Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Sent By:

Endorsing Organizations (51): Earthjustice, NRDC, Friends of the Earth, Environment America, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Experimental Farm Network, Virginia
Association for Biological Farming, Organic Consumers Association, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association
Greenpeace, Rachel Carson Council, Pollinator Stewardship Council, Inc., WildEarth Guardians, Save Our Sky Blue Waters, National Latino Farmers
& Ranchers Trade Association, Organic Seed Alliance, SAVE THE FROGS!, Maryland Ornithological Society, Toxic Free NC, U.S. PIRG, Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc., Sustainable Living Systems, Planting Justice, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation,
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE, Howard County Bird Club, Green America, Farmworker Ministry Northwest,
 POLLINATOR FRIENDLY ALLIANCE, Klamath Forest Alliance, Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Beyond Toxics, Family Farm Defenders, NY4WHALES,
Howard County Bird Club, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Maryland Pesticide Education Network, Food & Water Watch, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Conservation Congress, Cuatro Puertas, RESTORE: The North
Woods, Sequoia ForestKeeper, American Bird Conservancy, No Spray Zone, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides of Eugene Oregon,
 Grassroots Global Justice Alliance,  

Senate Companion Sponsor: Senator Martin Heinrich

Republican Lead: Rep. Amata Radewagen

Original Co-sponsors (16): Rep. Grijalva, Rep. Blumenauer, Rep. Huffman, Rep. Dingell, Rep. James P. McGovern, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Rep. Holmes Norton, Rep. Mike Thompson, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep Pingree, Rep.
Matt Cartwright, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Rep. Pramila Jayapal,

Please join me to champion environmental justice and public lands by co-sponsoring my legislation, the Protect our Refuges Act of 2019.

On August 2nd, 2018, the Department of Interior released a rule[1] reversing an Obama-era ban on the use of Neonicotinoids,
which is a group of toxic pesticides that are attributed to the deterioration of bees, migratory birds, and various species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Furthermore, the reversal of this ban puts an end to the policy that prevented farmers
in National Wildlife Refuges from growing genetically engineered crops.

Specifically, Neonicotinoids pesticides attack the central nervous system of bees resulting in paralysis and eventually death, making pollination nearly impossible, which has devastating affects to the environment. Recent studies from the National Toxicology
Program reveal that not only do neonicotinoids cause the collapse of bee colonies, it also has adverse effects on human health.

The Trump administration’s reversal of the ban of Neonicotinoid pesticides on National Wildlife Refuges is detrimental to the environment and public lands overall; this measure is just one instance in a nonsensical deregulatory agenda that this administration
continues to pursue.

By rescinding this Obama-era regulation without first completing an interagency consultation on the impacts to the ESA as well as specific endangered species, Fish & Wildlife Service has violated the ESA with no consequence. This violation of federal
law cannot go unheeded, and a legislative solution by Congress is required to ensure that agencies do not abdicate their responsibility in protecting public lands.

My legislation, the Protect our Refuges Act of 2019, bans this harmful pesticide by canceling current registration and prohibiting any future use of Neonicotinoid pesticides on ALL National Wildlife Refuges. Join me in protecting public health and
ending the Trump Administrations assault on our public lands and the environment.

To become an original cosponsor or for more information, please contact Jacob Hochberg on my staff at


Nydia M. Velázquez

Member of Congress

[1]Sheehan, Gregory J. United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. August 2nd, 2018.

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