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County Executive Calvin Ball To Pre-File Legislation To Decrease Pesticide Use

September 24, 2019

Media Contacts: Scott L. Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – On Thursday, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will pre-file legislation to ban certain harmful pesticides on County property, in order to promote public health and protect our environment. The legislation follows Ball’s announcement that Howard County has become a member of “Bee City USA,” a coalition committed to protecting pollinators.

“In addition to this week’s progress at the United Nations Climate Summit, decisive environmental efforts have to come from every community and every level of government,” said Ball. “Here in Howard County, we are creating a model of local leadership on climate action and environmental preservation. Widespread pesticide use, combined with the effects of climate change, has threatened the pollinators we depend on to survive. This legislation will decrease pesticide use, protect our ecosystem, and add to the global effort to safeguard our future.”

“At its core this is a public health initiative,” said Joshua Feldmark, Director of the Office of Community Sustainability. “Howard Countians deserve a government that will not expose them to dangerous pesticides especially when they are used simply for aesthetics. This legislation and policy will keep everyone and everything in Howard County safer and healthier.”

“Environmental stewardship is one of the core missions of Howard County Recreation & Parks,” said Raul Delerme, Director of Recreation & Parks. “The County Executive’s legislation to end the use of harmful pesticides will allow us to be even better caretakers of our public parks and outdoor spaces.”

Insect pollination is responsible for one in three bites of food we eat and 90% of all wild plants and trees rely on pollinators for the survival of their species. Pesticide use poses a threat to these pollinator populations such as bees, butterflies, moths, and more. Ball’s legislation would ensure that the County does not use any chlorpyrifos and will severely restrict the use of neonicotinoids and glyphosate on any county controlled, managed, or owned buildings and grounds.

This legislation would add to County Executive Ball’s visionary efforts to make Howard County a national model for local leadership on the environment. In addition to protecting pollinators, Ball has signed Howard County to the Paris Agreement, made Howard the first county in the nation to accept the U.S. Climate Alliance’s Natural and Working Lands Challenge, and signed an Executive Order to reduce the County government’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2050.

After it is pre-filed, the legislation will be introduced by the County Council on October 7th. They will hold a public hearing on October 21st at 7:00 pm. Legislative action will be taken on November 4th.