Statement: Baltimore City Council Passes Ban on Toxic Pesticides

Media Contacts
Kate Breimann


Monday, October 5th, 2020


Kate Breimann, Director, Environment Maryland

Emily Scarr, Director, Maryland PIRG

Josh Chetwynd, Communications manager

BALTIMORE – The Baltimore City Council voted in favor of a new comprehensive regulation on pesticides (CB 20-0495). The bill restricts the use of chlorpyrifos, neonicotinoids and glyphosate (the main ingredient in the popular weed killer RoundUp) in Baltimore City. The regulation will go into effect on July 1, 2022. 

These three pesticides have been found to threaten public health, pollinators and aquatic life. For example, chlorpyrifos was found in 90 percent of bay water samples, according to a Chesapeake Bay Program report. This is cause for concern, because there are multiple studies that show that chlorpyrifos negatively impacts health (similar studies exist on glyphosate). In addition, neonicotinoids have been found as a key factor in the decline of bee populations and as a detriment to beneficial organisms essential to functional ecosystems and food production. 

Environment Maryland and Maryland PIRG  released the following statements in response to the vote: 

“Scientists, farmers, beekeepers and advocates have sounded the alarm: These toxic pesticides have got to go. We’re grateful to Councilwoman Clarke for sponsoring this legislation and to the Council for voting it through. We encourage Mayor Young to sign this ordinance into law. Our pollinators are dying at an unprecedented rate and banning these chemicals is a critical first step to protecting our bees, our food and our planet,” explained Environment Maryland director Kate Breimann.

“It’s absurd that weed killers, designed to make our lives more convenient, and food production more efficient, should be allowed to put public health at risk,” said Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr. “These chemicals are harmful to health, and we’re glad the city council is taking action to protect Baltimore families. We hope the mayor will quickly sign this important bill into law.”

Read testimony from Environment Maryland and Maryland PIRG on CB20-0495 here


Environment Maryland is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. We work to protect clean air, clean water, and open space. We have thousands of members across the state and are based in Baltimore.

Maryland PIRG is a statewide small donor funded public interest advocacy organization based in Baltimore, with grassroots members across the state. For forty-five years we’ve stood up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.

staff | TPIN

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