RISE and co-plaintiffs welcome court’s decision overturning local pesticide ban

The RISE legal team and co-plaintiffs gather outside the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, following the judge’s ruling that the County’s ban on lawn and garden pesticide use on private property is unlawful and preempted by Maryland law. From left Amanda Maizel, counsel, CropLife America; Anthony Michaels, principal, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.; Rowland Dennie, president, RowLandScapes; Eric Wenger, lead plaintiff, president, Complete Lawn Care, Inc.; Montgomery County Farm Bureau leaders and local residents Lonnie Luther and Michele Cropp.

RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) announced it’s pleasure with the Aug. 3 court decision by the Montgomery County, Maryland Circuit Court striking down the County’s ban on lawn and garden pesticide use on private property. The Court confirmed that the County’s ban is unlawful and preempted by Maryland law.

RISE President Aaron Hobbs said, “We are gratified that the Court agreed that the County’s ban on the use of State- and EPA-approved pesticides on private land is preempted by Maryland state law, which already provides uniform and comprehensive regulation of pesticide use across the state.

“Today’s decision is a win for resident and community choice. Pesticides purchased and applied by consumers and licensed professionals in the county help maintain healthy outdoor spaces for more than 1 million people who call the county home,” added Hobbs.

In November 2016, RISE, along with seven residents, six local businesses, and CropLife America, filed a legal challenge to Montgomery County’s ban on the application of hundreds of lawn and garden products on private property. A grassroots coalition of more than 400 residents, homeowners and licensed professionals worked together to oppose the ban since it was introduced in 2014.

The ban narrowly passed the County Council, with County Executive Ike Leggett expressing doubt about its legality before allowing it to go into effect without his signature. This grassroots coalition succeeded in laying the groundwork for a successful legal challenge to a contentious and complex ordinance that left Montgomery County residents uncertain about how to protect their lawns from weeds and pests.

Located in Washington, D.C., RISE is the national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders engaged with specialty pesticides and fertilizers used by consumers and professionals.