Statement on Governor Hogan’s Veto of Chlorpyrifos Ban

Statement on Governor Hogan’s Veto of Chlorpyrifos Ban

For Immediate Release

May 7, 2020

 Contact: Dawn Stoltzfus, The Hatcher Group, 410-267-4153,
Ruth Berlin, Maryland Pesticide Education Network, 410-693-7319,

Statement on Governor Hogan’s Veto of Chlorpyrifos Ban

(Annapolis, MD) – The Smart on Pesticides Coalition released the following statement in response to Governor Hogan’s veto of SB 300, which would have banned chlorpyrifos, a toxic, nerve agent pesticide.

Governor Hogan’s decision to veto the bill to ban chlorpyrifos is extremely misguided and will allow this toxic chemical to continue to harm children’s brain development, contaminate waterways and injure wildlife – including bees and pollinators. The clear threat that chlorpyrifos poses to public health is anything but “moot.”

This bi-partisan legislation was supported by numerous scientists, public health officials – including the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Maryland State Medical Society — farmers, and environmental advocates. We hope to overturn this veto when the time is right.   

By taking this action, Governor Hogan is putting the Maryland Department of Agriculture in charge of banning this toxic pesticide, which is unacceptable. MDA is simply not equipped financially or with expertise to defend or enforce a regulation banning chlorpyrifos. 

The bi-partisan legislation Maryland lawmakers passed would have provided certainty about when, where, and how Maryland would ban chlorpyrifos. No regulations by MDA provide such certainty.

MDA’s regulations would allow for delays, exemptions, and loopholes resulting in continued exposure of this toxic chemical. MDA could change its regulations at any time, and opponents could file lawsuits challenging the regulation.

After years of study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded that chlorpyrifos was unsafe and proposed a rule to ban it in 2015. The Trump Administration killed the proposed rule weeks after taking office. Since then, California, Hawaii and New York have instituted chlorpyrifos bans, as has the European Union.

Chlorpyrifos is linked to neurodevelopmental issues, autism and cancer in children, as well as breast cancer in pre-menopausal women. It is also a major concern for the health of aquatic life and the Chesapeake Bay and harms pollinators. Read a fact sheet about SB 300 here.


The Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition, spearheaded by the Maryland Pesticide Education Network, works to protect Marylanders and the natural systems we depend upon from the toxic impacts of pesticides. The coalition includes 105 organizations, and institutions representing communities, businesses, health care providers, farmers, environmentalists, waterkeepers, interfaith congregants as well as environmental justice, public health and wildlife advocates.



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