Controversy emerges over proposed bill blocking local preemption of federal pesticide regulations

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In the past three years, Irvine went from treating its parks …. with more than …. 60 gallons of synthetic weed and pest killers annually, all the way down to zero.

The city now uses organic products …. it’s one of more than 150 U.S. cities and counties that have created “organic-first” policies and in some cases banned the use of specific chemicals ….

But a provision tucked into the 2018 federal farm bill could block local governments from making their own rules about pesticides, effectively neutering local control over [pesticide use].

In most states, local authorities can’t restrict pesticide use on private property, and many existing local policies – including Irvine’s – still allow synthetics on public land if organic products don’t work.

Related article:  Pesticide makers drop challenge to California's proposed chlorpyrifos insecticide ban

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Illinois, who added local preemption to the House bill, said in a statement that local rules have “created a burdensome patchwork of regulations …. Our language …. [clarifies] that [regulation] should occur solely between state lead agencies and the federal government.”

But the Environmental Working Group’s [legislative director Colin] O’Neil said the change would create uncertainty for city officials, who might fear being sued for violating federal law. [Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea]  had another worry: “If this goes into place, we could kind of see it snowball into a lot of other local control issues.”

Read full, original article: Irvine quit using synthetic pesticides in 2016, now a farm bill could block such local restrictions

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