Action Alerts from Farms, Forests & Food Systems Group

Take Action on Neonicotinoid Pesticides 

A virtual public hearing scheduled for December 10th, 2020 at 10 am.  will consider “the findings of a scientific literature review that the Pesticide Board Subcommittee will use when determining whether current uses of neonicotinoid insecticides pose unreasonable adverse effects to the environment as well as pollinators, and whether current registered uses of neonicotinoid insecticides should be altered.”
Public comments are due by December 17th at 5 PM (details here). 
According to policy director Marty Daboberto at NOFAMass, “the preliminary draft of the Literature Review is consistent with a number of global studies which have found adverse impacts of neonics on pollinators. The report very much appears to provide a compelling case for restricting use of neonics, as outlined in the Mass. Pollinator Protection Act, H.763.” We provide further recommendations in our joint testimony for actions which we believe the Pesticide Board Subcommittee should take based on this study. 

Link to the Facebook Event page.

Opt your location out of mosquito spraying

Let’s send a message to the Mass. Mosquito Control Board that we don’t like their plan for controlling mosquitoes by aerial and/or wide area emergency pesticide spraying…an ineffective and dangerous approach to controlling mosquitoes, especially in the time of Covid-19.

Read Laura Davis’s reasons not to spray in the Boston Globe’s pro/con piece, “Should aerial spraying be conducted in Massachusetts?” (10/29/20)

  • You can opt out of the program by filling out this online form.   
  • You can also sign up to be notified of imminent spraying.
  • Here’s more information on the mosquito control law (aka the arbovirus bill) from NOFA Mass and more info from their action page on this issue.
  • They also require that to be excluded from “wide area” spraying you must hang paper or aluminum pie plates around the perimeter of your property (at least every 50 ft.) that read “No Spray.”
  • The opt out period starts two weeks after the Control Board receives the form and lasts only for this calendar year.)

Sign on to the petition against biomass

Take Action To Stop Biomass in Springfield! 

 The Springfield City Council and the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition are up in arms about the proposal during the conference committee process to include biomass power in the new greenhouse gas emission standard for municipal light plants. Please help lift up the voices of the Springfield community by signing this petition to the Massachusetts State Legislature created by City Council member Jesse Lederman.

Help for pollinators

Federal: In May, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition with EPA to eliminate tolerances for neonics under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act and Food Quality Protection Act. If granted, it would effectively ban most outdoor uses. We argued that EPA’s assessment of neonics’ risks to human health is inadequate (and illegal), and that evidence shows that neonics harm the developing nervous system. That petition is now available for public comment at Docket No. EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0306; comments are due August 31.  

Here is a recent Greenfield Recorder piece by Michael Kellet
My Turn: Forest Protection Bill H.897: Setting the record straight
from partner Save Mass Forests

Bills still in play in the extended legislative session

 State: On July 31, 2020, the House amended their climate bill (H.4912) onto the Senate’s climate bill (S.2500).  The Senate passed the Next Generation Climate Bill in January,  which also focuses on getting to net zero by 2050.  Both bills have been sent to a temporary Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between them.  The Conference Committee will create a compromise climate bill.  The Senate President and Speaker of the House appoint the members to the conference committee: three members from each branch, including the chair of the Committee who specializes in the bill’s core issues, a member of the minority party, and a member of leadership.  These members include: Representatives Golden, Haddad, and Jones; and Senators Barrett, Creem and O’Connor.  Please make sure that the following points are included in the final climate bill:

  • please make sure that biomass and nuclear energy not be included as a renewable energy source in the Renewable Portfolio Standard
  • leave public forests free of commercial logging for the purpose of their ability to sequester enormous amounts of  carbon.
  • Encourage, prioritize, provide incentives and funding for small regenerative farms, which will sequester more carbon in their soils and provide richer and healthier food for all..