Daily News Archive
From November 22, 2005
Limit on Pesticide Exposure Being Considered
According to The Olympian, Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Valoria Loveland is expected to rule on the proposal on November 29, 2005. If accepted, the proposed rule would take effect January 1, 2006.
At a hearing held
last week, The League of Women Voters, education officials, environmental
groups and Olympia residents supported the rule but said it didn't go
far enough. The Olympian reported, "The proposed rule
is a good first step," said Elizabeth Davis of the League of Women
Voters of Washington, but notification should be extended to all children
and adults who live, work and play near pesticide spray zones, and apply
to a broader range of pesticides, she said.
Frank Lyall, a Yakima Valley fruit tree grower feels if approved, the ruling would be devastating to small family farms in Eastern Washington. He said the rule would make it harder for the small farms to stay in business, since they are the ones most often closest to the community centers. Lyall said, "It's an egregious, unnecessary regulation, a regulation that is far out in front of the science."
"It's already illegal to allow pesticides to drift," said Heather Hansen, executive director of Olympia-based Washington Friends of Farms and Forests. Hansen feels "If there's a problem, enforce the existing laws."
Olympia area resident Rob Kavanaugh feels the agriculture department needs to do a better job of supporting its pesticide inspectors to enforce the laws. According to Hansen most farmers already notify their neighbors when they plan to spray, an assertion echoed by Matawa orchardist Charles Lyall. "I inform my neighbors, if I'm going to spray," Lyall said, adding he sprays pesticides on his orchard some 80 to 100 times a year. About 20 of those pesticide applications could fall under the purview of the proposed rule.