PROTECTING THE HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN
By limiting pesticide use on school grounds, we can reduce children’s exposure to harmful chemical pesticides that have deleterious effects on their healthy growth and development.
Aside from outdoor emergency applications (the spraying of a hornets' nest, for example), this bill stipulates that parents’ be provided with advance notice of any pesticide application on their child's school grounds. Outside of these approved and announced applications, no pesticide use on the outdoor grounds of schools would be permitted.
PRESERVING POLLINATOR BIODIVERSITY
To thoughtfully and effectively protect pollinators and, in turn, the vital services that they provide for our human health, this bill allows for a study to address threats to pollinator populations, habitat, and biodiversity.
By restricting harmful neonicotinoid pesticides, we can reduce harm to delicate pollinator species and habitats.
Neonicotinoid pesticides - or "neonics" as they are colloquially referred to – are systemic chemical insecticides that grow into all parts of a plant. Studies have shown that neonics are very nonspecific, meaning that in addition to harming pests, they also are harmful to beneficial pollinator species, the plants they require for their habitats, the soil through which these plants thrive and water quality. Neonics can contribute to dramatic decreases in biodiversity, and that's why this bill seeks to regulate them as a "Restricted Use Pesticide" (RUP) and limit their use on landscapes.
Additionally, by proposing a grant program to provide an opportunity for agricultural producers to trial non-neonic-coated seeds voluntarily, there could be a financial incentive for our farmers while reducing their risk. Often, agricultural producers plant neonic-coated seeds prophylactically to prevent pest interference from the start of the growing cycle. However, studies have shown that in many cases, coated seeds have no positive effect on yields.
ALLOWING COMMUNITIES TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS
Currently, local governments cannot restrict pesticide use due to a state-level preemption.
Because the state government preempts pesticide use regulations, local communities cannot adapt their laws to fit their own unique situations.
By removing state preemption regarding pesticide use, this bill would return control back into the hands of local communities that have the expertise to determine how best to protect natural resources and sensitive populations.