Senate enacts Sen. Daughtry bill to provide transparency about pesticides used at schools

Posted: June 09, 2021 | Senator Daughtry

AUGUSTA — On Wednesday, the Maine Senate voted to enact a bill from Sen. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, to improve transparency about what pesticides are being used on school grounds. LD 524, “An Act To Require Schools To Submit Pest Management Activity Logs to the Board of Pesticides Control and the Posting of Inspection Results for the Purpose of Providing Information to the Public,” received unanimous, bipartisan support.

“This issue is what first got me involved in local politics, back when I was 14 years old, after pesticides were incorrectly applied at my school. When it comes to the health of our kids, families and the public deserve to know that chemicals are being used safely and appropriately,” said Sen. Daughtry. “I’m grateful for all the work that went into this bill, and I’m thankful to my colleagues in the Legislature for voting to pass it.”

As amended, LD 524, as a resolve, would direct the state Board of Pesticides Control, which is part of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, to collect data on pesticides used at schools and determine the best way to share this information with the public.

Kathy Murray, integrated pest management entomologist with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, testified in support of the bill, saying the department “supports making these records more easily accessible to the general public.”

“Schools are accountable to the parents and communities they serve. Transparency is important in maintaining the public trust,” said Krystyna Dzialo, testifying in support of the bill on behalf of the Maine Education Association. “This bill will simply require schools to document and make available to the public, details of the pest management products that they are using as well as details on the application of these products.”

LD 524 now goes to Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to either sign the bill into law, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.