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MoCo becomes first major locality to ban cosmetic pesticides from lawns

Montgomery County became the country’s first major locality Tuesday to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides on private lawns, concluding that the time-honored right of suburbanites to maintain pristine green, weed-free yards was superseded by a body of scientific evidence linking the widely-used products to cancer.

After three hours of sometimes emotional debate, which included members recounting their own personal and family experiences with cancer, the County Council voted 6-to-3 to impose the ban on the chemicals–all deemed safe by the EPA when used appropriately–effective at the beginning of 2018. The measure excludes agricultural land, gardens and golf courses and does not prohibit the sale of lawn pesticides within the county.

Nor is there a specific enforcement provision in the law that empowers county inspectors to scrutinize homeowners’ lawns for pesticide content. Like many county regulations, it will depend on citizen complaints. But advocates discounted the lack of regulatory teeth and said the bill will serve as a valuable tool to educate residents on organic alternatives.

Read full article here from The Washington Post

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