The article “Gaffe by Ogunquit voids its new pesticide ordinance” (June 18) contained heaps of wrong information.

The most egregious was labeling the ordinance a “ban,” when, in fact, it limits pesticide use to protect our town’s waters and health.

Only wholesale, routine pesticide applications are banned. Six categories of outright exemptions and three waiver categories allow property owners to treat problems with pesticides when no viable alternative exists. Ogunquit voters understood this important distinction.

The article stated there was no organized anti-ordinance effort, which is not true. Over two years, fliers were distributed to Ogunquit homes by Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, a nationwide organization that covertly represents pesticide manufacturers and distributors.

The intent section in the relevant state statute says that the Maine Bureau of Pesticide Control should be notified seven days in advance of the vote for “informational purposes,” refers to “a centralized listing of municipal ordinances,” and says this “shall not affect municipal authority to enact ordinances.”

If the Pesticide Bureau cannot regulate content, what is the purpose of this clause? Another requirement, a 30-day post-vote notification, would seem to meet the intent. As a penalty for missing the notification deadline, the statute speaks about voiding certain provisions of the ordinance, not the entire ordinance.

The state’s initial reaction to void the entire ordinance because of a paperwork snafu goes against the intent if not the letter of the law, and is a high price to pay, both literally and figuratively. Besides revoking the wishes of the citizens, taxpayer money must be spent to reconsider this law.

Ogunquit is a small community of thoughtful citizens who voted to come together to keep our waters and people healthy. The state of Maine should encourage this leadership, let the ordinance stand and work together with our towns.

Roger W. Brown

Ogunquit