Statement: Assembly Environment Committee Passes Legislation To Limit Bee-Killing Neonics Pesticide

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee passed legislation (AB 2146) by a 6:2 vote this afternoon to ban most non-agricultural uses of the neonicotinoid class of pesticides, commonly known as neonics.

California is on track to join a growing number of states that have implemented similar limits on neonics, including recent actions from Maine, New Jersey and New York. The bill would ban neonics in lawns, gardens and golf courses, with exceptions made for combating invasive pests and other specified cases.

Neonics are systemic pesticides well-known to harm bees and other wildlife. At levels found in the environment, neonics affect bees’ ability to sustain their populations, forage for food and rid themselves from deadly mites. These pesticides also pollute waterways – samples from 58% of northern California and 92% of southern California urban waterways contained the neonic imidacloprid. Voting in support included Chair Quirk, Asm. Bauer-Kahan, Asm. Arambula, Asm. C. Garcia, Asm. Muratsuchi and Asm. Asm. Holden. The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

In response, Laura Deehan, director of Environment California, released the following statement:

“California’s world-renowned biodiversity includes and demands an incredible abundance and diversity of bees. To count our bee species ranging from the familiar honey bee to the state’s namesake California bumble bee, we have over 1,600 reasons to end key uses of harmful unnecessary pesticides like neonics.

“By moving this legislation forward, we are taking the necessary steps to protect our precious pollinators and reestablish California’s role as an environmental leader. We thank the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee and the bill’s author Asm. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan for passing this legislation out of committee today.”