Pesticide use reporting laws haven't worked in other states [Letter]

Unfortunately, your recent support for requiring Maryland's professional applicators to report pesticide use to a state database left readers with the impression that other states have easily implemented such requirements ("Understanding pesticide risk," Feb. 19).

Yet "inoperable" is how a spokesperson for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently characterized that state's pesticide use reporting system. The spokesman was explaining why the governor had proposed repealing the 1996 law requiring commercial pesticide applicators to submit comprehensive pesticide use reports to the state and making the information available online. New York hasn't issued such a report in almost 10 years.

Nevertheless, New York pest control businesses must still devote time and resources to submitting voluminous amounts of data that no one looks at. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon have had similar experiences administering their respective pesticide use reporting requirements.

The combined experiences of these states amount to millions of wasted dollars without any benefit to the public and the needless burdening of small businesses with useless bureaucratic requirements. That perfectly underscores why Maryland's professional pest management industry opposes the creation of a similar system here.

Gene Harrington, Ellicott City

The writer is vice president of governmental affairs for the National Pest Management Association.

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