2015 End of Session Wrap Up: Parks & Recreation

This post summarizes the status of various parks and recreation bills that MACo took a position on for the 2015 Regular Session.

Prohibiting Use of Lawn Care Pesticides: HB 995  prohibits a person from applying a lawn care pesticide on the grounds of any child care center, school (includes K-12 and preschools), recreation center, or on any other recreational field that is used by a child under the age of 18 years.  There is an emergency exception to eliminate an immediate threat to human health, which is decided by either the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the head of a county health department, or for a public school the local superintendent of schools. Children must be prohibited from access to grounds that have had emergency treatment for at least the amount of time specified on the pesticide label. Parents of children attending the facility must receive notice of the emergency application within 24 hours.  Finally, each facility must designate a contact person and keep and maintain records on the emergency application of pesticides for at least 5 years.

MACo opposed the bill as county park and recreation departments follow reasonable application plans and comply with all prescribed instructions for pesticides, including limiting public access after application.  Departments are already required to record and post the use of all registered pesticides.  MACo argued that the bill would limit the ability of a county department from properly maintaining athletic fields and parklands.

FINAL STATUS:  The House Environment and Transportation Committee heard HB 995 but took no action on the bill.

MACo HB 995 Testimony