Fair Farms in Maryland

As part of the Fair Farms Campaign, we work with a coalition of local farmers, environmental groups, health groups, and businesses to elevate the message of our sustainable agricultural community in Maryland.

In Maryland's 2020 legislative session, Clean Water Action worked with our allies to successfully pass SB0300/HB0229, finally banning chlorpyrifos in Maryland - only to be blocked by Hogan's veto. This highly toxic pesticide poses dangers to humans, pollinators, and aquatic life. The pesticide has been banned for indoor residential use for decades because of its harmful effects on children and fetal development. In 2015, the U.S. EPA initiated the process to review its safety and ultimately recommended that all food uses of chlorpyrifos be banned. In 2017, the Trump Administration reversed course on chlorpyrifos for political, not scientific, reasons. While many states, including Maryland, are suing the EPA over this breach of process, Maryland can and should take action and ban chlorpyrifos for all uses here. Governor Hogan may have vetoed the legislature's action, but we're working to fight back and bring a permanent ban to Maryland in 2021.

As steering committee members of the Smart on Pesticides Campaign, we have been engaged in local action on the pesticide issue. The Pollinator Protection Squad has checked over 40 stores in Maryland for neonicotinoids, a pesticide that is highly toxic to bees that was banned for residential use in 2016. With the Hogan administration continuing to not fund enforcement, the work performed by the Pollinator Protection Squad is critical to demand compliance with the Pollinator Protection Act.

Howard County has become a Bee City, and is in the process of passing legislation to ban all spraying of chlorpyrifos on county-owned, managed, and controlled properties. Neonicotinoids and glyphosate will also be banned, but a waiver process will be in place in case these pesticides are required to control certain invasive and noxious pests, like the emerald ash borer. These waivers will be available to the public and the county will use integrated pest management, to use the least toxic method first. While this ordinance does not apply to schools, Maryland schools have used integrated pest management since 1999!