Daily News Archive
Oyster Growers Reach Agreement to End Carbaryl Use in Willapa Bay
Although environmental groups, including Washington Toxics Coalition and the Ad Hoc Coalition for Willapa Bay, had hoped for a complete ban of the chemical in the production of oysters, representatives say they are "thrilled."
"We're thrilled that Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor will see the end of carbaryl use. We look forward to assisting the oyster growers in finding alternative methods," said Erika Schreder, staff scientist with the Washington Toxics Coalition in Seattle.
Carbaryl has been used in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor for nearly 40 years to control burrowing shrimp that hamper oyster cultivation. The phase out decreases carbaryl use in the bays by 10 percent in 2003, 30 percent in 2004, 30 percent in 2005, and completely by 2012. As part of the agreement, the groups have pledged to work together to develop alternatives that will preserve the environment as well as the oyster industry.
The Washington State oyster growers were allowed to use the controversial chemical through a section of national pesticide regulation that allows local governments to permit additional unregistered pesticide uses, as authorized by the "Special Local Needs (SLN)" (Section 24c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). In this case, the SLN was defined as burrowing shrimp in the oyster beds.
Critics of SLNs cite that many of the registrations are repeated year after year with little or no evaluation of adverse environmental impacts or review of current scientific literature. In the case of the production of oysters off the coast of Washington, critics have always felt strongly that effective alternatives are available. These critics include local oyster grower Larry Warnberg, who does not use pesticides and is a member of the Ad-hoc Coalition. He stated, "I have alternatives to carbaryl that are working for me on my small farm," Adding, "This agreement gives the larger producers time to develop alternatives that work for them."
on EPA Carbaryl Review Due by June 2, 2003