Arizona, Hawaii, and Nevada file use bills on Neonics while California seeks out reevaluation of neonics on turf and ornamental uses
Neonicotinoid bills highlight the 2023 legislative dockets in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada are bills on the usage of the products while California’s bill allows for a reevaluation of the products on turf and ornamental use.
Arizona SB 1357 would prohibit the use of all neonic products in the state. With the Arizona Senate and House still controlled by Republicans its expected that the bill will not advance out of committee.
In California, AB 363 would require the California DPR, by July 1, 2024, to publish a reevaluation of the latest science regarding the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides, as defined, on pollinating insects, aquatic ecosystems, and human health when used for the nonagricultural protection of outdoor ornamental plants, trees, and turf, and, by July 1, 2026, to adopt regulations governing that use that are necessary to protect the health of honeybees, native bees, and other pollinating insects, aquatic ecosystems, and human health.
While the California golf industry doesn’t oppose the reevaluation, we do oppose the change to the assessment protocol (from risk-based assessment to hazard-based) as well as the potential influence, interference, and timeline of the legislature on the outcome of the reevaluation. It is not the place of legislature to circumvent the established regulatory process. Comments have been filed requesting that the bill be based on a risk assessment without undue outside interference from legislature.
Hawaii (SB 1009 and accompanying HB 251) would make neonics restricted use products in the state. As most golf course superintendents are certified applicators licensed by the state, the restricted use will have a minimal affect on operations, but it will create more administrative work for our industry as well as allowing the legislature to once again circumvent established regulatory processes established by the Hawaii and Department of Agriculture.
In Nevada, AB 162 would ban neonic use on turf and ornamental uses. Agriculture has been exempted from and AB 162 specifically targets turf and ornamental use, even if the end user is a certified applicator. Comments in opposition to the bill have been submitted.
The last bills that we will be closely following this legislative season are California AB 460 and accompanying SB 389. These bills would create new administrative enforcement processes that would allow the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to make binding determinations on water rights. Significantly, AB 460 in particular would grant interested parties the right to file petitions for the SWRCB to impose restrictions on water rights that could significantly limit or eliminate a diverter’s ability to exercise those rights. Collectively, both bills would undermine existing legal protections for pre-1914 and riparian water rights and result in significant changes to how California’s water rights system is administered.
More information as well as action alerts (where warranted) will be forthcoming as the bills stall or advance through committee. For more information & updates follow this blog or visit https://www.gcsaa.org/advocacy/take-action.