Jan 24, 2014

Maine legislation audio: Towns would form Mosquito Control Districts. State could declare mosquito emergencies & override towns.

Ever wonder who decides when where and why local mosquito conditions conditions warrant the use of aerial spraying of biocides? The State? Towns? People? 

That's what the fascinating  45 minute discussion below is about.  Listen to the Maine Legislature's Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Committee hold a work session on January 23, 2014 to discuss a report regarding three aerial pesticide spraying bills LDs 1567 , 1568 and 1569.  Report was done as required by a bill passed last session: LD 292 An Act To Protect the Public Health from Mosquito-borne Diseases  

. Details & background below the recordings 

Full LDs 1567-1568-1569 worksession 46min
Part 1. 13 minutes 19 seconds
Part 2. 13 minutes 35 seconds
Part 3.  8 minutes 55 seconds
Part 4.  to worksession end 9 minutes  6 seconds
Written testimony by MOFGA
* Written testimny by Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry

Bill Summary:  "This bill authorizes the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to conduct appropriate mosquito-control activities in response to mosquito-borne disease public health threats. In addition, the bill authorizes municipalities to cooperate in controlling mosquitoes through the formation of mosquito-control districts. It establishes the Maine Mosquito Control Fund to provide funding for mosquito-control activities. Finally, the bill authorizes the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to declare a mosquito-borne disease public health threat."

 Legislators sounded suspicious of giving the state the power to declare a "mosquito-borne disease public health threat" .and then to be able to overide all citizen and municipal objections, and "conduct appropriate mosquito-control activities in response to mosquito-borne disease public health threats"  Responding to its own alarms?  Scroll down and listen to the 

BACKGROUND. In May 2013, Governor Lepage signed into lawThe bill required, among other things, a Legislative Review be made on the effect of the bill on towns and citizens, and a report made to the legislators this session. In 2014 the Lepage administration introduced LD 1569  "Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 51: Notice of Aerial Pesticide Application, a Late-filed Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry".

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