Opposition to a pesticide ordinance in South Portland is understandable, since humans tend to resist change. However, many of these people are doing so in the misguided belief that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking care of us, so why do we need a city ordinance? After all, don’t they test all these chemicals before approving of their use? Actually, the EPA relies on testing done by the manufacturers, a classic case of the fox guarding the chicken coop. Or, if you really think about it, a case of all of us being the guinea pigs in a nationwide test lab.
Without protections at the municipal level we are not safe from the many versions of synthetic pesticides on the market. Nor are the birds, the bees, our children or the earth. This is why South Portland needs to listen to its citizens and enact the pesticide ordinance currently under consideration by the City Council. It is in the power of our city to do this because Maine is one of seven states that maintain the right to local authority when it comes to protecting the health and welfare of citizens.
If you are a landscaper, have no fear. More and more householders are demanding environmentally friendly services. There’s money to be made that way.
You can do your part in making South Portland a pesticide-free city. Support the Pesticide Ordinance at the City Council workshop on Monday, Aug.8