Max, left, and Charlie Kluznik, sons of Painesville, Ohio-based YardMaster owner Kurt Kluznik, play with a caterpillar during a lunch break at Renewal and Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery. WASHINGTON – As President Obama ratchets up his pressure on Congress to pass the stalled small business bill, members of the green industry descended on Washington to press their case on such issues as immigration reform, water policy and pesticide regulations.
And as part of PLANET’s annual fly-in event at the nation’s capital, nearly 450 green industry professionals helped maintain Arlington National Cemetery at the 14th annual Renewal and Remembrance Monday. Owners and employees from 115 companies spread lime, aerated turf, planted trees and flowers, and repaired irrigation systems at the military cemetery.
“Your presence here is a statement that demonstrates your dedication to your country as well as the industry by presenting our industry issues to your legislators,” said PLANET president David Snodgrass Monday night. “You are not only representing yourself, your business and your state, but most importantly, our industry.”
About 75 contractors and other industry members will spend Tuesday on Capitol Hill, lobbying members of Congress. Before they headed out, legislative team members from PLANET and the ANLA prepped them with talking points on EPA’s WaterSense program, potential changes to pesticide regulations, immigration reform and other bills relevant to the industry.
But the main message was one of moderation. David Crow, president of DC Legislative and Regulatory Services, a lobbying consultancy, told the PLANET caucus that legislators and their staffs wouldn’t be receptive to constituents coming in and taking a hard-line approach – asking them to repeal portions of the Clean Water Act, for example.
“Obviously, we use products that can cause harm if used improperly. We know that,” Crow said. “We’re headed toward greater regulation. We’re for reasonable regulation.”
Main Image: Weed Man team members from franchises in Ohio, Virginia and Massechusetts worked together at Renewal and Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery Monday. From left: Rob Bernardo, Tom Mauer, Stephanie Mauer, Brandon Sheppard, Bruce Sheppard, Layne Sheppard and Joe Rosado.