Legislative Priorities, 2021-22 – more information

Click below to expand on any bill of interest. Information is being added in a piecemeal fashion. Please direct requests for information to marty@nofamass.org. Last update – 4/13/21

According to a recent study (2021), “Pregnant women living within 2.5 miles of agricultural pesticide applications have an increased risk that their child will develop central nervous system (CNS) tumors, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Research by a team at University of California, Los Angeles. The results are particularly concerning as it reveals that individuals do not have to be in close contact with pesticides for risky, health-harming exposures to occur.”

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR PROTECTIONS FROM

PESTICIDE CHEMICAL TRESPASS IN THE COMMONWEALTH

SD.1201/HD.1918 introduced by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, Sen. Adam Hinds (February 2021)

Purpose of the bill: To protect Massachusetts residents from harmful pesticide drift from agricultural pesticide use.

Summary of the bill:

    1. Prohibits applying pesticides for agricultural use within buffer zones around designated protected areas.
    1. Establishes “protected areas,” including:
      • Residential, commercial, and municipal buildings;
      • Hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other medical facilities;
      • Schools and child care centers;
      • Any other building where people live or gather;
      • Developed recreation areas, such as parks and playgrounds; and
      • Other areas designated by the Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).
    1.  Establishes “buffer zones” where agricultural pesticide application is not allowed, including:
      • 1 mile around protected areas;
      • 250 feet around surface waters, except irrigation ditches and farm ponds; and
      • Additional buffer zones established by MDAR.
    1. Requires posted notice when pesticides are applied next to a buffer zone.
    1. Directs MDAR to create a process for residents to file complaints about violations of the buffer zone protections or other pesticide laws. Requires MDAR to keep a public docket of complaints received, investigations performed, and enforcement actions taken.
    1. Establishes penalties for applying pesticides in buffer zones, including suspension of pesticide applicator licenses and certifications.
    1. Empowers municipalities to designate additional protected areas and expand buffer zones to further protect the health and safety of residents, within certain limits.