"Do not apply this product in a way that will contact workers or other
persons, either directly or through drift. Only protected handlers may be in the area during application." Label. Again, the vapors were in their homes, maybe not your home, but people we know. It's hard to imagine you wouldn't want to err on the side of caution. Mr. Wheeler is an Agent Orange vet. He is forever changed by his exposure to it. Thus, his passionate involvement in the matter. He never meant to imply that it WAS Agent Orange being applied. Geesh. The district having an integrated management plan would be a useful tool that would serve to notice the public, protect MCSD, and its lessees. It's a smart move. The school districts have them, and share them in their annual public notice to families. MCSD needs to get up to speed with all the other publicly run land management organizations. I'm proud of George. He's see something that can be improved, and he's putting in his personal time and energy to benefit our community's health and safety, and energy efficiency. I hope you reconsider your earlier position, and come aboard.
Finally, since you referred to EPA, here's the scoop from the EPA.
Attached are the MSDS and product label. We seem to agree that legal requirements should be met. Label instructions and cautions should be followed. There are risks associated with this product; feel free to read, and feel free to disagree - anyone reading this blog can decide for themselves. This is not an effort to sabotage farming/commerical production. The public has a right to be informed, in advance. Sound integrated management is the right way to go.
Well, I guess Ian, I am glad your are not representing me. I manage public lands for invasive weeds and am a certified pesticide use applicator - it's not a matter of subjective opinion - the public has a right to know what is done on public land. Period. There is no yellow star thistle or lupine issue out there. I've done a botanical inventory of the piece and am still in a quandary as to the exact species that they are treating for. Perhaps a till would flush a bunch of bull thistle seed up? That can be handled in other ways. I personally would not stand for living in an agricultural area where incidental breathing of 24d off-vapors is a norm. If 160 residents are upset about it; it's MCSD's job to listen. They work for the rate payers. Who works for who? I love that the field is farmed. That's not the point. MCSD shined on public comment, not until after a year of meeting attendance and petition of 160 people who disagree with you, did they listen and put it on their agenda. It's rude to exclude the dialogue from something the public is concerned about. A big part of being a representative is 'being a representative'. Objectively.
what a roll we are on... Well, some say you can't have 'safe' and 'poison' juxtaposed next to each other as it's an oxymoron. Anything can be a poison, as the dose makes the poison. Salt, water, alcohol, caffeine, can all cause disturbances and chemical reactions in living organisms. Wikipedia defines poison as such "In the context of biology, poisons are substances that cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism."..."Poisons are most often applied in industry, agriculture and other uses for other reasons than their toxicity. Pesticides are one application where they are indeed used for their toxicity." So, technically, by this definition, yeah, nitrogen rich water - ammonia rich, is indeed a poison. That's why there are no trespassing signs along the fence line. 'Twer it in a water supply, it could cause issues with oxygen absorption in infants under 6 months of age (no worries of that here) - and of course, plants love it and it boosts growth, yahoo. Although nitrogen rich runoff in aquatic systems can lead to algae blooms and low oxygen, not so great. Anyway, back to the original offense...if so many requirements were not met during the application, there is little confidence that dosing calculations were accurate either. Often less product is more effective with herbicides...it depends of the mode of action and product. The valuable lesson that came out of it all is that there is a 'right to know' what and why something is proposed to be applied; and there should be a process, in writing, so the integrity of that process will not be lost as leadership changes. Thanks Ian, I think I'm wrapping up my comments on this one. Stay involved and thanks for the discussion.
Ian, the 'fuss' began over a non-compliant application that occurred without any oversight. The product used (Weedar64 broadleaf herbicide) is a restricted use, regulated herbicide in the state of California. There are regulatory processes in place to make sure these poisons are handled responsibly...this involves licensing for use with the state, notice and review of the proposed application to the County, and there SHOULD be something in regards to use and approval by MCSD since it is on MCSD lands...there currently isn't. The subject application drifted into homes, which is how it was 'publicly noticed'. Pets, and sometimes people, frequently wander into this area. There is a 48 hour restricted re-entry period for applied areas because it is dangerous with toxic side effects to humans...would a cat or dog know this? Or the children that pet them when they return home? If it weren't publicly posted or otherwise noticed? The locals were offended. Mr. Wheeler stood up for them as he shared their view. MCSD manages places that are well visited by pets and children, the most vulnerable to toxic exposures. Again, having a District-wide process to address pest management is the only responsible approach for the benefit and liability protection of everyone. There are often many tools in the tool box to address any given 'pest', an integrated management approach includes all of them. The District needs an IPM policy so that the public has something to refer to, and knows that their concerns will be addressed.
24D is an herbicide legal to purchase in California if one has a 'restricted use' license. This particular applicator did not have one and bought it in Oregon. It was not applied according to label instructions/cautions. Too close to residences (who breathed it in their living rooms), and too close to river (with listed fish). Was the Board or the public noticed? No. Was there anything regarding the use of herbicides in the lease? No. Is it fair to say that there should be some public notice, some process to make sure the applicator is in compliance with laws and regulations? Yes. Is 24D half of the ingredients that comprised Agent Orange? Yes.
The Fischer Ranch is a reclamation site. A place that receives treated, nitrogen rich waste water before it drains into the river. Does applying an herbicide to a reclamation site make sense? The lessee has a modest lease fee, coupled with nitrogen rich irrigation and resulting high productivity. There's a market advantage.
All Mr. Wheeler was looking for was an acknowledgement that there should be a process of MCSD staff review and public notice before something like that happens again. I think that's sensible. Do you personally want to breathe in some 24D, awww common, it's so commonly used...must be safe... right?
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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