For Immediate Release: Friday, May 3, 2019 

Contact: Alex Zeineddin | alex@stavitskymedia.com| 202-360-7166 

Gaithersburg, Md, May 3, 2019 

Maryland Court of Special Appeals upholds Montgomery County’s Law stopping pesticides on lawns

Safe Grow Montgomery and our more than 50 business and non-profit partners are elated with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruling on Thursday to uphold Montgomery County’s Healthy Lawns Act 52-14, which bans the application of certain pesticides to lawns for cosmetic purposes. 

According to Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, “This is an important win for the local organic land management movement sweeping the country, as local elected officials embrace practices that protect the health of people and the environment.” 

Commonly referred to as the “Healthy Lawns Act” this law prohibits the use of harmful pesticides (including weed killers) on Montgomery County private and county-owned lawns. 

“This non preemption ruling affirms the right of Montgomery County residents to protect our communities from harmful lawn pesticides exposure, especially for our kids and pets,” says Julie Tadeo of Safe Grow Montgomery. “Now, it is essential that Montgomery County implement Healthy Lawns act on both private and public property.”

“The right to legislate stricter local pesticide laws allows Maryland’s jurisdictions to be leaders in protecting our state’s birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife, many which are in serious decline,” says Ling Tan, Chair of Pesticide Issues at Sierra Club Maryland. 

Referencing Maryland’s programs and efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay, Judge Zarnoch stated, “Futhermore, local policies that minimize pesticide contamination would only aid the State’s water quality goals under the Clean Water Act.” 

The Montgomery County Council passed an amended Healthy Lawns Bill 52-14 in a 6-3 vote Tuesday, October 6th, 2015. Montgomery County, Maryland is the first county and largest jurisdiction in the 

nation to restrict the non-essential use of harmful pesticides, herbicides, on County-owned property, private lawns and county playgrounds. 

The Montgomery County Council recognized the need to act where Federal regulation has failed to fully protect human and environmental health. Starting in 2018, the health of the county’s more than 1 million residents, the local water, soil and air quality, and pollinators will be protected from non-essential use of harmful lawn pesticides, herbicides. Children, people with health vulnerabilities – such as asthma, chemical sensitivities, and cancer – and pets are especially affected by the wide-spread use and unavoidable exposure to lawn pesticides, herbicides. 

Statement of court ruling: https://www.courts.state.md.us/data/opinions/cosa/2019/1203s17.pdf 

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Media contact: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin alex@stavitskymedia.com , 202 360-7166 

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