Friday, November 12, 2010

Legislative and Regulatory Update

This first appeared in the fall 2010 issue of the Ohio Pest Management Association's quarterly newsletter, The Standard.

By Belinda Jones, Legislative Counsel - Capital Consulting Group

With the legislature on election year recess, the state house has been relatively quiet. Still, given the fact that post-election, the period we call “lame duck,” things can “turn on a dime,” we thought it might be helpful to recap some of the issues we are following on your behalf.

Bed Bugs

Every day, it seems, another news story is printed or recorded about the problem with bed bugs in Ohio. Among the myriad of county and city bed bug task forces in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) have teamed up for the Strickland Administration to study the bed bug problems and make recommendations via the Ohio Bed Bug Work Group. The Work Group is comprised of all types of stakeholders including representatives from OPMA and OPARR, as well as representatives from the university sector, state and local agencies, local health departments, low income housing agencies, hotel and lodging organizations and pest control operators. Having had numerous informational meetings, recent meetings have centered on Ohio request for a Section 18 exemption for emergency use of propoxur for bed bugs. Initial response from USEPA has been less than welcoming and, thankfully, the Strickland Administration has not “taken no for an answer.” While the final outcome cannot be predicted at this time, know that Governor Strickland , ODA and others are pressing USEPA to grant some relief to an issue that is fast approaching public health crises in Ohio.

In addition to the work of the Bed Bug Work Group, there are several bed bug bills pending in the Ohio Legislature:

SR 132 BEDBUG CONTROL (Kearney - D; Cincinnati) - To urge the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to grant an emergency exemption for the use of the insecticide Propoxur to control bedbugs in Ohio.

- Introduced Senate 12/13/09

- Passed Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee 5/12/10

- Pending Senate Action

- OPARR Position: Support

SB 45 VERMIN INFESTATIONS (Kearney - D; Cincinnati) - Regarding vermin infestations in apartments.

- Introduced 2/10/09

- Pending Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee

- OPARR Position: Monitoring

HR 182 BEDBUGS (Mallory – D; Cincinnati) - To urge the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to grant an emergency exemption for the use of the insecticide Propoxur to control bedbugs in Ohio.

- Introduced House 11/30/09

- Passed House Environment & Brownfield Development Committee 5/26/10

- Pending House Action

- OPARR Position: Support

HB 201 BED BUGS (Mallory – D; Cincinnati) - To establish the Bed Bug Awareness, Education, and Prevention Program, to require boards of health to adopt vermin control policies under which bedbug infestations are treated in the same manner as other infestations, and to make an appropriation.

- Introduced House 6/2/09

- Pending House Finance & Appropriations Committee

- OPARR Position: Monitoring

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

In addition to bed bug issues, we are also following a bill relative to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

SB 117 CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY MONTH (Miller D – D; Cleveland, Coughlin – R; Cuyahoga Falls) - To designate the month of May as “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month.”

- Introduced Senate 4/29/09

- Passed Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee(s) 10/27/09

- Pending Senate Action

- OPARR Position: Monitoring

CONCLUSION

In addition to the subjects discussed above, OPMA and OPARR are monitoring a variety of water quality issues relative to pesticide and nutrient loading in certain Ohio watersheds. If you would like more information on the issues listed above, please contact Belinda Jones at http://bjones@capitol-consulting.net./


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