Citizens need an initiative to protect against toxic spray

Posted 8/28/19

On Tuesday, August 20, Pope timber company sprayed herbicides toxic to humans and all life on numerous properties in this county.

I was an observer standing on the private property of an organic …

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Citizens need an initiative to protect against toxic spray

Posted

On Tuesday, August 20, Pope timber company sprayed herbicides toxic to humans and all life on numerous properties in this county.

I was an observer standing on the private property of an organic farm immediately adjacent to one of the many clearcuts that was being sprayed. When I arrived at the site at 6:25 am, the spraying had been going on for at least half an hour. Now, the helicopter which had sprayed up to 200 feet from the property line, was spraying at least 500 feet away from where I stood. I first smelled the herbicide, and within minutes felt it in my lungs, impairing deep breaths.

No one is protecting citizens of this county from herbicide drift, which is known as chemical trespass—not our County Commissioners, not the State Department of Agriculture, and certainly not the Department of Natural Resources, which issues spray permits.

We need the right to put forth a county initiative so that the people can protect themselves when county and state government agencies refuse to do so. That is how citizens in Mendocino County California prohibited aerial spraying of toxic herbicides on forestland in 1980. That initiative passed by a two-to-one margin. That initiative stopped all aerial spraying of forests in the county. That is what we need to do here.

Gail Chatfield
Port Hadlock

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