Letters to the Editor

Policy: County spray kills so much

Island County’s roadside spray does threaten salmon.

To protect aquatic life, including salmon, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has set hazard levels for these toxins in water. The U.S. Geologic Survey has been sampling watersheds throughout the Northwest since 1991 for numerous pesticides, including those used by Island County.

Three of the herbicides used in the county’s roadside spray program, Diuron, Triclopyr and 2,4-D (one of the two herbicides in Agent Orange) have been found in water bodies at levels considered hazardous to aquatic life. Puget Sound is one of these water bodies. The water runoff from Whidbey and Camano Island’s sprayed roads ends up in Puget Sound.

In 1985, concern about water pollution led Island County to stop spraying numerous pesticides that were known to pollute water. Somehow, that concern has been forgotten. Now, Island County is using proven water polluters.

Jefferson, Snohomish, Clallam, San Juan and Thurston counties no longer spray their roadsides. It’s time for Island County to join its neighbors and stop spraying their roadsides. We owe it to the sea life, we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our children. We all live downstream.

Nancy Schaaf


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