There shall be a special commission governed by section 2A of chapter 4 of the General Laws to study the issue of resident rodent populations in the commonwealth.
The commission shall consist of the following members:1 member of the senate appointed by the senate president; 1 member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; 1 member of the senate appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 1 member of the house of representatives appointed by the minority leader of the house; the secretary of energy and environmental affairs or a designee, who shall serve as co-chair; the secretary of health and human services or a designee, who shall serve as co-chair; the commissioner of the department of environmental protection or a designee; the commissioner of the department of public health or a designee; the commissioner of fisheries and wildlife or a designee; and 8 people to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall have professional expertise in pest control for the city of Boston; 1 of whom shall represent a trade group for pest control, 1 of whom shall be a licensed pest control operator who specializes in integrated pest management for rodents, 1 of whom shall represent an advocacy group for public health, 1 of whom shall represent an advocacy group for the protection of birds, 1 of whom shall represent an advocacy group for the protection of mammals, 1 of whom shall represent the professional wildlife rehabilitation community with direct knowledge of the impact that pesticides have on wildlife that consume them, and 1 of whom shall represent an advocacy group for the protection of people from pesticides.
As part of its study, the commission shall: (1) determine the highest priority areas for addressing conflicts with rodents and controlling rodent population growth; (2) conduct a comprehensive review of rodent management techniques, including but not limited to, alternative rodent control methods such as integrative pest management; (3) create a plan for implementation of applicable rodent management techniques that may include implementation of rodent contraception methods, dry ice and site-specific trapping when needed; (4) recommend a plan to conduct pilot studies in areas with high populations of rodent activity to test the effectiveness of diversifying rodent control methods beyond pesticides, to include integrative pest management and deterrents such as increased sanitation; and (5) develop and recommend a model integrative pest management plan, which shall (i) be designed to serve as the framework for mitigating conflicts with rodents and controlling population growth, (ii) incorporate non-lethal control through the use of exclusion methods, reducing access to nesting sites, and reducing access to garbage and other food sources, (iii) include educational and awareness-building efforts that enhance cultural practices along with wildlife-proofing enhancements to garbage receptacles across residential, commercial and shared community space elements, (iv) establish site-specific goals, pest biology, consensus building, action thresholds, and needed human behavior and culture change, and (v) incorporate an adaptive management component that calls for evaluating project results and revisiting them if goals are not met.
The commission shall submit a report on its findings, including any proposed legislation, to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the chairs of the senate and house committees on ways and means and the chairs of the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture no later than March 1, 2022.
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