Bill Would Give Cities Authority to Restrict Use of Certain Pesticides

March 1, 2021

The legislation would have the state identify pesticides that are lethal to pollinators and permit cities to block their usage by ordinance.

A bill that would change city authority to regulate pesticides and pesticide application was heard in the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee on Feb. 23.

Under the bill, HF 718 (Rep. Samantha Vang, DFL-Brooklyn Center), the Minnesota Department of Agriculture would create and maintain a list of pesticides considered “pollinator-lethal.” Cities could, by ordinance, have sale and use restrictions on that list of chemicals, with some specific exemptions for indoor and health-related needs.

The bill also removes existing city licensing authority over pesticide applicators. No city has chosen to implement that authority since it was created in 1987.

The League testified in support of the bill, as it aligns with the League’s new policy on city pesticide application authority.

The bill was passed on to the House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee, where it will face higher scrutiny both as a pesticide regulation and for its budgetary impacts on the Department of Agriculture.

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