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Advocates Seek Support for South Portland's Pesticide Ban Proposed to Protect Bees

Irwin Gratz
Advocates at a press conference to drum up support for South Portland's proposed pesticide ban to protect bees.

PORTLAND, Maine - Protecting bees:  That's the thinking behind an ordinance South Portland is considering to ban pesticide use on lawns and gardens in the city.

Today, the group Environment Maine said it has gathered more than 900 signatures in South Portland on petitions urging the federal government to move in that direction.

"We all know that pesticides pose a threat to human health," said Annie Tucker, who worked on gathering those signatures. "Yet it was still shocking and galvanizing when I talked with two different people in one night who said that they were both personally sickened by pesticides in their life."

The South Portland City Council holds another workshop Monday on its proposed anti-pesticide ordinance. City Mayor Tom Blake says the council is still working out how to educate citizens about pesticide use, enforce any new restrictions, and evaluate whether a pesticide ban is having the desired effect.