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Beveridge & Diamond Wins Preemption Case Regarding Local Pesticides Ban

Author: Anthony L. Michaels
August 3, 2017

Litigators in Beveridge & Diamond’s Washington, DC Office on August 3 secured an important preemption ruling from the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Maryland.  Complete Lawn Care, Inc., et. al., v. Montgomery County, Civil Action No. 427200-V.  The court invalidated a County ordinance banning pesticide use on private lawns as preempted by State law.  This adds to a growing body of cases finding that localities in various states lack the authority to impose their own local pesticide requirements that effectively “veto” the comprehensive review and approval processes already in place for these products at the state and federal levels.  The decision is of particular importance due to the size of Montgomery County, which drew significant attention with its ordinance.

Among other holdings, Judge Terrence McGann found that “[t]he State of Maryland has already established comprehensive pesticide use regulations . . . [that] regulate every facet of pesticide use in the State of Maryland.”  Because “Maryland law dictates precisely where, when, and how each and every pesticide it has authorized may be used,” Judge McGann concluded that “no room is left for more regulation.”  The court also held that the ordinance conflicts with State law and would “frustrat[e] the explicit State law goal of promoting uniformity in pesticide regulatory requirements.”  In holding it unlawful, the court concluded that the ordinance “flouts decades of State primacy in ensuring safe and proper pesticide use, undermines the State’s system of comprehensive and uniform product approval and regulation, and prohibits products and conduct that have been affirmatively approved and licensed by the State.”

Principal Tony Michaels argued the case for a group of successful Plaintiffs:  seven local residents, six small businesses, and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), the national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders engaged with specialty pesticides and fertilizers used by consumers and professionals.  With Tony on the briefing at Beveridge & Diamond were Kathy Szmuszkovicz, Gus Bauman, James Slaughter, and Kaitlyn Shannon.  The same decision also addresses a companion case brought by another group of Plaintiffs, represented by Tim Maloney and Alyse Prawde of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, and Catherine Carroll and Arpit Garg of Wilmer Hale.  The Defendant Montgomery County was represented by Ed Lattner and Walter Wilson of the County Attorney’s office.

Numerous media outlets have covered the decision, including the Washington PostBethesda Magazine, WTOP, and the Daily Record (subscription required).

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Other Methods Tried Unsuccessfully – Alternative Pesticide Ban Failure

By MARTHA WICKETT – Sic [Salmon Arms BC – Hometown to Warren Bell]
December 7, 2016 ·

If you would like to weigh in on the city’s plan to give a one-time application of pesticides to the weeds that are breaking up hard surfaces like sidewalks and curbs, you might get a chance.

Coun. Tim Lavery gave notice at the Nov. 28 council meeting that he will be making a motion at the next meeting suggesting council receive further input on its pesticide spraying program.

“I do feel it’s an important topic, and I don’t feel the budget process was the time to have the discussion,” he said, suggesting that it include a chance for an “input session from interested people.”

During budget deliberations staff said the city would be using an exemption in the cosmetic pesticides bylaw in 2017 which allows pesticides when other methods have been tried unsuccessfully. City staff reported a one-time $10,000 application of pesticides will likely be used on the islands in the Trans-Canada Highway and on sidewalks downtown, moving farther afield as funding permits.

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‘Bacon’ will give you Cancer | Group 1 Cancer IARC Monograph Press Release|

Ontario Ban Bacon Cancer Causing IARC

Paul Tukey | Daddy Busy Growing Grass |Portland man indicted on multiple  charges — Portland — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Paul Tukey, 22, Cumberland, burglary, theft, criminal mischief, eluding an officer, criminal speeding, operating without a license, theft.

Source: Portland man indicted on multiple drug charges — Portland — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

GMO Gene (BT) Used on Organic Farms Too Silly Sheeple | Letter to the Editor: Initiative is bad public policy – Stop The Maui Farming Ban

October 7, 2014Robert Ito, The Maui News

Called a moratorium, the initiative is really a farming ban.

I have been farming on Maui for 40 years. Among the crops I have grown are head cabbage, Chinese cabbage, romaine lettuce, head lettuce, kale, Maui onions, bell peppers and genetically modified organism sweet corn. All of my crops have been sold to consumers on Maui and around the state.

I started farming in 1974. Many of the farms that were in existence then are now gone. Farming is hard work, and the cost of production increases each year, along with challenges when it comes to water, invasive insects and the weather.

I have grown both conventional and GMO corn. My experience is that the GMO corn used no insecticides, less water and produced a higher yield than the conventionally grown corn. One hundred percent of my conventional corn had corn earworms. The GMO corn contains a Bt gene that kills the corn earworm when it consumes the corn. Bt is the same organic insecticide used in organic farming and that is sprayed on the plants.

I would like to see more young people enter farming of all types. Our agriculture and ranching are as diverse as Maui, and we produce a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and meats. But I fear that many young people will not choose life as a farmer if they are going to come under attack for practices they do not employ or have to answer charges and criticism that are not correct.

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