ACT NO. 30
Herbicide Moratorium; Forestry Practices
This act imposes a moratorium on the aerial or other broadcast application of herbicides for forestry purposes. The moratorium applies only to the aerial or other broadcast use of herbicides in the commercial production of hardwoods and softwoods, and does not restrict the aerial or other broadcast application of herbicides in the production of "agricultural products" as defined in 6 V.S.A. § 2964(e) or the use of herbicides to preserve utility rights-of-way. The "agricultural products" provision exempts from the moratorium, activities including the aerial or broadcast application of herbicides on Christmas trees, and on maple sap and orchard crops. The act defines "broadcast application" as general application to an area other than by on-foot application to specific target plants using any of the following application methods: backpack mist sprayer, tree injector, handheld spray bottle, wick, or brush.
The act requires that by no later than January 15, 2003, the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation, in consultation with representatives of the University of Vermont, the pesticide advisory council, the department of agriculture, food and markets, and herbicide manufacturers, shall report to the legislative committees on Natural Resources and Energy with respect to the current status of scientific and technical literature regarding advances made in herbicide manufacturing and application and the current status of scientific studies assessing the health and environmental effects of these chemicals.
Effective Date: The act provides that it is effective upon passage, but it was not signed by the governor. Rather, in official correspondence to the Senate, the Governor stated that on May 15, 1997, he did not approve the act and allowed it to become law. Therefore, under the traditional interpretation of Chapter II, § 11 of the Vermont Constitution (the Constitutional provision that provides when a bill may become law without the governors signature), this act took effect on May 15, 1997.