Activists continue to advance their agenda in Southern Maine. In the wake of the defeat of state pesticide preemption legislation earlier this year, cities and towns such as Portland and Falmouth seek to enact local restrictions on the use of pesticides on lawns by professionals and homeowners alike. These ordinances will make it all but impossible for professional lawn care operators to conduct business.
NALP has joined with other industry groups and local companies to push back on these efforts by testifying at public hearings, reaching out to local officials to tell our story and assisting with the organizing effort; Maine is one of the few states that does not have an organized lawn care association, a fact that has make opposing these ordinances all the more difficult.
Together with our industry and allied associations partners, NALP is taking the lead in advancing another attempt at passing state pesticide preemption legislation. This task is made much more difficult due to the tradition of “home rule” in Maine where issues important to the community are regulated at the local level. In spite of the highly technical aspect of evaluating pesticides for safety, local communities are taking it upon themselves to second guess the myriad of scientists and other experts in industry and government who make it their life’s work to understand pesticides.
Not all is doom and gloom, however. By reaching out to other associations and suppliers in the broader agricultural sector, we have found fast friends who share our concerns. Together we have already achieve some success in enacting pesticide, fertilizer and seed preemption in the State of Utah. In 2018, we will come together again to fight for more protection for our industry from unnecessary and onerous regulations.