- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2016

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - South Portland has passed an ordinance designed to ban the use of synthetic pesticides in one of the largest cities in Maine.

WMTW-TV (https://bit.ly/2cwI6Ax ) reports the City Council passed the much-debated measure on Wednesday night.

The city plans to implement the ban in stages and will start with municipal projects next year. It will then take effect for residents in 2018 and golf courses in 2019.

The ban does not carry penalties. City officials say they want to use it as a way to educate people about risks associated with pesticides.

Critics have argued that pesticides are important to prevent insect-borne illnesses from spreading.

Officials in Portland, the largest city in Maine, have said they are monitoring South Portland’s ordinance. More than two dozen Maine communities have pesticide control ordinances.

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