Maryland court finds county pesticide ban valid

In a statement last week, RISE (Responsible Industry for a
Sound Environment), the national trade association representing the specialty
pesticides and fertilizers industry, said:

“Yesterday, we received a decision from the Maryland Court
of Special Appeal in Montgomery County, Maryland v. Complete Lawn Care, et.
al., finding the county’s ban on outdoor pesticide use on private property by
residents and professionals valid. We disagree with the decision, which failed
to consider the strong opinion issued by the Circuit Court for Maryland in
2017, finding the county ban was illegal under existing state law and the
Maryland Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive pesticide regulatory

“We believe the county’s ban on consumer and professional
pesticide use on private property is preempted by existing state law and we are
disappointed with the decision of the Court of Special Appeals given the
well-reasoned opinion of the lower court, which found the county’s ban to be
preempted by existing state law.

“We remain concerned that this local pesticide regulation
undermines the state’s authority in regulating pesticides and ensuring they are
used properly and safely throughout the state. The necessary expertise and
enforcement capability are provided by Maryland Department of Agriculture.

“Even more concerning is that the ban includes the outdoor
use of virtually all EPA and Maryland state registered pesticide products
available at big box retailers, retail nurseries, grocery stores, online and
through lawn and landscape professionals. Harmful pests are still present in
the county regardless of the Court’s opinion. Montgomery County residents now
have no realistic options to treat their own property or to have professionals
make treatments using products that have been approved for this precise use in
Maryland by the U.S. EPA and Maryland Department of Agriculture and that have
been scientifically proven to be safe and effective when used according to
their labels.

“We are currently evaluating next steps to help ensure that
each Montgomery County resident has the right to decide for herself or himself
whether to use pesticide products that have been approved by the state of