Fine print in pesticide bill makes it hard to regulate pesticides

The recent signing of SB 23-266 is raising some concerns for those on the Western Slope.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 8:22 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The recent signing of SB 23-266 is raising some concerns for those on the Western Slope.

Duncan Dearduff, Mesa County’s noxious weed and pest management coordinator, said when you read the fine print of the bill people can find out more about what’s happening.

The main portion of the bill places restrictions on residential use of pesticides. Further down in the bill there are sections that created a framework for local governments to take over pesticide regulation.

“Where I disagree with it from a land management and pollinator protection perspective, is that citizens can lobby, a local elected official to ban a chemical. If they push hard enough, they can sway these political decisions.” Dearduff said.

Dearduff said this kind of control over pesticides is not a good idea because citizens could have the power to potentially ban low risk pesticides and replace them with more harmful and less known ones.

“Overall, it does sound good on paper, but from an integrated pest management standpoint, and a land management standpoint, the feasibility of it, and the impact of it would cause more harm than good.” Dearduff said, “The federal government, the state government, as well as pesticide manufacturers spend a ton of money researching how the how the pesticide interacts with off target species.”

Dearduff said counties and cities don’t have the capability of creating a pesticide regulation department that is the same across the whole state.

This type of legislation the framework laid out has been proposed before but never put into law.