2017 Montana Legislature
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SENATE BILL NO. 247
INTRODUCED BY M. PHILLIPS
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT CREATING THE SAVING MONTANA'S POLLINATORS ACT; PROHIBITING THE OUTDOOR USE OF NEONICOTINOID INSECTICIDES; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES; REQUIRING REPORTING; PROVIDING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO PREPARE A STATE POLLINATOR REPORT; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, pollination services, including by honey bees and numerous other pollinators, are a vital part of agricultural production in Montana; and
WHEREAS, one-third of food produced in North America depends on pollination by honey bees, including nearly 95 varieties of fruits and other foods of high nutritional value to all of Montana's citizens; and
WHEREAS, over the past several years, documented incidents of colony collapse disorder and excessive honey bee mortality have been at a record high, with some beekeepers losing large portions of their operations and suffering reduced production of their valuable honey; and
WHEREAS, scientists link the use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides to the rapid decline of honey bees and other pollinators and to the deterioration of pollinator health. This class of insecticides damages the central nervous system of insects, causing tremors, paralysis, and death at very low doses. They are systemic insecticides, meaning they are absorbed into treated plants and distributed throughout their vascular systems. As a result, treating a plant or coating a seed with neonicotinoid insecticides can render parts of the plant--including the roots, leaves, stems, flowers, nectar, pollen, and guttation fluid--toxic to insects. Neonicotinoid insecticides are persistent in soil and easily transported via air, dust, and water; and
WHEREAS, neonicotinoid insecticides cause sublethal effects, including impaired foraging and feeding behavior, disorientation, weakened immunity, delayed larval development, and increased susceptibility to viruses, diseases, and parasites, and numerous studies have also demonstrated acute, lethal effects from the application of these toxins. They also kill or weaken beneficial invertebrates, birds, and other wildlife, through direct and indirect effects; and
WHEREAS, bumblebees, beneficial insects of all kinds, and whole food chains of aquatic invertebrates, insects, birds, bats, and other pollinators in Montana are at risk from environmental contamination by highly persistent neonicotinoid insecticides; and
WHEREAS, scientists find that the use of neonicotinoid insecticides in seed treatment is harmful to birds. Recent science demonstrates that consumption of a single corn kernel coated with neonicotinoid insecticides is toxic enough to kill a medium-sized songbird; and
WHEREAS, in 2013, the European Union voted to suspend use of three major neonicotinoid insecticides--imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam--on certain agricultural crops pending a review of their safety. In the United States, some states, including New York, Connecticut, and Maryland, restrict some neonicotinoid insecticide uses to address their risks.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
(Refer to Introduced Bill)
Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Pollinator report -- requirements -- deadline. (1) Before September 1, 2018, the department of agriculture shall prepare a state pollinator report, which must include but is not limited to:
(a) an assessment of current applications of neonicotinoid insecticides to pollinators;
(b) a proposal to efficiently and effectively create and enhance pollinator nesting and foraging habitat in the state, including the establishment of pollinator reserves or refuges; and
(c) recommendations for best management practices and habitat restoration guidelines for pollinator habitat enhancement.
(2) The department shall:
(a) publish electronically the report prepared under subsection (1) and make it available for public comment; and
(b) address and incorporate public comment into the report and provide a final report to the environmental quality council and the legislature pursuant to 5-11-210.
(3) The department may seek federal or private funds to meet the requirements of this section.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
- END -
Latest Version of SB 247 (SB0247.02)
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