Philadelphia City Council Mulls Lawsuit over Unenforced Herbicide Ban

by Tom Gantert


The Philadelphia City Council may soon file suit against the city’s administration over an unenforced law.

A resolution on the council’s Sept. 14 agenda would permit legal counsel to compel Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to enforce a ban on toxic herbicides on all city-owned or used public grounds. That would include parks, trails, recreation centers and playgrounds.

According to the resolution, the ban went into effect on Jan. 28, 2021. Kenney said in a letter referenced in the resolution that the council had exceeded its authority under the city’s Home Rule Charter and could not “dictate how city properties are managed.”

The resolution also stated that the mayor said the “use of toxic herbicides is already conducted in a safe manner.” The resolution was drafted in November 2021.

Cindy Bass, the council member who sponsored the resolution, and Joe Grace, director of communications for the city council, didn’t respond to emails seeking comment. Sarah Peterson, communications director for the office of the mayor, declined to comment in an email to The Center Square.

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Tom Gantert worked at many daily newspapers including the Ann Arbor News, Lansing State Journal and USA Today. Gantert was the managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential for five years before joining The Center Square.



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