On May 15, 2014, Governor Martin O’Malley brought Maryland one step closer to having much-needed information about pesticide usage by signing House Bill 621 / Senate Bill 700 into law, which establishes funding for pesticide reporting. As advocates cheered the bill signing, they also released a new video about the need for scientifically valid pesticide reporting and vowed to continue their work.
“We are delighted to have the support of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Brown on this important issue,” said Ruth Berlin, executive director of the Maryland Pesticide Network and head of a coalition that’s been working to improve pesticide reporting for several years. “This legislation reflects widespread support for better pesticide usage reporting so we can protect public health, the Chesapeake Bay and wildlife – particularly our honeybees.”
The bill generates revenue for a pesticide database through a modest increase on the annual product registration fee paid by pesticide manufacturers. Advocates say the legislation is a first step toward helping scientists and researchers understand the links between pesticide exposure and potential public health and environmental impacts.