Lawsuit Challenges Montgomery County (Md.) Lawn Care Ban

Lawsuit Challenges Montgomery County (Md.) Lawn Care Ban

RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) joined six local businesses and seven residents of Montgomery County, Md., in filing a lawsuit that challenges the passage of the county’s lawn care product ban.

November 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) joined six local businesses and seven residents of Montgomery County, Maryland, in filing a lawsuit that challenges the passage of the county’s lawn care product ban.

The complaint, filed in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Md., is asking the court to declare that the law banning almost all lawn care products for private property is illegal as preempted by state law. 

The suit arises from the October 2015 adoption of Bill 52-14 which prohibits the use of widely available lawn and garden products on private and county property by residents and professionals. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2018, for private property, improperly banning the use of hundreds of state-licensed lawn care products on private property throughout the county. 

When Bill 52-14 was being debated by the County Council, the Maryland Attorney General’s office, County Executive and members of the Council opined the law’s private property provisions were likely preempted by state law. 

“Our nearly two-year challenge to the passage of Bill 52-14 continues with today’s court filing. Along with impacted county businesses and residents, we know this law is preempted by state law and are seeking confirmation from the court,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE president.

“Virtually everyone in the county will be affected by the private property lawn care ban with residents prohibited from treating their own properties with state-registered pesticides available from retailers, professionals left with virtually no pest solutions to treat residential and commercial lawns and turf, and retailers confused by a county law that unnecessarily differs from state law,” added Hobbs.

Maryland law comprehensively and uniformly regulates the registration, sale, and use of pesticides across the state. Uses of the pesticides that the ban would prohibit were already reviewed, licensed and approved by state regulators.

(Pictured: Attendees at the Montgomery County, Maryland, council meetings where Bill 52-14 was debated. The bill was adopted in October 2015 to go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, banning pesticide use on private property. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) along with residents and local businesses filed a lawsuit challenging the passage of the county’s lawn care ban because pesticide use on private property is preempted by Maryland state law.)