Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer is proposing a bill that would suspend the use of the pesticide that killed an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in Wilsonville recently.

The bill addresses pesticides known as neonicotinoids. The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing the safety of those pesticides, but the review isn't scheduled to be complete for four years.

Blumenauer says his bill is intended to speed up that review process. It would stop the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on plants, soil and seeds until the EPA determines they are safe for use around pollinators such as bees.

Blumenauer explained, "There are lots of alternatives that are in fact available and the stakes are pretty high if we're doing something that's leading to the loss of our bee population."

Blumenauer announced the bill in Portland and was joined by the Portland-based Xerces Society and a local nursery owner who has voluntarily removed neonicotinoid pesticides from her store shelves.

Find more coverage on the bee pesticide issue in Ecotrope.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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