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Daily News Archive
From August 27, 2001

Pesticide Runoff from Golf Causes Large Fish Kill in Creeks Feeding Potomac River

Insecticide runoff from a golf course killed a "significant amount of aquatic wildlife" this weekend, according to Battalion Chief John J. White of a Virginia fire department. A Washington Post article reported dead fish, eels, and crawfish lined the banks of two streams that feed into the Potomac River. Gulf Branch and Donaldson Run originate from ponds on the Washington Golf and Country Club in North Arlington, Virginia. The brief article failed to list the pesticide(s) that were involved in the fish kill.

According to White, last week the club spread the insecticides on its fairways and greens. Thursday's storms caused the chemicals to run into the streams. Firefighters from D.C. and Alexandria tried Sunday to keep the contaminants from flowing into the Potomac River, although they had been diluted over the past few days.

The Battalion Chief said the club will have to reimburse Arlington, Alexandria, and D.C. for the emergency services they provided. Country club officials declined to comment on the story.

Residents play with their children and walk their pets along the dirt paths that line the streams in this Bellevue Forest community. Please contact Beyond Pesticides for more information on pesticide use on golf courses.