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Current Legislative/Regulatory Issues

On April 8th, HB 4187—Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators Act (Neonicotinoid Ban) was introduced in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. The Joint Committee consists of House and Senate members and is comprised of 14 Democrats and 3 Republicans.

Neonics as RUP, Ban During Blooming Season, and Notification Requirements

This bill classifies neonics as restricted use. As written, only certified or licensed applicators are permitted to use, possess, or purchase neonicotinoid pesticides. This bill would ban neonicotinoid usage for structural use patterns during the “blooming season.” The blooming season typically runs from March to November. Within the hypothetical confines of this bill, a person from our industry who is a certified or licensed applicator may use neonics from December to February. Also in this scenario, when our industry is permitted to use neonics, the applicator is required to go through an arduous notification process prior to application. The applicator would have to provide the property owner with information that: 1. States the risks associated with neonic use 2. A list of alternative non-neonicotinoid products 3. An acknowledgement that the owner has received and understands this information. Agricultural and Horticultural use patterns are exempt from the ban and notification requirements.

Neonicotinoid Training Requirements

This bill requires that a certified or licensed applicator must complete training on the risks associated with neonicotinoid use and the proper techniques to use in order to minimize those risks. The neonicotinoid training would be incorporated for new and existing certified and licensed applicators.

Special Commission on Pollinators for Study and Evaluation

The special commission is comprised of government appointees and various stakeholders. A stakeholder from our industry is NOT present in this section of the bill. The special commission would study some of the following topics:

  • Current regulations in Massachusetts, other states, and other countries related to pollinators and pollinator health
  • Public education and outreach plans for pollinator health
  • Evaluate apiary inspection program with a specific focus on parasitic diseases
  • Identify funding efforts to promote and protect pollinator health
  • Identify best management practices
  • The Commission shall make recommendations to the Legislature and State Pesticide Board 

State Policy Affairs Representative (S.P.A.R.), Ted Brayton

The NPMA State Policy Affairs Representative is the key liaison responsible for coordinating issues between associations. To contact your state SPAR click on their email below.

Ted has 24 years in the industry, all with Griggs & Browne Pest Control. He was Treasurer of the New England Pest Management Association and currently is the President-Elect New England Pest Management Association. Ted is the S.P.A.R. for Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Contact: