George Leventhal Debates the Issue on WMAL
Council President George Leventhal and Councilmember Marc Elrich have taken the lead on a measure that would create new county regulations regarding the use of pesticides. Specifically, their bill would:
- “require posting of notice for certain lawn applications of pesticide;”
- “prohibit the use of certain pesticides on lawns;”
- “prohibit the use of certain pesticides on County-owned property;”
- “require the County to adopt an integrated pest management program for certain County-owned property.”
The bill would not impact the application of pesticides on farm land in the County’s Agricultural Reserve but it would affect public County ball fields as well as private property. Montgomery County is usually strongly in favor of environmental regulations but these have already generated controversy that is likely to heat up.
Whatever you think of the bill, it was a gutsy piece of legislation to introduce precisely because of the heated debate. While gaining further support from the environmental community, Leventhal and Elrich risk facing a real backlash from opposed voters.
My understanding is that members of the Council tried to draft a compromise bill that would garner support, or at least acquiescence, from potential major opponents. However, that initiative having failed, Council President Leventhal decided that he might as well take the heat for introducing a firmer measure since he could not gain backing for a more moderate bill.
While funding for core services has been the hot debate in past years due to large budget cutbacks, this promises to attract the interest of many on both sides.