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Issue Brief: Maryland victory

September 20, 2017 -  By

Missy HenriksenRecently, the industry had a major victory in the fight to allow professionals to manage landscapes according to best practices and federal and state regulations and not at the whim of local cities, townships or counties.

Two years ago the industry was rocked by a ban in Montgomery County, Md., that forbid the use of commercial pesticide applications by lawn care professionals, but still allowed homeowners to use pesticides. The rule restricted professional companies, while allowing homeowners to use the same products with no skill and no guarantees that they would follow the manufacturer guidelines.

This August, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Terrence McGann ruled in favor of the landscape professional community and struck down the countywide ban, explaining that “by generally banning the use of registered pesticides, the ordinance prohibits and frustrates activity that is intended to be permitted by state law, which conflicts with, and is thus preempted by state law.”

NALP members and its government relations team were pleased that the opinion supported the notion of implied state preemption, guaranteeing that local jurisdiction follow state rules and stating, “While the ordinance claims to promote greater pesticide safety, its chaotic application is a blow to the uniformity of laws between the federal and state governments.”

This case is an example of why it’s vital to be informed, get to know your local legislators and speak up when issues arise that affect your company. It’s been a long fight for professional lawn care and landscape companies who do business in Montgomery County, but that effort has paid off.

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