The Portland City Council approved an ordinance late Wednesday that prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides for outdoor pest management on public and private property.

Councilors voted 9-0 to approve the ordinance after a one-hour workshop that was followed by a lengthy debate on 10 proposed amendments to the pesticide law. Two amendments passed, one of which set the ordinance’s start date for July 1.

“It was a lot of work that took place over a lot of months, but I think the people of Portland should be very proud,” Mayor Ethan Strimling said.

Councilor Spencer Thibodeau supported the ordinance and said it was modeled after a South Portland law. It means that Portland will start using organic pesticides on all city-owned properties beginning this summer. The only exempt properties will be Hadlock Field, Riverside Golf Course and five high-use athletic fields that remain exempt until 2021.

“This is a really solid first step for the city of Portland,” Thibodeau said.

The ordinance also creates an advisory committee that will be tasked with developing a campaign to educate the public and retailers about the land care practices that do not require pesticides and about organic alternatives.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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