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Maryland Pest Control Ass'n v. Montgomery County

Citation: 17 ELR 20511
No. No. JFM-86-1688, 646 F. Supp. 109/(D. Md., 09/29/1986)

The court holds that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) preempts Montgomery County, Maryland, regulations requiring commercial pesticide applicators to post sprayed areas and provide notification of pesticide hazards because FIFRA allows only states and not subdivisions of states to regulate pesticides. The court first notes that 1972 amendments to FIFRA restricted but continued states' rights to regulate pesticides. The court then rules that FIFRA § 24, which allows states to regulate federally regulated pesticides, does not allow state political subdivisions to do so. FIFRA § 2(aa)'s definition of state excludes subdivisions of states. Other FIFRA provisions expressly refer to state subdivisions, and the FIFRA amendments' legislative history reflects conscious decisions by Congress to exclude subdivisions from pesticide regulation. The court also holds that Montgomery County's provisions are not merely consumer information legislation; they are regulations requiring statewide enactment for recognition under FIFRA.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Bruce C. Bereano
Bereano & Resnick
195 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis MD 21401
(301) 267-0410

Counsel for Defendants
Paul A. McGuckian, Alan M. Wright
Executive Office Bldg., 101 Monroe St., Rockville MD 20850
(301) 251-2600