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Statement: Baltimore Pesticide Ban Heads to Full City Council Vote

For Immediate Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

CONTACT: 

Kate Breimann, Director, Environment Maryland

Emily Scarr, Director, Maryland PIRG

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore City Council Health Committee voted favorably with amendments on CB 20-0495, a comprehensive regulation of pesticides. The bill restricts the use of chlorpyrifos, neonicotinoids, and glyphosate (the main ingredient in RoundUp) in Baltimore City. 

The Committee adopted several amendments during the work session. The implementation date of the bill was moved to July 1, 2022 in order to give the Health Department time to recover from COVID-19. In addition, the Committee approved a narrow exemption for the use of glyphosate by the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks department for suppressing invasive species in forestry management. Other changes include reporting requirements, written citations and clarification on indoor use of neonicotinoids. 

Environment Maryland and Maryland PIRG released the following statements in response to the vote: 

“Scientists, farmers, beekeepers and advocates have sounded the alarm: these toxic pesticides have got to go. We’re grateful to Councilwoman Clarke for sponsoring this legislation and to the committee for voting it through. Our pollinators are dying at an unprecedented rate, and banning these chemicals are a critical first step to protecting our bees, our food and our planet,” explained Environment Maryland Director Kate Breimann.

“It’s absurd that weed killers, designed to make our lives more convenient, and food production more efficient, should be allowed to put public health at risk,” said Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr. “All of these chemicals are harmful to health, and we thank the City Council for taking action to protect Baltimore families.”

The bill will now be heard by the City Council.  Read testimony from Environment Maryland and Maryland PIRG on CB20-0495 here.

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Environment Maryland is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. We work to protect clean air, clean water, and open space. We have thousands of members across the state and are based in Baltimore.

Maryland PIRG is a statewide small donor funded public interest advocacy organization based in Baltimore, with grassroots members across the state. For forty-five years we’ve stood up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.