Have you heard? South Portland’s city council approved a first reading of a pesticide ordinance that has been debated for months by concerned South Portland citizens.
Casco Bay water sampling has demonstrated that excess fertilizer and pesticide use is causing algae blooms that kill aquatic life and lead to potentially severe problems for the Bay.
Consequently, pesticides and, I assume, fertilizers, cannot be used within 75 feet of the water; in fact, only pesticides on the EPA’s minimum risk list will be allowed..
This ordinance is similar to ours here in Ogunquit with some exceptions. Golf course playing surfaces will be exempt, along with garden centers. Like ours, exemptions are allowed for dangerous pests – ticks and mosquitoes, and noxious plants, such as poison ivy.
If approved, South Portland’s ordinance would kick in for town land next May 1st, for private property; the following May, May 1st, 2018. Finally it would apply to the golf course, May 1st, 2019.
A few days before the first reading of South Portland’s ordinance was approved, York’s conservation commission submitted an ordinance banning chemical pesticides to York’s Select Board.
Their ordinance follows ours in Ogunquit, and of course we based ours, with some necessary changes, on Takoma Park, Maryland’s, that started it all.
Harpswell has had their pesticide ordinance similar to ours, with exceptions similar to South Portland’s, since March.
Of course a pesticide is a pesticide, and for the sake of our birds, bees, and butterflies, no pesticides are the best alternative if possible.