Stop Herbicide Sprays Near Your Home

By
Friday, June 25th, 2010

Last week, EPIC received a phone call from a concerned community member who explained that PG&E was spraying chemicals on her property, near the well she uses for drinking water. We referred the dangerous situation to our close ally, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics. The following dispatch and action alert has since been distributed by CATS in response to the inquiry.

We encourage everyone to monitor the health of our shared environment. No one knows your back yard better than you.  If you witness a crime being committed against the environment, take action by alerting the proper authority.

Stop Herbicide Sprays Near Your Home

Courtesy of Californians for Alternatives to Toxics

Last week, a concerned Humboldt County resident contacted Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) to report PG&E cutting trees and spraying vegetation on her property in Freshwater without the owner’s consent.

Davey Tree Company, working on behalf of PG&E, cut two trees and sprayed Garlon 4, a triclopyr formulation herbicide made by Dow Agro Sciences, near the resident’s year-round springs and well. Triclopyr has been shown to disrupt the normal growth and nutrient cycling properties of microorganisms, fungi and mosses, as well as having moderate toxicity to amphibians.

While it is currently unknown exactly where and how much was sprayed, other PG&E rights-of-ways may have been sprayed with Garlon 4 in the Jacoby Creek neighborhood. CATs is currently investigating and attempting to contact PG&E’s vegetation management department who is notoriously difficult to reach.

PG&E cannot spray toxic chemicals on your property without consent. If you see a spray crew in your neighborhood, ask the crew what they are spraying and ask to see a Material Safety Data Sheet (required to be on premise of all pesticide applications). Contact neighbors, your district supervisor and report the spraying to CATs. Late Spring and early Summer is generally a heavy pesticide use time of year. Avoid dead, yellow-looking grass around power poles and utility boxes, and keep children and pets indoors if spraying occurs near you.