PROVIDENCE, RI — On June 22, Rhode Island lawmakers passed S. 2299, a bill that would restrict the use of neonicotinoids. The bill has been sent to Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee (D), who will determine whether to sign it.
The bill would restrict the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids outdoors, allowing only certified applicators to purchase or use them.
Leonard Brown, director of public policy for the National Pest Management Association, said the NPMA and its members were able to ensure that the House and Senate bills were “deferred to a vote as part of the process.” of the committee,” but a late surge by activist groups has made Rhode Island’s legislative committee members thoughtful.
Brown said the NPMA is currently working with a coalition of farm and non-farm organizations to ask Governor McKee to veto the bill. The NPMA is running an active VoterVoice campaign for members who live in Rhode Island to tell the governor to veto the bill. Click here for a link to this campaign.
In Rhode Island, restricted use products (RUPs) require direct line supervision of licensed applicators, which will be the challenge for Rhode Island pest control professionals, according to Ted Brayton of Griggs & Browne Pest Control, who is the New England SPARR (State Political Affairs Representative) for the NPMA. “I don’t know of any other state in the country like this, certainly not in New England,” he said.
Brayton said Rhode Island’s stringent RUP requirement was naturally created to ensure the safe and professional use of more volatile products (e.g., fumigants, underground liquid termiticide applications, rodent tracking powders, etc. ) – and not neonicotinoids. “That’s really the sticking point,” he said.
The Rhode Island Bill Is include an exception for the use of neonicotinoids indoors by licensed professionals. However, as the bill is written, this exception only applies if the product does not have an exterior application on the label and Brayton said that to his knowledge, there is only one only neonicotinoid product that does not have an outer application tongue on the label.