The following letter was sent to Reps. Dylan Fernandes and Seth Moulton:

House Docket 4228, “an act empowering towns to protect their environment and residents from harmful pesticides” should be defeated for the following reasons:

The act assumes that the existing laws and regulations regarding pesticides are flawed or inadequate. The Massachusetts Pesticide Board “consists of representatives of the Department of Agricultural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Food and Drugs, Department of Fish and Game, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Public Health, as well as farming, commercial pesticide applicators, pesticide toxicology, the environmental community, the medical community, and citizens at large.” (

All materials approved for regulated use are thoroughly and systematically reviewed in Massachusetts.

The act assumes that significant expertise to regulate pesticide use exists at the municipality level. This is a misconception.

Many of the commonwealth’s most significant parks and managed areas have been saved from obliteration by invasive species due to the careful application of herbicides. Removing these tools from use by licensed, knowledgeable applicators would doom many sites to negligence and would negate significant public investments in protecting our natural resources.

In short, decisions regarding pesticide regulation must be informed by science, not emotions.

I served as an ecologist with the state’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program for 20 years and during much of my tenure I also served on the state Rights of Way Advisory Committee which reviews all municipal and utility vegetation management plans which are required by existing state law.

Tim Simmons