Update on Maine Board of Pesticides Control

By Jacob Dyer

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (MBPC) met on Friday, November 8.  The previous MBPC meeting was held on September 13, 2019.

Jennifer Lund, Maine State Apiarist, gave an overview of the Maine State Apiary Program which was developed in 1983 to prevent the introduction and spread of regulated honey bee diseases and parasites and to facilitate the movement of honey bees for crop pollination and honey production.  Today, the primary roles of the State Apiarist include licensure of resident bee keepers, permitting of migratory bees brought in from other states, inspection of bee colonies for the presence of diseases and parasites, and education outreach regarding bee keeping practices and the importance of honey bees to Maine agriculture.

A request from Representative Pluecker to discuss the strengths and potential weaknesses of the MBPC’s pesticide notification rules was tabled until the January MBPC meeting.  

John Pietroski, Manager of Pesticide Programs, gave an update regarding the State Plan, which is required to be submitted to the EPA.  The MPBC voted to approve submitting the plan as written to the EPA by the March 04, 2020 deadline.

Amanda Couture, Certification and Licensing Specialist, gave an overview of the Obsolete Pesticides Collection which took place in late October.  In 2019 there were 79 participants and 7510 pounds of pesticides were collected and disposed of.  The MPBC discussed options related to allowing commercial pesticide applicators to participate in the program in the future.

The MBPC and staff discussed the upcoming requirements of additional licensure related to fumigation.  As of January 01, 2020, those wishing to apply fumigants will need 1.)  A Maine pesticide applicators license, 2.)  An EPA fumigation applicators license, and 3.) A specific fumigation category endorsement to their Maine pesticide applicators license.  The examination for this category will be similar to the EPA’s fumigation test and will questions will be derived from information in the EPA Soil Fumigation Manual.  MBPC staff will be present at the Maine Potato Conference to answer any questions.

The MBPC authorized staff to proceed with an advertising campaign to educate and expand public awareness of the MPBC and their role in developing pesticide policy.  

The next MBPC meeting is scheduled for January 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm.  This meeting will be held at the Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center.  

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