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Legislation and Advocacy for Pollinators

This page showcases key bills and initiatives across the region that protect pollinators and will have updates and action alerts about pending legislation.

 

The Pollinator Pathway advocates for legislation and policies that,

directly or indirectly, support pollinator health.

Pesticides, as well as other toxic chemicals that leach into air, soil and

water, are sources of harm to pollinators as well as to ourselves.  All

Plastic, for example, and other waste that is not recycled is either

incinerated or sent to landfills, polluting air and soil.

 

A major Pollinator Pathway focus is the state-by-state movement to

restrict or ban Neonicotinoids or “neonics,” neurotoxic pesticides

linked directly to massive bee and insect losses around the globe and,

increasingly, to vast water and soil contamination, ecosystem-wide harms, and human health concerns. Cornell University research reveals that the neonic uses that pose the greatest threats to bees are also those that provide little-to-no benefits to users or are easily replaceable with safer alternatives. 

One way neonics enter the environment is via pesticide-coated seeds. This Xerces article explains why we need to advocate for policy restricting coated seeds: When Voluntary Action Isn’t Enough: The Case For Regulating Pesticide-Coated Seed.

 

Watch this webinar to learn more about how neonics affect pollinators and people.

And see below to find out what your state is doing.

Here is a map of towns that have passed local pesticide restrictions. For examples of municipal actions and ordinances that you may wish to see taken up in your own town or city, click the purple link below. If your town, county, or state has legislation that should be listed, please let us know by emailing info@pollinator-pathway.org.

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Municipal rights to set pesticide policy are under attack at the national level, though!  Congressional bill H.R. 7266 would preempt and nullify the local ordinances we are all working on passing.

Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators HERE to support communities by opposing H.R. 7266 and supporting the Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (PACTPA), which contains a provision affirming local authority to restrict pesticides.

State Laws Protecting Pollinators from Neonics

California

The California legislature passed AB 2146, a bill that would prohibit lawn and

garden uses of neonicotinoid pesticides, in 2022, but Governor Gavin

Newsom refused to sign this critical bill into law.

Colorado 

Introduced a bill to restrict neonics in 2022. A vote was postponed.

Connecticut 

In 2022 and 2023 CT failed to pass bills to ban neonic use on lawns and

ornamental landscapes despite wide support from state legislators.

Downloadable information handout for CT. 

2022 bans the use of the neurotoxin pesticide chlorpyrifos on golf courses

(where 80% of use occurred) but dropped the part of the bill that would have

banned neonics from non-agricultural uses. 

 

2016 passes the Pollinator Protection Act which classifies neonics as

"restricted use," barring them from retail sale and only allowing use by certified

applicators. Connecticut helped lead the way in 2016.

Maine 

2021 passes a landmark law  directing the Board of Pesticides Control To

Prohibit the Use of Certain Neonicotinoids for Outdoor Residential Use. This law goes beyond restricted use and bars neonics from residential properties. Hooray for Maine.

Maryland

2016 passes the Pollinator Protection Act making neonics "resticted use," barring them from retail sale and only allowing use by certified applicators. Maryland helped lead the way early on. 

Massachusetts

2021 neonics designated as "resticted use," barring them from retail sale and only allowing use by certified applicators.

Nevada

2023 with broad bi-partisan support, Nevada enacts legislation to ban outdoor, non-agricultural uses of neurotoxic neonic pesticides. The effort was led by local organizations including Reno Food Systems, Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter, and many more, with support from NRDC’s pollinator team. More info here.

New Jersey

2022 landmark bill passes which goes beyond restricted use to prohibit outdoor non-agricultural neonic uses, targeting lawn and turf uses by homeowners and professionals. 

New York

2023 New Yorkers passed the Birds and Bees Protection Act which will place a ban on the use of neonics on ornamental plants and turf grass and on the sale or purchase of neonic-treated corn, soybean, and wheat seeds, which represent 73% of the neonics used in NY State agriculture. Now the bill will go to Governor Hochul's desk to be signed! Please ask her to sign TODAY!  Please sign this petition and share it.  Download the petition here. 

2022 neonics become restricted use and were banned from retail sales.

Rhode Island

In 2022 a bill passed designating neonics as "resticted use," barring them from retail sale and only allowing use by certified applicators.

Vermont

2022 further neonic restrictions were dropped from H. 626, A Bill to Ban Pollinator & Bird-Harming “Neonics.”  

2019 neonics become restricted use and are banned from retail sales

To find your Vermont legislators: click here

 

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Please Send Us Updates and Information from Your State to Add to this Page!

info@pollinator-pathway.org

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