contamination to toxic lawn chemicals (pesticides, herbicides) in Montgomery County, Maryland's communities and parks.
The bill is under serious threat of being severely watered down by a few Councilmembers. Please SEND A NEW URGENT MESSAGE NOW urging the Council to not weaken the bill, and to keep people protected.
Click on to each name below to visit the websites of our member organizations or corporate affiliates.
- Audubon Naturalist Society
- Bethesda Green
- Casey Trees
- Choose Clean Water Coalition
- Equestrian Partners in Conservation
- Friends of Sligo Creek
- Granito de Arena
- Greater Sandy Spring Green Space
- Hiking Along
- Little Falls Watershed Alliance
- Montgomery Bicycle Advocates (MoBike)
- Montgomery County Civic Federation
- Montgomery Countryside Alliance
- Montgomery County Parks Foundation
- Muddy Branch Alliance
- My Green Montgomery
- Neighbors of the Northwest Branch
- Potomac Conservancy
- Rock Creek Conservancy
- Safe Grow Montgomery
- Seven Oaks-Evanswood Citizens' Association
- Silver Spring Green
- Up County Action
- Washington Women Outdoors
- West Montgomery County Citizens Association
- Woodrock Homeowners Association