pesticides

A bill introduced last week in Salem would give Oregonians and lawmakers more tools to regulate aerial spraying of chemical pesticides on private forest land.

Lisa Arkin is Executive Director of Beyond Toxics, based in Eugene. She says the bill, called the Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act, was inspired by cases in Triangle Lake and Curry County where residents believe they were poisoned by spraying of pesticides on nearby private forestland.

oregon.gov

Over the past five years Oregonians have reported pesticide misuse, now there is a clear path to address their concerns. The State has created a document describing how information is exchanged and which state agency will be assigned to a person's case. Oregon's Pesticide Analytical and Response Center, or

PARC, serves as the liaison between state agencies and citizens. Dale Mitchell is with the Department of Agriculture. He says people need to know who to contact and what to do if they are exposed to pesticides.

Tony Schick / Earthfix

Forest owners in the Northwest use helicopters to spray weed killer after logging.
It’s an effective way to kill plants like blackberry and alder that compete with the next crop of tree seedlings. But it’s controversial. Last year people near the coastal Oregon city of Gold Beach claimed they were poisoned. State officials and timber lobbyists blamed that incident on mistakes by the pilot. But sometimes, communities report drift even when timber companies appear to be following the rules.

Recorded on: October 24th, 2014

Air Date: October 27th, 2014

We have been hearing about the hazards of chemical contaminants in the environment since Rachel Carson presented her argument against DDT in her book Silent Spring. Although chemical companies opposed her views, the environmental movement she inspired has led to policy changes. More than half a century later, Professor Tyrone B. Hayes — a biologist and professor of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley — faces similar opposition.

osumg.blogspot.com

People holding outdoor gatherings might be facing intrusions from wasps and yellow jackets. As summer winds down, the insects are likely searching for protein-rich food before overwintering.

According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, many people assume applying pesticides to their flower beds will get rid of the nuisances. But many products end up harming honeybees instead. ODA spokeswoman Rose Kachadoorian says spraying insecticides around the yard won't do much good.

Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners heard 2 hours of public testimony Tuesday, much of it opposing a lifting a moratorium on spraying herbicides on county roads. The board will form a task force to look at the issue.

Lane County Commissioners adopted the no spray policy in 2008.
Mary Gabriel is a doctor at Peacehealth. She urged the board not to go back to roadside spraying.

Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

The death and disappearance of  bees is raising questions and concerns from Northwest neighborhoods all the way up to the White House. Some attribute bee declines to the use of certain pesticides – especially after chemicals killed thousands of bees in Oregon. But as EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita explains, researchers are still trying to determine how much of the nation’s bee problem stems from pesticide exposure.

Beekeeper George Hansen just got some good news.

Hansen: “So they’ve made some honey here.”

Amelia Templeton / Earthfix

The plaintiffs are residents of Cedar Valley, a community near Gold Beach that was accidentally sprayed in October by a helicopter applying pesticides to nearby timberland.

The state recently handed down a fine and revoked the company’s license. But resident John Burns says that’s not enough.

Burns: “The state laws in effect have not done anything for us and we have been violated. Our civil and constitutional rights have been violated. Our property, our animals, livelihood, our health. Everything has been violated.”

KVAL

Several hundred honey bees and bumblebees died at a Eugene apartment complex Tuesday after trees on the property were sprayed with pesticides. The state is investigating.

The State Department of Agriculture found out about the bee deaths from a TV report and sent an investigator out Wednesday. Bruce Pokarney is with ODA:

Karen Richards

Lane County is leading the nation in its treatment of bees. With recent local and state legislation and a growing interest in backyard hives, local bee advocates are in position to steer the national discussion.