Testify on HB19 – a Bill to Ban Neonics in Alaska

The Alaska Legislature is considering a bill to ban neonic pesticides in Alaska. The House Resources Committee will be hearing testimony on this bill on Friday*, and this is your opportunity to comment on the bill.

First, here is the current proposed language of the bill:

“Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a person may not apply imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran, acetamiprid, or any other neonicotinid pesticide to seeds, to foliage, or in granular form to soil, unless the pesticide is contained entirely within a greenhouse, and the seeds, foliage, or soil will remain in the greenhouse for the entire lifespan of the seeds, foliage or soil.”

This wording has an important flaw. The clause “in granular form to soil” creates a loophole that could allow the use of neonics on the soil, where they are absorbed systemically by plants. Most likely would be the case where a farmer or nurseryperson planted neonic-treated seed (not granular form) directly into the soil, or into pots where they would later be planted outside. This loophole would be closed if the words “in granular form” are removed from the bill. This revised wording would mean that applying neonics in any form to soil that would eventually end up in the environment would be banned.

I would like to encourage everyone to take time to comment on this bill. You can do this in writing, by letter or email, to the committee. You can also participate in the hearing by telephone or from the Legislative Information Office.  Here is a link to the House Resources Committee  and you can get the contact information for each of the members from this page. Here is a link for the hearing schedule – but this schedule may change!

Here are the email addresses of the committee members. If you choose to testify in writing, please send a copy of your email testimony to all of the members.

Representative Andy Josephson email: Representative.Andy.Josephson@akleg.gov

Representative Geran Tarr email: Representative.Geran.Tarr@akleg.gov

Representative Dean Westlake email: Representative.Dean.Westlake@akleg.gov

Representative Harriet Drummond email: Representative.Harriet.Drummond@akleg.gov

Representative Justin Parrish email: Representative.Justin.Parish@akleg.gov

Representative Chris Birch Email: Representative.Chris.Birch@akleg.gov

Representative DeLena Johnson Email: Representative.DeLena.Johnson@akleg.gov

Representative George Rauscher Email: Representative.George.Rauscher@akleg.gov

Representative David Talerico Email: Representative.David.Talerico@akleg.gov

Representative Mike Chenault Email: Representative.Mike.Chenault@akleg.gov

Representative Chris Tuck Email: Representative.Chris.Tuck@akleg.gov

If you would like to testify via teleconference, it is best to go to your local Legislative Information Office. Here is a link to the LIOs throughout the state. If you cannot go to an LIO, you can call in by phone… However, the number of phone lines is limited. The number is (844) 586 9085.

This bill is REALLY IMPORTANT! Please take the time to write your comments, email them to the committee, and go to the LIO to testify!