The proposed Blue Hill Healthy Ecosystem Ordinance will prohibit the “application, storage or sale of synthetic substances (pesticides) other than those specifically listed as ‘allowed’ in the National Organic Program (USDA’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances),” with exemptions cited in the ordinance. Exemptions include: commercial farms; tick and flea treatment for people and pets; indoor pesticide use; rodent control; and natural pesticides, like Bt and pyrethrum. www.BlueHillHealthyEcosystem.com contains the proposed ordinance, FAQ and almost 200 articles, studies and information pages.
One billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States every year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 50 million Americans get their drinking water from sources contaminated with pesticides. Scientific studies associate exposure to pesticides with serious health problems, including cancer, child developmental disorders, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, liver damage, endocrine disruption, reproductive dysfunction and death. Pesticide residue permeates our air, water, land and food. No living organism — human, animal or plant — is immune from its effects. Search “pesticides and illnesses” online for a seemingly endless amount of information. “Scientists Release 21 Health Problems Linked to Monsantoʼs Roundup After 20 Years of Research” (see website) lists diseases, illnesses and corroborating studies for each. Roundup can be purchased at Home Depot, Hammond and Viking.
At least 29 municipalities have ordinances that in some way restrict the use of pesticides. Much of the language in the Blue Hill ordinance is taken directly from the ordinances of Camden, Rockport, Ogunquit, South Portland and Portland. There is ample precedent for reducing pesticide use throughout Maine. Healthy Solutions (see website) is a starting point for learning more about healthy ways to work in harmony with nature and the environment and contains a wide range of information describing environmentally friendly methods for maintaining and improving outdoor spaces, including farms, gardens, landscapes, golf courses and swimming pools.
Pesticide use is product-based. Healthy solutions are knowledge-based. Your “yes” vote for the Blue Hill Healthy Ecosystem Ordinance will help create a cleaner, greener Blue Hill and hopefully inspire residents in other communities to take action as well.