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County Commissioners Support Fertilizer Safety and Reduction of Pesticide Use in Orleans

Commissioners Issue Letter of Support and Advocate for Medicare Inclusion, Advancing the Cause of Equal Mental Health Coverage

JANUARY 31, 2024 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – Today, County Commissioners voted unanimously to show their support for addressing critical environmental and public health concerns in the Town of Orleans. This support was demonstrated through their approval of two Home Rule Petitions submitted by the Town of Orleans, which aim to regulate fertilizer and pesticide application.

The first petition, presently under review by the Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, focuses on establishing regulations for fertilizer application within Orleans, emphasizing safety and environmental stewardship.

Commissioner Mark Forest, representing the Board, commented on the measure, saying, “Fertilizer management will remain a persistent concern, given its presence in the Pleasant Bay watershed, and the fact that this measure received overwhelming support makes it deserving of our full endorsement.”

The second petition, overwhelmingly approved at the Orleans Fall 2023 Special Town Meeting, takes aim at reducing pesticide usage in the town.

The Commissioners also voted unanimously to authorize a Letter of Support to co-sponsor a Draft Policy Resolution with Lane County, Oregon, and the National Association of Counties (NACo). This resolution calls on Congress to extend the provisions of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 to include Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, which are presently not subject to the Act. This important step highlights the Commissioners’ dedication to ensuring accessible and equitable mental health services for all residents. The resolution will be introduced at the NACo Legislative Conference in February 2024. NACo has already advocated for it with Senate Finance Committee members, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, to improve accessible mental health services.


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