5 questions with JD Darr


February 8, 2023

JD Darr

JD Darr

This month, we check in with JD Darr, director of regulatory and legislative affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), to ask about the organization’s upcoming Legislative Day event, as well as policy matters related to pest control.

1. The NPMA’s Public Policy Team takes action if proposed regulations and legislation will affect the pest control industry. What are a few issues you are working on right now?

Currently, we are tracking several pieces of state legislation — ranging from bans or limitations on using neonicotinoids and second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs), to pesticide preemption rollbacks. As of the end of January, we’ve seen bills in Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New Mexico, just to name a few. We remain in direct contact with our members in these states, with whom we are working diligently to advocate for effective legislative and regulatory oversight of the pest control field.

For the federal side of our work, we continually meet with key legislators on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of including pesticide preemption in the 2023 Farm Bill. Lastly, we drafted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to its proposed interim decision (PID) for rodenticides, from both the NPMA and on behalf of multiple state associations.

2. What can pest management professionals (PMPs) do to help?

One big way is to attend our 2023 Legislative Day event, which will take place in Washington, D.C., March 22 through 24. You can register online at Legislativeday.npmapestworld.org. The event includes our annual Hill Day on March 23, where we visit Capitol Hill to meet with elected officials to communicate the vital role pest control companies play in protecting public health, food and property, as well as the importance of supporting the pest control industry.

Another way PMPs can help is by connecting with the NPMA and with state and local pest control associations to get more directly involved in our industry’s advocacy priorities.

3. Since you mentioned the upcoming Legislative Day event, 2023 marks the first time since 2020 that attendees will be able to meet face-to-face with their representatives on Capitol Hill. Why is it important to make a personal connection?

It is hard to overstate how crucial personal connections are in effective advocacy work. Elected officials make time for and, most importantly, listen to their constituents, meaning these meetings carry a bigger impact. We have the most success with our legislative visits when PMPs provide their personal experiences of how legislation can help or hinder the economy and the public health and safety of the community in each legislator’s district.

4. The public comment period for the EPA’s PID for rodenticides is now closed. What happens next?

The EPA will identify comments of significance and begin responding to them. Our hope is that our industry’s comments will impact the EPA and lead to changes in the PIDs that support the pest control industry, instead of placing heavier restrictions and additional requirements on our members.

5. Pesticide preemption would be guaranteed nationwide if it is included in the Farm Bill that is enacted this year. Why is it critical to the pest control industry?

The EPA and state lead agencies are staffed with career scientists who review the health and safety impacts of pesticides, and then use their findings to regulate pesticide use. Localities do not have that same expertise. In states that do not have pesticide preemption, PMPs are burdened with regulatory uncertainty as they move from county to county on their service routes, and are required to operate under the direction of unclear and poorly thought-out local laws. A national solution to state pesticide preemption ensures government entities with adequate resources are making these important decisions for their citizens, and also would reduce the burden on PMPs and businesses.

About the Author

Headshot: Diane Sofranec

Diane Sofranec is the senior editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at dsofranec@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3793.

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