Potential Restrictions for Insecticides in Massachusetts

Massachusetts State House

In Massachusetts, a bill that would restrict the use of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid has been favorably voted out of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.

At first blush, House Bill 4041 only places minimal restrictions on licensed applicators, but upon further review this bill relies upon definitions of “agricultural use” and “horticultural use” contained in a separate law (Mass. General Laws Ch. 61a) that deals with the assessment and taxation of farm lands.

These definitions do not allow for use by landscapers in the maintenance of lawns, trees or ornamentals as they would prohibit the application of any neonicotinoid during the “blooming season” which the bill defines as the period of time between March 1st and October 31st.

Under this legislation, applicators following label directions, integrated pest management guidelines and best management practices would therefore be precluded from applying neonicotinoids.

NALP is working to stop this legislation.  Massachusetts members are asked to contact Bob Mann at bob@landscapeprofessionals.org for further information and details on how you can help.

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