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County Council Vice President Proposes Bill to Ban Pesticides in Montgomery County

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A new bill was proposed last week in Montgomery County that would ban the use of pesticides on most public and private lawns. The bill was introduced by County Council Vice President George Leventhal, who says that pesticide control is necessary to protect the health of Montgomery county residents.

Specifically, the bill would ban pesticides that contain chemicals that have either proven to be or are likely to be carcinogenic, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. On top of banning certain pesticides, the bill calls for a pest management plan that would help to determine when pesticides are necessary to control pest populations that have become a problem.

Most Canadian provinces have banned the use of certain pesticides for many years, but the U.S. continues to battle with the debate over these lawn care products.

“There are ways to care for lawns that don’t require the use of hazardous chemicals,” Leventhal said, according toBethesda Magazine. The Vice President of the County Council is anticipating opposition to his proposed bill but still holds fast to his belief that banning dangerous pesticides is an important step in improving the health of citizens in Montgomery County.

Opponents of the ban say that there are already enough restrictions in place by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and that the EPA governs their actions and guidelines.

“It seems redundant for the County Council to create new legislation in the county for what’s already being done,” said Eric Wenger, who co-owns Complete Lawn Care Inc. in Laytonsville, according to Bethesda Magazine.

He and other lawn care professionals are afraid that such a ban would hurt their businesses, which rely heavily on certified pesticide applicators.

Maintaining a lush, healthy lawn isn’t easy, and underwatering is one of the most common causes of a dying lawn. Footprinting and color change are common signs that a lawn needs water, but sometimes even watering the grass isn’t enough to keep it healthy. This is why many lawn care experts rely on pesticides to ward off any pests that may be harmful to grass.

The bill does not extend restrictions to golf courses, farms and garden centers and will still allow pesticides to be used to control noxious weeds and invasive species.

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