Letters to the Editor

County policy: Before spraying, prove it's safe

In a recent News-Times article the county commissioners state there is no major change in the spraying of pesticides other than the statement which indicates they are reducing the use.

The commissioners made it very clear they will be spraying this spring, in spite of public concern. Each spring I feel a twitch of horror when I see the telltale strips of dead vegetation along the roadsides during my regular travels around South Whidbey.

Quite a number of roadside ditches lead to the winter creek that leads to the wetland on my property, which in turn leads to Miller Lake. I fortunately do not border any roads that are currently sprayed. I am however gravely concerned about what might travel through those ditches.

I am concerned about downstream issues, including cows living in the wetland above me. I have had the water tested and confirmed the existence of bacteria consistent with livestock pollution. I do not know how to prove nothing is in the water as a result of the county’s roadside spraying.

It seems to me the county should have to prove to me, and the general public, beyond a shadow of a doubt that there aren’t any chemical pollutants sent our way as a result of your chemical applications, instead of the burden being placed on me. I just look at this beautiful property and wonder. So far there has been a lot of talk but year after year the spraying continues. I really wonder.

You have to admit, my fear is justified. Just look at the history of tobacco, gasoline, Department of Energy (nuclear), and other polluters. Their history of truth has been somewhat shaky. Look at what happened to the Mexican corn, the original seed, being polluted with genetically modified materials, sent there by one of our corporations. Funny thing, I do believe this particular instance happens to be one caused by one of the county’s major suppliers of pesticide. Makes one wonder.

I believe the public should be convinced of the safety of the materials the county sprays before they are used, not after. I do not appreciate being sacrificed for corporate gain, thank you. There seems to me to be a lot of animosity directed to the county’s spray policy. Isn’t it time to listen to a concerned public?

James P. Cowperthwaite


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