Pesticide notification on meeting agenda

Posted Jan. 21, 2009, at 8:59 p.m.

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control will hold a public hearing Friday on a proposal to create an online registry for individuals who want to be notified whenever aerial application of pesticides will happen nearby.

The board had originally proposed that farmers make the initial contact with landowners within 1,000 feet of the fields to be sprayed to check whether neighbors wanted to be notified. But after encountering strong opposition from the agriculture community, the board has proposed requiring that individuals assume the responsibility of being added to the statewide registry.

The board also will accept comments on two other proposed rule changes: the first to create a mechanism to regulate Bt sweet corn to prevent pollen drift, and the second to incorporate federal rules regarding pesticide management and storage.

The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Waterville Hampton Inn, 425 Kennedy Memorial Drive. Written comments will also be accepted on the rules through 5 p.m. Feb. 6. Comments can be sent to: Henry Jennings, director, Board of Pesticides Control, 28 State House Station, Augusta 04333-0028. They also can be sent via e-mail to henry.jennings@maine.gov or by fax to 624-5035.

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