•These four bills need your support by November 5th, 2019:
H.792 - Essentially bans Glyphosate in the Commonwealth on all lands
S.499 - Stops Glyphosate use on State-owned/maintained lands
H.791 - Stops most Pesticide use on school/child care grounds, including Glyphosate
S.477/H.776 - Gives towns authority to regulate pesticides on town and/or private lands.
The Public Hearing for these Bills is November 12, 2019, at 1pm,
At the Massachusetts State House, Room A-2, 24 Beacon St., Boston, MA.
•Call The MA Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture:
Please make two phone calls by November 5th, 2019:
1 - Senate Chair, Anne Gobi: (617) 722-1540
2 - House Chair, Smitty Pignatelli: (617) 722-2210
Your Three Easy Steps:
1 - My name is ___________ _____________
2 - My town is ___________, Zip Code ___________
3 - Please put me on record in support of 4 Bills #: H.792, S.499, H.791, and S.477/H.776
•And if you’re free on Nov. 12, please join other concerned citizens at the State House at 1pm.
~ THANK YOU VERY MUCH for helping out beloved Cape Cod! Brought to you by The POCCA team ~
A CALL TO ACTION 2019
Important information brought to you by The POCCA Team about Bills
There are #8 Bills out that will really help Cape Cod:
1 - Please help the below bills pass this session by writing to your own state Representative, as well as, Senator and ask them to endorse these bills no matter what! You can copy the following in blue and paste it into an email:
"Hello, my name is _________, and I live in (which town)_________ and these are the causes that I support, I hope that you will sign on to be a supporter of the following important bills:
Legislation filed for the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court (2019-2020) Dealing with pesticide regulations for the protection of the environment and for the protection of pollinators.
These acts are endorsed and supported by POCCA and NOFA Massachusetts (Northeast Organic Farming Association) and have been referred to Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture for consideration.
H776 An Act empowering towns and cities to protect residents and the environment from harmful pesticides.
Priority legislation of the Sierra Club, this bill enables municipalities to further regulate the use of pesticides beyond existing state regulations. As it stands right now, only the state has the authority to determine which pesticides are acceptable to use- this legislation gives communities to control what chemicals are being used on their land.
Under the 1978 Mass. Pesticide Control Act, local town/city governments don't have the right to ban harmful pesticides. This bill would return Power to The People to protect their families, food and water from pesticide exposure. With the approval of municipality's Board of Health, a city or town government would be able to "restrict or prohibit the use and application or disposal of pesticides within the city or town that are more stringent than the standards and restrictions [adopted by the state]." Filed by: Rep. Dylan A. Fernandes
H791 Protect School Children from Pesticides, An Act relative to improving pesticide protections for Massachusetts schoolchildren
This bill would stop the outdoor use of toxic pesticides like glyphosate and 2,4-D on the outdoor grounds of schools, child care centers and school age child care programs within the state of Massachusetts and provide uniform understanding for parents and school employees that toxic pesticides will not be used where children are learning Filed by: Rep. Carmine Gentile
S499 Restrict Glyphosate use on Public Lands, An Act relative to the use of glyphosate on public lands.
Another bold move which will surely attract the ire of the powerful chemical lobby, Sen. Lewis has introduced a bill which would end the application of any glyphosate-based herbicide on any on any public lands owned or maintained by the Commonwealth without a special permit. It would also outlaw the use of "any pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its label." Filed by: Sen. Jason Lewis
H763 Mass. Pollinator Protection Act, An Act to protect Massachusetts pollinators.
Last session, this commonsense set of restrictions on the pollinator-killing pesticides known as neonicotinoids ("neonics") had 67% of the legislature signed on as cosponsors, and many offices reported it was an issue they heard the most about. Unfortunately, we were not loud and numerous enough for some legislators to hear us over the powerful objections of the chemical industry... Please help us swarm the phone lines and kick this session off with a deafening call to action to protect our pollinators.
This bill limits the sale and use of neonics to licensed (and trained) pesticide applicators, which would take these pesticides out of the hands of consumers. You can read more about the details of what this bill would and why this action is so important, on our policy page. Filed by: Rep. Carolyn Dykema and Attorney General Maura Healey
S463 Neonic Ban Bill, An Act protecting pollinators by eliminating harmful products.
We applaud Senator Eldridge's bold introduction of an outright ban on the sale, distribution or use this class of pollinator-killing pesticides across the Commonwealth. We encourage our supporters to call for cosponsors of this bill, as well as Rep. Dykema's neonic restrictions bill (HD.3339). We need to phase out use of these compounds, and a major demonstration of support for this move will really advance the conversation. Filed by: Sen. Jamie Eldridge
S438/H873 Mass. Healthy Soils Bill, "An Act to promote healthy soils and agricultural innovation within the Commonwealth"
Given the dire urgency of the climate crisis, the Healthy Soils Bill needs to take the spotlight. Agriculture is the only sector of the economy which has the potential of transitioning from a net emitter of greenhouse gases to a net reducer. That is, if we scale out Healthy Soils Practices, which pull carbon out of the atmosphere while increasing soil fertility.
Note: This bill will promote the reduced used of pesticides in general. Healthy Soils Practices in farming are integral to pollinator protection!
This bill creates a Healthy Soils Program within the Commission for Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources, which will provide incentives, training and assistance for Massachusetts farmers employing Healthy Soils Practices. The bill also adds an expert in Healthy Soils Practices to the Mass. Food Policy Council. Filed by: Sen. Jo Comerford and Rep. Paul Schmid III
S444 Groundwater protection from pesticides, An Act relative to the Pesticide Board.
This is a refile of bill from last session, that was stuck in committee and not adopted. It would require the Commissioner of Agriculture to consult with and concur with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and Commissioner of Public Health when rendering a decision under section 13 of this chapter (MGL c. 132B), relative to the protection of groundwater sources of drinking water from pesticide contamination. Filed by: Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Dylan A. Fernandes
S447 Handling, licensing and transport of pesticides, An Act empowering towns and cities to protect residents and the environment from harmful pesticides.
This is a refile of bill from last session, that was stuck in committee and not adopted. It would amend MGL c.132B. to further regulate the labeling, distribution, sale, storage, transportation, use and application, and disposal of pesticides in the commonwealth; provided, however, that this chapter shall establish the minimum standards and restrictions relative to the use and application and disposal of pesticides, and cities and towns may, by a majority vote of the legislative body and approval from the municipality's board of health, adopt ordinances and by-laws that regulate, restrict or prohibit the use and application or disposal of pesticides within the city or town that are more stringent than the standards and restrictions established by this chapter; Filed by: Sen. Julian Cyr
Your support of these bills is important to me and other residents of the Commonwealth because each and every one of them will have a positive effect on the environment and the health and safety of all residents from the youngest to the oldest in addition to those many visitors to this wonderful place we call home. Respectfully, (your signature) _________________________________."
Please write to any or all of the below important people who can help:
Cyr, Julian (SEN)" <Julian.firstname.lastname@example.org>,
"Peake, Sarah - Rep. (HOU)" <Sarah.email@example.com>,
Please take 5 minutes to make a phone call; give your name, address and the Bills you support, you can list all of the above Bills to help the most! Thank you!
24 Beacon Street
Boston, Ma 02133
Smitty Pignatelli (chair)
Daniel Cahill (vice chair)
Colleen M. Garry
Carmine Lawrence Gentile
Daniel R. Carey
Micelle L. Cirrrolo
Richard M. Haggerty
David Allen Robertson
James M Kelcourse
Norman J. Orrall
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
Anne M. Gobi (chair)
Walter F. Timilty (vice chair)
Michael F. Rush
Edward J. Kennedy
James B. Eldridge
Ryan C.. Fattman
YOP = Yearly Operational Plan
Written by Eversource to maintain vegetation overgrowth along Rights-of-way power lines
Eversource's plan to maintain vegetation along power lines is out to the public
The comment period ended on April 19th to write the state, MDAR (Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources) a strong comment against the YOP since it lists #9 different herbicides to be used on #13 Cape Cod towns in 2019.
See the language:
Eversource Energy, Eastern MA’s YOP identifies the following 13 municipalities as locations where they intend to use herbicides to treat their electric Rights-of-Way (ROW) power lines in 2019:
A failure by the city/town to respond to the applicant's submission of the YOP within the forty-five day period will be automatically considered by MDAR to indicate agreement by the municipal officials with the regulated Sensitive Area demarcations provided by the applicant in their YOP.
Any questions or comments on the information provided in this Notice and the procedures established for the municipal review outlined above should be addressed to:
Clayton Edwards - firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Rights-of-Way Programs, Massachusetts State Pesticide Bureau, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 500 Boston, MA 02114-2151
By April 17th, one or more boards in all #15 Cape Cod towns wrote against the YOP.
The POCCA team requested each town write a document to go on record against the YOP. We got onto agendas, gave presentations, followed-up, and put together a package to send to MDAR on time.
See below the language from every town on Cape Cod requesting the state, MDAR (Mass Department of Agricultural Resources) NOT allow the YOP (Yearly Operational Plan) written by Eversource on land in their town:
Now we wait for MDAR's response.
If the YOP is approved by MDAR, herbicidal applications start usually in September to December 31st. Eversource hires #4 landscape companies with Mass. state pesticides licenses to do the work. If weather allows, they could have #13 towns complete in 4 weeks.
There are many things about the YOP to take into consideration, why don't we approve?
1 - The Depth to drinkable water on Cape Cod is less than the set-back distances, so when MDAR sets these distances, they are not protecting our drinkable water lenses here at all. For example: there is a 50 foot set back horizontally where Eversource can not apply herbicides within any private well. And along ROW power lines from ground surface level to drinkable water is less than 50 feet vertically. The POCCA team has brought this up with MDAR for 3 years giving presentations at the MASS. Pesticide Board quarterly and they decide to vote to do nothing about it, time and time again, no mater the information we give to them they are not willing to update the regulations to fit the ecology of Cape Cod.
2 - The combination of herbicides is not tested together with surfactants and/or adjuvuncts (not fair)
3 - Granted Eversource uses an amount yearly that changes, they will NOT give that information to the public and MDAR does not require it so not one knows what amount is being applied yearly along the back bone of Cape Cod. (not fair)
4 - Weather conditions matter when applying, The label on the bag of each herbicide gives what's allowed/legal. Once mixed, how does that work then? This has never been answered. Usually at 10MPH or more they say they don't spray, yet we've seen many times they do, even up to 20mph winds. MDAR replies, don't worry we've been told they add more surfactant making it thicker so it gets to the plants when windy. (not fair)
5 - Glyphosate is the active ingredient in over 750 herbicides and is proving to be harmful to people, pollinators and resources like water. In the YOP it lists Rodeo which has twice the amount of Glyphosate in it than Roundup. Will the state still approve the YOP when it lists Rodeo? Glyphosate is proving to be very controversial, upon approval MDAR can amend any of the YOP so we will see what occurs.
6 - The POCCA team requested in November to all #15 Cape towns to VOLUNTEER to not use any Glyphosate products on the land they own and half of our towns have agreed! The question becomes, if a town does not use Glyphosate products on any land the town owns and the state approves the YOP, if the town has written a new town regulation with the Board of Health about Glyphosate, then what will happen when Eversource's crews apply in that town? Many towns have written a new town policy with their board of Selectmen, that won't hold up in a court case as much as the Board of Health since this is a health matter.
7 - Contaminants of emerging concern: Pesticides, PFOA's, PFOS's, fire foams are all examples. Shouldn't we be more concerned of the pesticide amounts used living above an aquifer we rely on?
and many more reasons not to allow the YOP 2019 .....
What did you think of the document language from every town on Cape Cod writing against the YOP?
The POCCA team is impressed! Gratitude goes out to all involved to help protect our beloved lands.