Friday, January 30, 2009

North Essex: Change in pesticide law applauded

Friday 30th January 2009
braintreeandwithamtimes.co.uk
North Essex: Change in pesticide law applauded - but farmers not sohappy
A ban on certain pesticides has been hailed as good news by anenvironmental group.
Roger Mainwood, spokesman for Concerned Residents of Wivenhoe (CROW),commended the European Parliament after it announced that permits for22 types are likely to be withdrawn.
He said: “This is not an immediate ban, so some of the pesticides willbe in use for another five years.
“Farmers will therefore be given a big phasing-out period where lesstoxic alternatives can be brought in.
“According to the Soil Association, the vast majority of farmers don'tregularly use pesticides anyway.”
Mr Mainwood added that CROW members will be especially satisfied thatthe ban includes the herbicide glufosinate.
In 2001, the group protested against the trial of genetically-modifiedmaize at Sunnymead Farm in Wivenhoe, where glufosinate was used on thecrops.
“If the farmer had been allowed to grow GM crops after the trial, wewould have had years of glufosinate use by now,” said Mr Mainwood, wholives in Belle Vue Road.
However, news of the ban has not been welcomed by all parties - withopponents fearful of its possible affect on crop production.
Local farmer Guy Smith, who sits on the council of the NationalFarmers' Union, said: “I need these tools to keep me competitive.
“In tennis terms, it would be like sending Andy Murray out with acatgut racket to play Roger Federer who is allowed to use the bestgraphite racket.
“If I've got less tools in my box, I won't be able to compete withcountries that have lower standards.
“More and more food will have to be imported from abroad.”
Mr Smith, who runs Wigboro Wick Farm in St Osyth, says that he hasnever been personally affected by pesticides in his 30 years in theindustry.
He added: “People automatically assume that if something's naturalthen it's safe and if it's man-made it's not.
“But that's not always the case.
“Weedkillers are less dangerous than the weeds they kill, like deadlynightshade and hemlock.”
http://www.braintreeandwithamtimes.co.uk/news/countywide/4085181.print/
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Jan 28, 2009,
The News & Observer / McClatchy-Tribune
Group urges NCSU to end deal with Bayer
A German activist group is attacking N.C. State University foragreeing to collaborate on research with Bayer CropScience andaccepting a $1 million endowment from the company to establish a chairin sustainable development.
"Bayer has a long history of giving precedence to profits over humanrights and a sound environment," the Coalition Against Bayer Dangerswrote in a recent letter to university officials. "By helping thiscorporation to greenwash its image, you reduce the concept ofsustainable development to absurdity. We therefore urge you to stopthis cooperation."
Bayer CropScience's endowment and collaboration with the university'sCollege of Agriculture and Life Sciences was announced last week inconjunction with a symposium at the university titled "Stewards of theFuture: Research for Global Sustainability Tomorrow."
Bayer CropScience has its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park,where it employs 450 people. It's a subsidiary of Bayer AG, acorporate behemoth based in Germany whose businesses span thepharmaceutical, materials and agribusiness sectors.
The Coalition Against Bayer Dangers has been monitoring -- andcriticizing -- Bayer for decades, but it has stepped up its efforts inthe wake of the controversy surrounding one of Bayer's best-sellingpesticides and the disappearance of millions of U.S. honeybees. InAugust, the group filed a complaint in Germany alleging Bayerknowingly polluted the environment. Company officials have rejectedthe contention that its pesticides played a role in the bees'disappearance.
Johnny Wynne, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,said he has not seen the letter and knows of no reason "at thisparticular point" to end the collaboration.
Wynne said the school has had discussions with Bayer CropScienceofficials on sustainability issues such as reducing greenhouse gases,protecting water supplies and biodiversity.
"I have not had any concerns about working with them in these areas,"he said.
Bayer CropScience spokesman Jack Boyne said he was unaware of thecoalition's protest, but he added, "The Coalition Against Bayer Dangeris an activist organization with a very clear bias against Bayer."
"The $1 million that Bayer has put forward to establish a chair ofsustainable development, I think, is a very noble activity," Boynesaid. "N.C. State has a very long history of collaboration with theprivate sector. If you look at Centennial Campus, I would say that thecentral focus of that is to foster this collaboration."david.ranii@newsobserver.com
Open Letter
to Dr. Johnny Wynne, Dean N.C. College of Agriculture and LifeSciences (CALS)
to Dr. Tom Rufty, Bayer CropScience Professor of SustainableDevelopment
to Dr. James Oblinger, Chancellor North Carolina State University
Sustainable Development Chair: Reject Bayer Endowment
Dear Johnny Wynne, Tom Rufty and James Oblinger,
last week North Carolina State University announced that BayerCropScience created a $1 million endowment and that Tom Rufty willhold the chair of sustainable development the endowment makespossible. Johnny Wynne is cited as saying: “We are honored to haveBayer as a collaborator in our research efforts to find solutions tothe complex problems that issues like global climate change,population growth, and food and water shortages present.”
The Coalition against BAYER Dangers, which has been monitoring Bayerfor 30 years, criticises this cooperation.
Bayer has a long history of giving precedence to profits over humanrights and a sound environment. The corporation has fought againstalmost all agreements on environmental issues, be it the KyotoProtocol for the protection of the climate, the new European laws onchemicals, the phasing out of CFCs or recent EU efforts to reduce theuse of pesticides.
Bayer started hundreds of partnerships and sponsorships withuniversities, medical societies, environmental groups or educationalorganizations - particularly in fields where the company iscriticised. Bayer has been abusing these cooperations to deflectcriticism by watchdog groups or the media and to exploit the goodimage of their partners to present a corporate humanitarian image.
Bayer CropScience´s business is especially problematic:
* Bayer CropScience continues to sell pesticides from WHO hazardclasses Ia (extremely hazardous) and Ib (highly hazardous), includingthiodicarb, parathion-methyl, fenamiphos, ethoprop, azinphos-methyland triazophos. Particularly in conditions of poverty, the risk-freeuse of such pesticides is impossible. The company thus holdsresponsibility for fatal poisonings of thousands of agriculturallaborers each year. In 1995 Bayer announced that it would remove allhazard class I pesticides from the market, a promise that is beingcontinually broken. * A Greenpeace study last year showed that Bayer CropSciencepesticides pose the biggest threat to human health and theenvironment, compared to other international producers. * Bayer´s facilities are highly dangerous. At Bayer CropScience´sInstitute plant, large quantities of methyl isocyanate, the chemicalthat killed and injured over 100,000 in Bhopal/India, and phosgene, anerve agent used in World War I are produced and stored. Last August ahuge explosion occured in the plant. Two workers died, thousands ofresidents were at risk. * Bayer´s herbicide glufosinate is classified as reprotoxic. Thesubstance is on an EU black list and will not receive furtherapprovals in Europe. Despite grave dangers to consumers and operatorsglufosinate is one of the best-selling herbicides in the US. * Despite bans in more than 50 countries Bayer CropScience isstill marketing endosulfan, a pesticide that is a leading cause ofpoisoning worldwide. Endosulfan is acutely toxic, is known to disruptthe hormone system, can damage the human reproductive system and hasbeen linked to cancer among other human health effects. * Last year German authorities blamed Bayer´s clothianidin for thedeaths of millions of honeybees. The German government suspended theregistration for eight seed treatment products, including Bayer´sclothianidin and imidacloprid. Italy and France banned the substancesas well. * Bayer CropScience is one of the few western companies that dobusiness in Burma despite the catastrophic human rights situationthere. Bayer has a subsidiary in Rangoon and is planning trials therewith hybrid rice. * Bayer CropScience has several types of rice in its product rangethat are resistant to glufosinate. The rice type LL 601 was present inthe food chain for many years despite not being authorized forconsumption anywhere in the world. The European Union and Japanimposed import bans on imports, numerous rice growers in the UnitedStates lost export markets and sued the company.
The Coalition against BAYER Dangers has documented hundreds of caseswhen BAYER´s products or factories have harmed people or theenvironment. The company has only stopped the production of hazardousproducts when pressured to do so by the public.
By helping this corporation to greenwash its image you reduce theconcept of Sustainable Development to absurdity. We therefore urge youto stop this cooperation.
With Regards,
Philipp Mimkes, Hubert Ostendorf, Axel Koehler-Schnura, Jan Pehrke,Uwe Friedrich
Board of the Coalition against BAYER-dangersCoalition against BAYER Dangerswww.CBGnetwork.orgCBGnetwork@aol.comTel: (+49) 211-333 911 Fax: (+49) 211-333 940please send an e-mail for receiving the English newsletter KeycodeBAYER free of charge
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Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009
Valley GOP leaders target pesticide rulesEnvironmentalists cry foul over GOP clean-air move
By E.J. Schultz / Bee Capitol Bureau
SACRAMENTO - Bugs have invaded state budget talks as debate heats upabout clean-air rules farmers must follow when spraying for pests.
Environmentalists say GOP leaders Mike Villines of Clovis and DaveCogdill of Modesto are seeking to weaken regulations that are criticalto cleaning the polluted air in their Valley districts.
The demands are part of a long-running push by Republicans to getconcessions on a host of environmental regulations in return forsupporting a state budget deal that could include tax or fee hikes.
Cogdill said environmentalists are trying to "stop all business andindustry." The GOP pesticide proposal would simply put into law arecent court decision, he said, "so we don't have to keep fighting thebattle over and over again."
The minority GOP enjoys rare leverage at budget time. State spendingplans require a two-thirds majority vote, meaning a handful ofRepublicans must sign on.
Clean-air activists say the pesticide regulations should not be partof budget talks, which are taking place behind closed doors with nopublic involvement.
"What [Villines and Cogdill] have put on the chopping block will haveserious health implications for residents of the San Joaquin Valley,"said Sarah Sharpe, environmental health director for Fresno MetroMinistry, a faith-based group that advocates for clean air. "There'sno place for these conversations in the budget."
Lawmakers and Gov. Schwarzenegger are struggling to close a $42billion budget shortfall through June 2010.
The pesticide rule in question concerns smog-making gases, calledvolatile organic compounds or VOCs, emitted by pesticides. Pesticidescontribute to about 6% of the smog problem in the Valley, the mostrecent state figures show.
The Valley's bad air has created numerous public health problems,including high asthma rates.
In 2006, a federal judge ruled that the state Department of PesticideRegulation ignored clean air laws for pesticides. The judge orderedregulations that would cut pesticide emissions in the Valley by 20%from 1991 levels.
But in August, the department won an appeal to overturn the ruling.Officials are now finalizing new regulations that call for a smallerdecrease - a 12% cut from 1990 levels.
Republicans are seeking to put that figure in statute, according tolanguage of a proposal circulating in the Capitol. And the proposalwould loosen rules in Ventura County to allow for more emissions thanwhat the pesticide department is calling for.
The proposal appears aimed at undermining efforts by environmentalgroups to re-establish the stricter limits - either throughregulations or in court.
"We're going to do everything in our power to stop [the Department ofPesticide Regulation's] misguided regulations and Republicans' attemptto further steal public health protections from rural residents," saidBrent Newell, legal director for the Center on Race, Poverty & theEnvironment.
The rules target "fumigants," pesticides that are injected into thesoil to kill pests and disease. The department says the looser limitwill still "meet our obligation to reduce pesticide emissions, but doso in a way that avoids placing an unreasonable or disproportionateburden on fumigant pesticide users," according to regulatorydocuments.
Farmers fear the stricter limit could force some growers to stop usingpesticides in years when the region approaches the emissions limit. Asa result, "we are not going to be able to farm the same amount ofacres. We are not going to be able to produce the same amount offood," said Barry Bedwell, president of the Fresno-based Grape andTree Fruit League.
The department's proposal would set allowable emissions at 18.1 tonsper day, 2.1 tons less stringent than what environmentalists want. Inrecent years, pesticide VOC emissions have ranged from 17.3 tons perday to 21.4 tons, according to the pesticide department.
Estimated annual average emissions from all sources was 380 tons perday in 2006, according to the state Air Resources Board.
http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/1163853.html
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Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Nanaimo Daily News
Filmmaker tells story of secrecyPaul Manly's latest documentary tells troubling tale of SPP
by Derek Spalding
Nanaimo's Paul Manly still needs to put finishing touches on hislatest film, but the owner of Manly Media says he has put together acomprehensive documentary that outlines discussions between NorthAmerican leaders that have drastic implications for democracy andhealth standards in Canada.
Manly's film analyzes both the Security and Prosperity Partnership andthe Trade Investment Labour Mobility Agreement, criticizing the twoprocesses that the filmmaker describes as an erosion to Canada'shealth regulations, civil liberties and democratic rights.
Talking to a wide array of experts who oppose these agendas the full-length feature outlines the breadth and depth of the SPP and TILMAgiving citizens suggestions to speak out in opposition.
The Nanaimo filmmaker was shooting his documentary in December 2007when he captured footage of protests of SPP discussions between NorthAmerican leaders in Montebello, Que., where police officers thereposed as activists in the crowd and appear to be instigating a riot.Quebec provincial police said officers infiltrated protesters, butdenied they acted as "agent provocateurs" to instigate violence. Thevideo shows an undercover officer taking a swat at the mask of a riotofficer without facing any repercussions.
Manly's film had hundreds of thousands of internet views moments afterhe posted the footage online.
The SPP secret discussions and the phony protestors illustrate directthreats on Canadian democratic freedom, according to the filmmaker,but his documentary digs much further. He has collected as much as hecan through other people's freedom of information requests andcompiled what he says is a damaging account of the discussions andpossible implications.
"The Security and Prosperity Partnership is not a trade agreement.Nothing has been signed," said Manly. "We're talking about harmonizedregulations and standards -- standards that are going down."
Manly expects little action taken against the police for theMontebello incident, "that's just the way these things go," heexplained, but he wants to make people aware of the discussions thathe says has implications for all Canadians.
He spoke to experts and activists for his film, but received noresponses from the federal government about either project.
He had to gather information reported in other media in order to tellhis story. The difficulty he's had finding the information is tellingof the secret agenda by corporations and North American leaders, heexplained.
"They're not interested in talking, which is consistent with how theydealt with it all along," Manly said. "Both processes involveharmonizing regulations between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, andrather than doing it through legislation, they're doing it throughcorporate working groups. That's how the democratic process isundermined."
His film includes segments on lowered Canadian standards for pesticideuse and shared homeland security with the U.S. He disagrees with theharmonized regulations between the three countries, which, instead ofraising U.S. standards, lower Canadian ones, he explained.
Manly encourages people to follow recent trends that focus on shoppingand growing locally.
If the market shifts and people support local economies there will beless of a risk to introduce "tainted" products that come fromcountries with lower standards than Canadians.
"A lack of regulations means people die," he said.
You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule premieresat 7 p.m. on Feb. 5 in the main drama theatre at Vancouver IslandUniversity, sponsored by the Human Rights and International SolidarityCommittee of the VIU Faculty Association, the VIU Students Union andthe Nanaimo Global Film Festival. Admission is by donation and allproceeds pay for promoting the film.
Manly will hold a special preview screening for VIU students on Feb. 5in the afternoon in building 356, room 109 at 2:30 p.m.
You, Me and the S.P.P. is also scheduled to screen in Courtenay at theWorld Community Film Festival on Feb. 7 and again at the NanaimoGlobal Film Festival on the weekend of March 20.
DSpalding@nanaimodailynews.com250-729-4231
© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2009
http://www.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/hub/story.html?id=970a0fc3-e8d3-4174-9c66-576bfea2f1bb
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Jan 29th, 2009
Corporate Knights Magazine announces Canada’s most sustainable cities
Attention: News/National/Business Reporters and Assignment Editors
(Toronto, Canada, January 29, 2009) Today, Corporate Knights Magazineunveiled the third-annual Corporate Knights Most Sustainable Cities inCanada list. The comprehensive ranking identifies Canadian citieswhose practices leave the smallest environmental footprint possibleand create a healthy, thriving population.
The top cities in the 2009 Corporate Knights Sustainable CitiesRanking are as follows:
Large city category: Edmonton, ABMedium city category: Halifax, NSSmall city category: Yellowknife, NT
With the lowest unemployment rate of all cities and the second-lowestunemployment rate of immigrants, Edmonton wants to be an “innovationcentre for value-added and green technologies and products,” and ismeasuring progress by the percentage of green collar jobs created.Edmonton is also the only city in our consideration set to haveinclining block pricing on water to encourage conservation.
The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is one of the fewmunicipalities that have insecticide and pesticide bans throughout thecity. HRM is integrating sustainability into its decision-makingthrough its corporate-wide Sustainability Transition Team. But whileHalifax has the largest proportion of Canadian-born visible minoritiesin the country, no visible minorities sit on its city council.
Yellowknife is the only small city with a LEED-certified building, andthe city has integrated energy efficiency into its building bylaws andhas also conducted an energy audit on all of its facilities. It alsosupports creativity with an annual arts competition for local artists.The City of Yellowknife Downtown Enhancement Committee also providesannual funding for building murals that are painted by local artists.
The cities at the bottom of the ranking struggled with poor airquality, lack of systematic waste diversion programs or greenhouse gas(GHG) reduction targets, and lack of sustainability programs likegreen business incentives or retrofit programs.
Corporate Knights examined 17 cities, including Canada’s top tencities by population and the largest city in each province andterritory.* This year’s ranking was strengthened by a three-membernational advisory board, composed of lead advisor The Natural StepCanada (TNS) and advisors Greening Greater Toronto (GGT) and SmartGrowth BC (SGBC).
“Sustainability presents enormous opportunities for Canadians in themost important task there is: creating safe, healthy and vibrantcommunities for this and future generations,” says Chris Lindberg,Director of Partnerships and eLearning, TNS. “The Natural Step Canadais pleased to work with Canadian communities and progressiveorganizations such as Corporate Knights to make real change happen forthe benefit of all.”
The advisory board helped Corporate Knights to identify areas wherethe magazine could make its methodology more robust by suggesting newand improved metrics that better encompass a city’s strengths andweaknesses.
“Sustainable cities are created by good government policies andprograms, and by the actions taken by those who work and live in thosecities,” says Peter Johnson, Chair, Measurement and PerformanceWorking Group, GGT and director with the Sustainable BusinessSolutions practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. “The indicatorsselected are intended to provide a snapshot into how cities areevolving.”
Cities were assessed based on five categories: Ecological Integrity,Economic Security, Governance and Empowerment, Infrastructure andBuilt Environment, and Social Well-Being. Publicly availableinformation, including Statistics Canada data, and a city surveyconducted by Corporate Knights were used to determine city scores.
Corporate Knights found that several cities had strong affordablehousing programs, with smaller cities excelling in this area. Wastediversion targets were also set in most cities surveyed.
Overall, cities are doing a good job of self-regulating: setting GHGemission reduction targets for the city corporation, banning pesticideon city-owned property and mandating environmentally friendly designfor new city buildings. But Corporate Knights hopes that there is roomto grow.
“We challenge councils to extend these programs to the whole city, andfully integrate what are often seen as side initiatives,” says MelissaShin, Managing Editor.
The full results of the Ranking, including the surveys completed byeach city, are available on www.corporateknights.ca and are summarizedin the Responsible Investing issue (Vol. 7.3) of Corporate Knights,distributed in the Globe and Mail today.
*Note: Due to lack of data, Iqaluit was omitted from this year’sranking.
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To schedule interviews with Melissa Shin, Managing Editor, contact:Don Huff, 416-972-7404, huffd@huffstrategy.com
About Corporate Knights: Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights Inc. is anindependent Canadian-based media company focused on promoting andreinforcing sustainable development in Canada.
SourcesThe Anielski InstituteCanada Green Building CouncilCK surveyEnvironment CanadaThe Frontier Centre for Public Policy – Local Government PerformanceIndex 2008HIFIS National Database, Homelessness Partnering Secretariat – HRSDCLife Satisfaction and Trust in Neighbours study - by Barrington-Leighand HelliwellMoneySense 2008 “The Best Places to do Business in Canada”Municipalities’ websitesMunicipalities’ tourism bureausStatistics Canada
University of Alberta study authored by Prof. Sean Cash, Prof. EllenGoddard, and Ryan Lacanilao
All data is the most recent available and must not be older than fiveyears.
Individual City Information: all scores out of 10With the lowest unemployment rate of all cities and the second-lowestunemployment rate of immigrants, Edmonton (7.31) had our highestEconomic Security score. The city wants to be an “innovation centrefor value-added and green technologies and products”, and is measuringprogress by the percentage of green collar jobs created. Edmonton isalso the only city in our consideration set to have inclining blockpricing on water (cost/L increases as more water is consumed) toencourage conservation.Opportunity to improve: Edmonton annually inventories its GHGemissions for the community and the city corporation, and it isfinding that its annual emissions continue to increase.
The Halifax Regional Municipality (6.94) (HRM) had the highestGovernance and Empowerment score of all cities. One of the fewmunicipalities to have insecticide and pesticide bans throughout thecity, HRM is integrating sustainability into its decision-makingthrough its corporate-wide Sustainability Transition Team. Themunicipality also requires bike lanes on certain types of new roads.Opportunity to improve: Halifax has the largest proportion of Canadian-born visible minorities in the country, but no visible minorities siton its city council.
Yellowknife (6.14) is the only small city with a LEED-certifiedbuilding, and the city has integrated energy efficiency into itsbuilding bylaws and has also conducted an energy audit on all of itsfacilities. Along with a high population density, these factors cametogether to give Yellowknife the top Infrastructure and BuiltEnvironment score. It also supports creativity with an annual artscompetition for local artists. The City of Yellowknife DowntownEnhancement Committee also provides annual funding for building muralsthat are painted by local artists.Opportunity to improve: Yellowknife should consider a ban oninsecticides and pesticides.
Calgary’s (6.96) light-rail transit is powered entirely by wind-generated electricity. The city is also planning to implement an anti-pesticide by-law by 2010. Calgary also offers rebates in buildingpermit fees for builders constructing to Built Green, LEED standards,or the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Go Greenprogram. These factors contributed to a high Infrastructure and BuiltEnvironment score.Opportunity to improve:The city has not yet set GHG emission reductiontargets and has bulk water pricing.
Strict waste management regulations and a long-term, community-basedsustainability plan boosted Hamilton’s (5.95) governance andempowerment score. The city’s vehicle fleet is one of the greenest inCanada, and a landfill gas-to-energy project and a new efficientdistrict cooling system should help to improve its ranking in comingyears. Its citizens have the highest reported life satisfaction ratesin the country – perhaps aided by a hearty number of city-held publicarts events last year.Opportunity to improve: The city is still lacking GHG reductiontargets for the community as a whole.
Led by its mayor of 30 years, Hazel McCallion, Mississauga (6.26)excels in gender representation in government: 8 of its 11 councillorsare women. An impressive waste diversion rate of 50% and a largeproportion of the budget allocated to conservation resulted in a highecological integrity score. The city was one of the few in Ontario tooffer an affordable home ownership program.Opportunity to improve: The city could consider financial incentivesto attract green businesses.
Montreal’s (5.96) ambitious GHG reduction target is complemented bythe city’s innovative “Bixi” bike share program and a plan to doubleits network of bike paths by 2014. Montreal’s 2009 budget allocated arecord $322 million to accessible, energy-efficient public transit.Host to over 32 public arts events last year, the largest communitygarden network in the country, and the fewest fast food stores percapita of all cities, Montreal’s top score was in the Social Well-being category.Opportunity to improve: Montreal struggled in the Ecological Integritycategory with high rates of water use and poor air quality. Highunemployment rates aided to a poor showing in Economic Security.
Ottawa (7.03) offers various retrofit rebate, incentive, andaffordable home ownership programs, leading to the highest score inthe Governance and Empowerment category. The city exceeded its targetof 20% reductions by 2007 from 1990, and has a green building policyfor city buildings.Opportunity to improve: Ottawa does not yet have an organic wastecollection service, contributing to a poor waste diversion rate, andhas one of the shortest bike path networks relative to city size ofall cities.
Quebec City (6.69) is currently undergoing a GHG inventory. The cityalso holds several sustainability-themed days and weeks, such asCulture Days, Open Library Days, Car-Free Days, Environment Week, andPublic Transportation Week. The city’s high Governance and Empowermentscore was partly due to its strong gender diversity on its citycouncil (almost one-third are female) and its ban on pesticides andinsecticides.Opportunity to improve: The city could consider retrofit programs andfinancial incentives for green businesses.
Saint John (5.60) provided an extensive report on its sustainabilityinitiatives. The city has held over 25 public meetings in the past sixmonths aimed at addressing the community concerns relating tosustainable development, and about one in 20 citizens activelyparticipated in their community visioning process. Saint John hasrecently begun work on its $88 million harbour cleanup, and the use ofgrey water has been included in its new water strategy. Of all thecities studied, Saint John’s citizens have the most trust in theirneighbors.Opportunity to improve: Saint John’s Social Well-Being score wasbrought down by high obesity rates and a low percentage of thepopulation with university degrees.
Saskatoon (6.12) is a leader in affordable home-ownership initiativesand its best showing was in the Governance and Empowerment category.The city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, aswell as the lowest rate of long term debt per household, suggesting ahealthy economy. The city has recently become a member of Carpool.ca,earning all of its citizens access to the service.Opportunity to improve: High rates of domestic water-use and lax GHGtargets (a 6% reduction of 1993 levels by 2013) contributed to poorecological integrity. The city suffers from a high rate of crime, andhas only one farmers’ market.
St. John’s (5.10) has completed a Cycling Master Plan to provide 226km of cycling and multiuse paths around the city. It has also recentlycompleted an Affordable Housing Study and is ending its practice ofproviding hourly water rates to ships in June 2009. St. John’s is alsopart of the Partners for Climate Protection Program.Opportunity to improve: The city currently has no waste diversionprogram, but will begin curbside recycling in May 2010. With all thestudies the city has just completed, we look forward to seeing how St.John’s fares in future years.
Toronto (7.28) excelled in all areas and had the highest EcologicalIntegrity score of all cities. The city offers an impressive range ofretrofit and development incentive programs, including the new Eco-Roof incentive program and Green Condo loans which encouragedevelopers to consider sustainable design. Toronto does a GHGinventory for its own operation and has long-term city-wide goals –including an innovative smog reduction target. It is one of the onlycities to have a municipal ban on pesticides.Opportunity to improve: Toronto is one of the least dense cities,signaling urban sprawl that can threaten biodiversity and increasecommuting distance.
Whitehorse (5.16) has created a Strategic Sustainability Plan and haspartnered with the Energy Solutions Centre and Yukon Government toconduct a feasibility study in implementing a district-heatingproject. The “Wheel 2 Work Whitehorse” program encourages citizens tocycle to and from work or for work related errands as often aspossible between May 1 and September 30, and the city has over 850 kmof cycling paths. The city also has an ambitious waste diversiontarget of zero waste.Opportunity to improve: The city could consider financial incentivesto attract green businesses up north.
Winnipeg (5.74) has already met its GHG reduction target of reducinglevels by 20% from 1998. It had average scores in all five categories,and was set apart as having the smallest ecological footprint of allthose measured. The city has recently made significant investments inimproving public transit infrastructure, and is one of the few tooffer tax incentives for retrofitting older homes.Opportunity to improve: Currently, Winnipeg has a declining blockwater rate (thus encouraging mass consumption) and no limits on thenumber of garbage bags allowed per household. The city’s ecologicalintegrity was compromised by no measure of waste diversion and a lackof budget allocation to conservation.
Vancouver (6.60) has 14 LEED-certified buildings, second only toToronto. The city also has a low obesity rate and low unemployment.With four female and three visible minority city councillors out of10, Vancouver has the best combined diversity score of all cities. Itsrelatively low crime rate and high number of farmers’ markets led tothe highest Social Well-Being score of all cities.
Opportunity to improve: Vancouverites spend a relatively high percentof their income on housing, and it is one of the most expensive placesin Canada to live.
http://www.huffstrategy.com/MediaManager/release/Corporate-Knights/29-1-09/Corporate-Knights-Magazine-announces-Canadas-most-sustainable-cit/1498.html
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January 27, 2009
The Ottawa Citizen
Obama rolls out green agenda for U.S.
Policy sets sights on energy independence
By Steven Edwards, with files from Nicolas Van Praet and JulietO'Neill, Canwest News Service; with files from National Post
U.S. President Barack Obama announced a sweeping revision of U.S.environmental policy yesterday that included a pledge to "lead" oncombating climate change and developing alternatives to oil as anenergy source.
He declared energy independence as his administration's centralenvironmental policy goal, saying that achieving it would bring vitaleconomic and security dividends.
He also cleared the way for new rules to force automakers to producemore fuel-efficient and less-polluting cars.
Mr. Obama brushed aside concerns of the ailing auto industry in boththe United States and Canada about the impact on vehicle sales thattougher regulations would have.
"Our goal is not to further burden the already struggling industry,"Mr. Obama said. "It is to help America's automakers prepare for thefuture."
But of particular concern to auto industry executives was Mr. Obama'sorder for the Environmental Protection Agency to review whether U.S.states can themselves set "tailpipe" emissions standards.
The administration of George W. Bush had, through EPA, spurned a bidby California and 13 other states to impose their own strict limits onvehicle carbon-dioxide emissions.
In California's case, this bucked a tradition whereby Washington hashabitually allowed the state to go its own way to counter its smog-prone Los Angeles area.
EPA is expected to follow its review by issuing an approval of theapplications.
The Bush administration had agreed with automakers that granting suchwaivers could necessitate the production of two lines of vehicle --one to meet the stricter standards of certain states, and another tosell in the rest of the country.
This would increase production costs at a time when the financialcrisis has already depressed sales.
"What the entire industry is looking for is one standard goingforward," said David Adams, president of the Association ofInternational Automobile Manufacturers of Canada.
"It creates a challenging spectre for any automaker in terms of tryingto produce vehicles to meet different standards."
Canadian environmentalists, however, urged this country's governmentto follow Mr. Obama's example on greening the economy.
"That's the star that Canada should be hitching its wagon to, not theold standards of the Bush administration," said Dale Marshall of theDavid Suzuki Foundation.
California and the 13 states -- which include New York and New Jersey-- account for about half of the U.S. market for cars and lighttrucks.
They say they're seeking stricter emissions controls to reduce thetypes of gases that are widely believed to contribute to globalwarming through the creation of a "greenhouse" effect.
On fuel efficiency, Mr. Obama instructed the Department ofTransportation to set by March miles-per-gallon standards for modelyear 2011. This would give automakers an 18-month period to retool.
He argued yesterday the creation of a "new energy" economy throughinvestment in solar, wind and other alternative energy sources wouldcreate "millions of jobs" as it ends the U.S.'s dependence on oilsourced in countries that aren't always friendly to Western interests.
"It will put 460,000 Americans to work with clean-energy investmentsand double the capacity to generate alternative energy over the nextthree years," he said of measures in his administration's economicrecovery plan, which is currently before Congress.
"It will lay down 3,000 miles of transmission lines to deliver thisenergy to every corner of our country. It will save taxpayers $2billion a year by making 75 per cent of federal buildings moreefficient. And it will save working families hundreds of dollars ontheir energy bills by weatherizing two-million homes."
In what was widely interpreted as a swipe at the skepticism the Bushadministration had for the global-warming phenomenon, Mr. Obama saidhis government would "not deny (the) facts," but be "guided by them."
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Cars/Obama+rolls+green+agenda/1220992/story.html
========================Warning Industry Propaganda Below========================
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Lawn and Landscape
Ruling on Herbicide Finalized
On Jan. 16, the MAA Research Task Force (Task Force) signed anagreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whichpermits the continued use of MSMA. The agreement ends use of the theherbicide ingredient in residential turf at the end of 2010. Theannouncement comes about two years after the second comment periodended regarding the propsosal on the regulation of MSMA. (Click herefor background information.)
MSMA sale for the use on golf courses, sod farms and highway rights ofway will continue until Dec. 31, 2012, with use of stocks permitteduntil Dec. 31, 2013. During 2012 (before the discontinuation of theseuses), EPA, through one of the Agency’s external peer-review groups,will evaluate the scientific information available on any risk posedby inorganic arsenic. The use of MSMA will continue beyond 2013should the review result in a conclusion that there is no healthconcern at the doses of exposure resulting from the relevant uses.EPA will also take into account additional information available onthe benefits conferred by MSMA. This is particularly important due tothe increased problems of weed resistance to products other than MSMA,particularly in the Southeastern United States.
The Task Force is hopeful that the reviews described above will enableEPA to extend these use patterns beyond 2013 and to declare themeligible for re-registration.
The directions for use of MSMA for these applications will be revisedas follows:
Golf courses:
One broadcast application will be allowed on newly constructedcourses.
Application on existing courses will be limited to spot treatment (100squre feet per spot), not to exceed 25 percent of the total course inone year.
Sod farms:
Two broadcast applications will be allowed per crop. A 25-foot bufferstrip will be required for those fields bordering permanent waterbodies.
Highway rights-of-way:
Two broadcast applications will be allowed per year. A 100-foot bufferstrip will be required adjacent to permanent water bodies.
Other MSMA Uses
Certain uses of MSMA will not be permitted after Dec. 31, 2010 (saleof MSMA for these uses will stop on Dec. 31, 2009). Those uses are:
* Residential turf * Forestry * Non-bearing fruit and nuts * Citrus, bearing and non-bearing * Drainage ditch banks, railroad, pipeline, and utility rights ofway, fence rows, storage yards and similar non-crop areas * Bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass grown for seed (this use may becontinued till 2013).
MSMA uses in Florida, other than for cotton, will cease andregistrants will delete the uses of the related products DSMA, CAMAand DMA (cacodylic acid and its sodium salt), by end of 2010.
The Long Term Outlook for Uses of MSMA Other than Cotton:
The Task Force strongly believes that there is growing scientificevidence that low doses of inorganic arsenic do not pose a concern tohuman health or to the environment. If an EPA science review, toconvene in 2012, concurs with this position, then inorganic arsenicresulting from uses of MSMA will not pose a concern, and the TaskForce will petition for restoration of some or all of MSMA uses.
http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/news/news.asp?ID=7617
========================
Wednesday January 28, 2009
Federal budget recognizes value of green industry services
Canadian homeowners are now eligible for the Home Renovation TaxCredit outlined in the Harper Government's 2009 Federal Budget.Families can claim a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit foreligible home renovation expenditures for work performed, or goodsacquired after Jan. 27, 2009 and before Feb. 1, 2010. The credit willapply to expenditures in excess of $1,000, but not more than $10,000,resulting in a maximum credit of $1,350 ($9,000 x 15 per cent).
Download Home Renovation Tax Credit pamphlet here.
Examples of HRTC eligible and ineligible expenditures:
Eligible- Building an addition, deck, fence or retaining wall- Painting the interior or exterior of a house- Resurfacing a driveway- Laying new sod
Ineligible- Purchase of tools- Maintenance contracts (furnace cleaning, snow removal, lawncare, pool cleaning, etc.)
CNLA, Landscape Ontario and the other provincial horticultureassociations have been raising awareness among politicians regardingthe value of landscapes, gardening and greenscapes for the last fewmonths. By educating them about the environmental and economicbenefits of green spaces, the ornamental horticulture industry hassuccessfully emphasized the importance and the value of the work ofour members.
http://www.horttrades.com/displaynews.php?n=599
========================
January 30, 2009
The Ottawa Citizen
Economy will likely be golf's No. 1 story
Those at the PGA Merchandise Show admit that 2009 will be achallenging year for many companies.
By Gord Holder
There will be, Cindy Davis says, three big golf stories in 2009. Oneis the return of Tiger Woods, who has been sidelined since havingreconstructive knee surgery last June. Another will be Michelle Wie'sfirst full LPGA Tour season.
Swamping them both, though, is the economy.
There is not a unanimous opinion among the thousands of industryrepresentatives in town for the annual PGA Merchandise Show on theimpact of the current state of economic affairs on the sport, butthere are shared viewpoints.
"We are still using the same marketing methods to attract ourbusiness," says Davis, the president of Nike Golf. "People are stillbuying golf balls and people are still playing rounds of golf, albeitit may be influenced by this economy right now. People are stillplaying the game."
Nike Golf Canada general manager John Sibley says there aredifferences between the economies of Canada and the United States.
"We are fortunate we don't have sub-prime (mortgage problems)," Sibleysays. "We don't have the debt load that a lot of Americans experience.We don't have people that have mortgages that are far in excess oftheir home values. The metrics on the Canadian market are a little bitbetter, so we're hopeful that that means even more encouraging thingsin Canada. We are not immune to the recession that is happening, tothe retail softening, but I think we are in a better position to maybewithstand it."
Jason Pouliot, owner of Tennessee-based SeeMore Putter Company, sayssome companies will survive and be in position to grow when the golfbusiness rebounds.
"The big guns," as he calls them, "are still selling putters. Thesmall guys that try to do business like the big guns are the ones introuble."
That's a reference to such costs as major advertising campaigns andendorsement fees for tour pros. SeeMore, Pouliot says, does not paypros to use its putters, but rather entices them with quality productsand all the servicing they require.
He says SeeMore's business was 10 per cent better last year than itwas in 2007, and that was the year sales went through the roof becauseof Zach Johnson's Masters victory. The 2008 Masters champion, TrevorImmelman, also uses a SeeMore now, joining a lineup that includesfellow PGA Tour player Vaughn Taylor and the LPGA's Karrie Webb,Sophie Gustafson and Brittany Lang.
Pouliot's 2009 goal is to double SeeMore's sales. He says there'sdefinitely more optimism generally since Barack Obama became U.S.president on Jan. 20.
"Cautiously optimistic is the best description for the next sixmonths," he says.
Mark Seabrook, owner of the Canadian Golf and Country Club in Ashton,says course owners must prepare for the possibilities of decreasedrevenue and increased costs, partly because of new Ontario pesticidecontrol regulations. As well, maintenance schedules, staffing levelsand new expenditures must be reviewed.
"On the positive side," Seabrook says, "the Sens not making theplayoffs this year will free up some 'recreational dollars' that canget spent in the spring on golf."
The executive director of the Ottawa-based National Golf CourseOwners' Association, Jeff Calderwood, is also "cautiously optimistic,"saying golf has historically been more stable than other industries.As well, Canada's economy will do better than many others around theworld, and Ottawa will do better than other Canadian cities.
"That doesn't mean it's going to be easy," Calderwood says. "I thinksome of the corporate spending is going to contract a little bit, someof the charity events are going to contract a little bit.
"I think some of the membership sales are likely to feel pressure, butsome of that (spending) will be redistributed, and public play may getsome of it."
At the individual level, the impact may be more noticeable. Ottawa'sAndrew Jensen, a first-year pro in 2008, says this year's plans willdepend on finances. Massachusetts pro Susan Choi, who benefited fromthe visibility attached to being a participant in an edition of GolfChannel's Big Break reality series, is still trying to arrange payingsponsorships for her campaign on the U.S.-based Duramed Futures Tour.
"Because of Susan's personality, they're all very positive at thebeginning, but pulling the trigger is the key," says her coach, BillMcInerney. "It's funny. People are afraid to say no, so people have atendency not to get back to you.
"In terms of giving her equipment, there's no problem, but, in termsof giving her money to support her career, it's a problem."
Charlottetown's Lorie Kane, an LPGA Tour regular since 1996, hasmanaged to renew all her corporate sponsorship agreements and to add anew one, with the Toronto-based women's clothing company TabiInternational, to replace another lapsed contract.
Kane says she's "lucky from the endorsement side.
"I do see it, though, from the standpoint that we have lost sometournaments on tour, and I truly believe that this is a year thatplayers will have to go beyond and above what we've done," Kane said.
"We're going to have to make sure we attend all those pro-am partiesand do the little extra things because people are looking at makingsure they're getting value for their dollar. Companies will cut back,but they still have to market and they still have to sell."
Davis says her company is well positioned financially, and, secondly,Nike is Nike.
When times like this happen, people go to brands they trust, and thatswoosh of Nike is a brand they trust," Davis says.
"I do think when this is said and done, with regard to Nike Golf, thatthis will end up being an opportunity to show gains."
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Sports/Economy+will+likely+golf+story/1233784/story.html
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Report Finds High Concentrations of Toxic Contaminants in Sewage Sludge

January 28, 2009
Richmond ReviewEDITORIAL: Time to ban pesticides
On Saturday, 50 residents turned out to hear Dr. Warren Bell talkabout how pesticides are harmful to children at an educational forum.
Bell says children are at greater risk than adults because theirimmune system is still developing and because of their tendency to putobjects in their mouth and to roll on the lawn.
He along with the Canadian Cancer Society, Richmond PesticideAwareness Coalition and Richmond Children First want pesticides bannedin Richmond
Two years ago, the city toyed with the idea of banning the cosmeticuse of pesticides and herbicides, but decided to adopt a policy thatencourages the responsible use of pesticides. Since then, The RichmondReview has received complaints from residents who are concerned aboutspraying in or near public areas and even from one resident who wasactually sprayed. Obviously, the city needs to do more than educating.
Granted, Richmond is still a farming community. Obviously, plants andpests that can destroy crops need to be sprayed if other methods donot work. But what we’re talking about are herbicidal maniacs who usea toxic arsenal to wipe out a couple of dandelions.
Such overkill is unnecessary. Spraying often occurs in public areaswhere people and pets play. Many of these chemicals are carcinogensand make the landscape a more toxic place.
City council has already approved tough bylaws curbing smoking inpublic areas. So why does the right of private individuals to spraychemicals outweigh the rights of the general public to not have tosuffer in a toxic environment?
It’s time to stop the unnecessary spraying. The good news is thecurrent council members seemed to agree while they were campaigningfor November’s civic election. Now is the time to live up to theirpromise.
Find this article at:http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/38563539.html
© Copyright Black Press. All rights reserved.
=================================
New Report Finds High Concentrations of Toxic Contaminants in SewageSludge
(Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2009) The U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency’s (EPA) national sewage sludge survey identifieshigh concentrations of toxic contaminants with heavy metals, steroidsand pharmaceuticals, including the antibacterials, triclocarban andtriclosan. Despite the prevalence of these toxic chemicals in theenvironment and their potential adverse impacts to human health andthe environment, EPA maintains that it is not appropriate to speculateon the significance of the results at this time.
Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 405(d) stipulates that EPAmust identify and regulate toxic pollutants that may be present inbiosolids (sewage sludge) at levels of concern for public health andthe environment. The survey, “Targeted National Sewage SludgeSurvey” (TNSSS), sampled 74 selected waste water treatment plants in35 states during 2006 to 2007. The survey, like its threepredecessors, is conducted to determine which chemicals are present insewage sludge and develop national estimates of their concentrationsin order to assess whether exposures may be occurring and whetherconcentrations found may be of concern. The agency conducted analysisof sewage sludge samples for 145 compounds, including four anions(nitrite/nitrate, fluoride, water-extractable phosphorus), 28 metals,four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, two semi-volatiles, 11 flameretardants, 72 pharmaceuticals, and 25 steroids and hormones.
The antimicrobial triclocarban is detected in all 84 samplescollected, while its cousin triclosan is found in 79 out of 84collected samples. Along with being the most detected pharmaceutical,triclocarban is also detected at the highest concentrations with arecorded maximum concentration of 4.41×10-5 ug/kg. This value is thehighest ever detected in sewage sludge. Triclosan came in with thesecond highest concentrations in the category with a maximum of1.33×10-5 ug/kg. The antibiotic, ofloxacin, had the third highestconcentration with a maximum of 5.81 x10-4 ug/kg.
The TNSSS data confirms a host of independent scientific researchwhich has found that these widely used antimicrobial chemicals arefinding there way into the environment, contaminating surface anddrinking waters, as well as potentially impacting human andenvironmental health. These findings also correlate with U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) studies that have found that triclosan is oneof the most detected pharmaceutical chemicals detected in U.S. surfacewaters.
The implications of these sewage sludge findings are significant.Municipal waste water treatment plants generate tons of sewage sludgeannually. Sewage sludge is widely recycled on agricultural lands andnonagricultural landscapes as fertilizer, and for land reclaiming andfilling. The application of sewage sludge on terrestrial systems meansthat these antimicrobial compounds, as well as the host of other heavymetals, pharmaceuticals, hormones, organics and PBDEs found in thisreport may be absorbed by crops, earthworms and other soil organisms,and find their way up the food chain and into human diets. Many ofthese chemicals, such as triclosan, are persistent and do not breakdown easily. Their effects on soil microorganisms are still notunderstood. Major questions remain, such as whether these compoundsharm soil microbes, or aquatic life if leached into streams.
Triclocarban and its cousin triclosan are used in a wide variety ofconsumer products ranging from antibacterial handsoap, cosmetics,clothing and toys. Both are used in products that are washed down thedrain and subsequently reach surface waters and waste water treatmentplants. They are both linked to hormonal disruption, especially inamphibians. Triclosan has also been found in urine, umbilical cordblood and breast milk. During the recent reregistration process fortriclosan, which is also associated with numerous health impacts andantibacterical resistance, the EPA concluded that these are not ofconcern. Triclocarban is not a registered chemical with EPA, but fallsunder the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Beyond Pesticides is actively working with other environmental andcommunity groups to ban the non-medical uses of triclosan. In July andagain in December 2008, Beyond Pesticides, Food and Water Watch,Greenpeace US, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club anddozens of public health and environmental groups from the U.S. andCanada, urged the agency to use its authority to cancel the non-medical uses of the antibacterial chemical triclosan in order toprotect human health and the environment. For more information, visitour Antibacterial Program page.
Source: EPA Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey Report, ScienceNews
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/
=================================
Conference on Fair, Organic Food and Public Health, April 3-4 in NorthCarolina
Beyond Pesticides will hold its 27th National Pesticide Forum, Bridgeto an Organic Future: Opportunities for health and the environment,April 3-4, 2009 in Carrboro, NC (next to Chapel Hill and theUniversity of North Carolina). This national environmental conferencewill include sessions on Pesticides and public health; Organicagriculture; Domestic fair trade; Organic lawns and landscapes;Healthy schools and daycare; Water contamination; and much more.Register online or call 202-543-5450 to register by phone.
This national environmental conference, co-convened by Toxic FreeNorth Carolina, is an important opportunity for community peoplenationwide to get together, share the latest information, meet withscientists and policy makers, and discuss local, statewide andnational strategies on pest issues, pesticides, public health and theenvironment. As the home of the National Institute of EnvironmentalHealth Sciences (NIEHS) and recently named “America’s Foodiest SmallTown,” the location is just the right place for participants todiscuss fair, organic food and the impact of pesticides on publichealth.
Keynote speakers for the conference include:
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator and author of manybooks, including his latest, Swim Against The Current: Even A DeadFish Can Go With The Flow. Mr. Hightower has spent three decadesbattling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be.Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Jim has become a leadingvoice for those who no longer find themselves within shouting distanceof Washington and Wall Street. He’s a modern-day Johnny Appleseed,spreading the message of progressive populism all across the Americangrassroots.
Philip Shabecoff, co-author of the new book Poisoned Profits: Thetoxic assault on our children, served as chief environmentalcorrespondent for The New York Times for fourteen years. Mr. Shabecoffalso founded Greenwire, an online digest of environmental news and wasselected as one of the “Global 500” by the United Nations’Environmental Program. His previous books include A Fierce Green Fire:A History of the American Environmental Movement.
Alice Shabecoff, co-author of Poisoned Profits: The toxic assault onour children, is a freelance journalist focusing on family andconsumer topics. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, TheWashington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and the InternationalHerald Tribune, among other publications. She was executive directorof the National Consumers League and Community Information Exchange.Her previous books include A Guide to Careers in CommunityDevelopment.
For an updated list, visit the speakers page on the Forum website.
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/
=================================
January 27, 2009
Kelowna Capital News
SIR board changes tactics
By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News
An innovative, area-wide local pest control program is taking aslightly different tack this year in dealing with those reluctant tofully participate.
Instead of issuing tree removal orders against either orchardists orthose with backyard fruit trees on which the codling moth has not beencontrolled, the Sterile Insect Release board will work one-on-one totry and ensure there’s a thorough understanding of the program andwhat they must do to comply with it.
That doesn’t mean those growers won’t have to meet the requirementsfor meeting the program’s objectives, but staff will work more closelywith the few remaining property-owners not in compliance, beforeissuing a tree removal order.
The SIR program relies on the co-operation of everyone with an apple,pear or crabapple tree to ensure they prevent an infestation ofcodling moth, a non-native pest that burrows into the fruit, making itunfit for commercial use.
Moths are irradiated to make them sterile, then released into orchardswhere codling moth populations have been brought down to a low level,to ensure the remaining wild moths can’t reproduce.
Tuesday was the first SIR board meeting since new council members wereelected last fall, and there are many new faces around the table.Kevin Flynn, representing the Columbia Shuswap regional district waselected chairman, succeeding Colin Day of Kelowna, who did not run forre-election last year.
Vice-chairman is Allan Patton, who represents the Okanagan Similkameenregional district. Graeme James represents the Central Okanaganregional district and Rick Fairbairn the North Okanagan.
Non-voting board members include Brian Given of CORD, entomologistSusanna Acheampong of the provincial agriculture ministry, John Berryfrom the federal ministry, Dr. Felicitas Katepa-Mupondwa from thePacific Agri-food Research Centre, Brian Mennell representing organicgrowers, Joe Sardhina, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’Association, and Fred Steele, vice-president.
SIR general manager Cara McCurrach told board members there will alsobe three pilot projects conducted this year to ensure areas with highlevels of codling moth infestation are brought under control and tosafeguard areas where pest control has been achieved.
In East Kelowna, where there are still some “hot spots” with highinfestations of the pest, staff may use a multiple mating disruptionlure, which Acheampong explained confuses the moths so they don’t getto mate.
There are also experiments underway with a dual lure which would giveoff pheromones to confuse the leafroller pest as well. Leafroller usedto be controlled with similar sprays used for codling moth control, soit is becoming a bigger problem amongst orchardists as it’s becomingless necessary for them to spray pesticides for codling moth.
Steele noted it’s important the industry look at controlling otherinsect pests without sprays in order for the Okanagan and Similkameento work towards designation of this as an area of low pest prevalence.
The other two pilot projects will be in the Fairview area.
jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com
Find this article at:http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/kelownacapitalnews/news/38521049.html
© Copyright Black Press. All rights reserved.
=================================
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
CBC News
Toronto bans smoking near playgrounds, wading pools
When Toronto's new bylaw takes effect, smoking will not be allowedwithin nine metres of children's playgrounds.
Smokers will no longer be welcome within nine metres of Torontoplaygrounds, splash pads or wading pools.
City council passed a bylaw banning smoking near the children's areasat its meeting Tuesday.
The ban takes effect as soon as the province sets the amount of thefine. The city has asked that the fine be pegged at $305.
Toronto already has a smoking ban in place in restaurants. Last week,a new provincial law banning smoking in vehicles carrying childrencame into force.
The new bylaw, which was carried by a 31-6 vote, will also apply toother city-run outdoor areas that attract children, such as High ParkZoo and Riverdale Farm.
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/01/28/tto-smoking.html
================================Warning Industry Propaganda Below================================
January 29, 2009
Guelph Mercury
Pesticide ban a slippery slope for Ontario agriculture
Richard Blyleven
It's hard to think about lawns, gardens, fields and crops when it's-15 C and everything's buried under January snow.
Certainly on the farm, winter is a slower time of year. But somethings need to be thought about because they're important and becausethey have the potential to impact all of us.
The provincial government is finalizing legislation that willimplement a ban on the cosmetic use of crop protection products inOntario. Agriculture is one of the few groups with an exemption underthe new regulations and probably rightly so.
There are few users of crop protection products more trained andeducated on proper, responsible and judicious use than farmers. Wehave to be certified every five year in order to use crop protectionproducts and to make sure we're up to date on the latest techniques,research, rules and methods.
As a result of this approach, Ontario farmers now voluntarily use morethan 50 per cent fewer crop protection products than they did 20 yearsago. We're so proud of this achievement that we encouraged thegovernment to follow our example of training and certification forother users as well. Now that's good news for the environment.
What is not so good news is legislation --like the upcoming ban --thatdoes not have a solid foundation in science.
Last October, I attended a conference hosted by the Canadian CancerSociety that looked at possible connections between cancer and cropprotection methods. It brought together stakeholders from medicine,research, environment, government and agriculture to hear about theregulations currently in place, research underway and what's happeningaround the world.
At the conference, leading medical researchers admitted there is nodirect connection between crop protection products and cancer rates.Participants from outside of Canada acknowledged that our regulatorysystems are among the best in the world and many left with a betterunderstanding of what we do on our farms and how we use many differenttechnologies --including global positioning system and integrated pestmanagement --to protect our crops.
But what was refreshing about this event was the attention given tothe importance of sound science.
Cancer is an emotional subject that has affected so many Canadians --rural and urban -- in very personal ways.
It was encouraging that the Canadian Cancer Society was willing totake an objective look at the evidence that exists, and to involve allstakeholders in the discussion. That kind of approach sets the stagefor an amicable working relationship on future initiatives.
This ban is a slippery slope for Ontario agriculture. First, it putsfields and crops at greater risk of weed infestations from urban areaswhere the proposed regulations would ban the use of products tocontrol them.
Secondly, what kind of message is it sending to the public about ourregulatory system when a provincial law has the power to ban productsthat are federally regulated and subjected to extensive scientificreview?
Farmers are no strangers to cancer and not a single one of us wants toput our families, consumers, or the environment at an increased risk.If there's science to prove that those products have a detrimentaleffect on our health or the health of the environment, then we want tosee it.
Farming is a significant driver of Ontario's economic engine. In fact,we're second only to the automotive sector, proud to provide jobs forthousands of Ontarians across the province. We are also proud of ourroles as responsible environmental stewards and as producers of food.
If we as farmers are to successfully meet the challenge of producingfood for a growing world population, we will need every tool availableto us.
This includes the safe and responsible use of crop protection productsso that we can continue to feed not only ourselves but others aroundthe world.
Richard Blyleven is a farmer and chair of Guelph-based AGCare, theenvironmental voice of Ontario's 45,000 crop and horticulture farmers.
© Copyright 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/article/432475
================================
Thursday 29 January, 2009
Pesticides ban: How it will affect your crops
Farmers Weekly
After more than six months of discussions, debate and concertedlobbying the revision of the EU pesticide approvals legislation isdrawing to a close. Mike Abram, with help from industry experts,assesses the potential impacts on each crop
WHEAT James Clarke & Sarah Wynn, ADAS
Weed control will be hit hardest by the potential ban on certainactive ingredients once they are reviewed under the new pesticidesapprovals directive. Pendimethalin, in particular, is an importantpart of many resistance strategies against blackgrass, providingresidual activity with some post-emergence activity.
Alternative options are available pre-emergence, but there will bedangerously few. The reduction in different modes of action willincrease the risk of resistance developing to the remaining actives.
Potentially, wheat production could be cut by 7-10% because of extragrassweed competition, although it could be higher for growers withsignificant blackgrass problems.
It will mean careful planning of cultural and herbicide regimes willbe required to minimise the risk of resistance developing, probablyincluding greater use of ploughing, stale seed-beds and delayeddrilling.
The loss of some key triazole fungicides will have a slight effect onfoliar disease control levels in wheat. There is a possibility thatyellow rust might become more difficult to control, as the at-risklists a number of strong triazoles on that disease.
But although preferred products for yellow rust and septoria, such asepoxiconazole, might be lost, a number of alternative azoles appear toescape a ban, although this is still a grey area and depends on howone hazard, endocrine disruption, is finally defined.
Sufficient alternatives should be available for the control of themost important insect pests.
OILSEED RAPE James Clarke & Sarah Wynn, ADAS
The directive should have only a small impact on oilseed rape. Thefungicides that are lost can be replaced using other existing activeingredients, although higher rates might be required of weakerproducts to maintain similar levels of control.
No key herbicides look like being lost, while, as with wheat, thereare enough alternative insecticides left to maintain adequate levelsof pest control.
PULSES Anthony Biddle, PGRO
Undoubtedly the impacts on pulse production are much less than whenmost insecticides looked like they could be under threat. As it standsonly bifenthrin and possibly deltamethrin of the pyrethroids look likebeing lost.
That still leaves a reasonable number of alternative pyrethroids, pluspirimicarb and a neonicotinoid product (Biscaya) to control key pests,such as pea aphid, pea and bean weevil, pea moth and pea midge.
But, and it is a big but, weed control will be become very difficult.Already challenging after the removal of several key herbicides, theloss of pendimethalin around 2013 will be a huge blow for growers.
It is a widely used addition to pre-emergence herbicides that widensthe spectrum of weeds that can be controlled. While other herbicideswill remain available, a lower level of control will be achieved,particularly of polygonum species, such as black bindweed andknotweed.
Its loss will increase the risk of yield loss. Contamination of pulseproducts from, for example, potato and black nightshade berries, alsoremains a big concern.
Mechanical weed control is an option, but has proved unreliable intrials, particularly in wet conditions.
Fungicides are not widely used in peas, but in wet seasons leaf andpod spot and sclerotinia can be damaging and only Amistar, Switch andchlorothalonil will be left for use in peas. In beans strobilurins canbe used against chocolate spot and bean rust, but, again, the loss ofpossibly all the triazoles will increase the risk of resistancedeveloping.
HORTICULTURE Cathy Knott, independent consultant
The horticultural sector has already suffered some key herbicidelosses because they were withdrawn early or failed Annex 1 in thecurrent 91/414 review. Replacements for products, such as Dosaflo(metoxuron) for carrots, Treflan (trifluralin) for brassicas, andRamrod (propachlor) for lettuce, onions and brassicas have not beenfound. And there could be further herbicides removed before thecurrent directive is replaced.
As in other crops the potential loss of pendimethalin will have thegreatest impact. It is authorised for use on 62 horticultural cropsand is essential for onions, carrots, peas and strawberries. It isalso one of the few herbicides effective on knotgrass and blackbindweed, and there will be no replacement that controls these weedsin the foreseeable future.
The potential loss of linuron and metribuzin will be devastating forcarrots and parsnips - where there will be no broad-spectrumherbicides, and so will the loss of ioxynil for onions. Theseuncompetitive crops can soon be swamped by weeds. Brassicas will relyon metazachlor and a few other products for specific weeds.
The fungicide mancozeb has 33 approvals for use in horticulturalcrops, including in onions and lettuce for downy mildew control. It iswidely seen as vital to prevent resistance developing in otherfungicides.
Another fungicide, myclobutanil, is widely used in strawberries,blackcurrants and apples for powdery mildew control, and in roses, forblack spot, and ornamentals. Tebuconazole is also used in many crops,including controlling alternaria in carrots and brassicas.
Prothioconazole might remain to fill some of the gaps left. It isauthorised for several diseases in cabbages, plus leek rust.
The insecticides deltamethrin and bifenthrin may not be approved. Bothare widely used in brassicas for aphids, while bifenthrin alsocontrols caterpillars and whitefly. But there are alternatives thatshould still be available for these pests.
SUGAR BEET, Broom's Barn
Thee main effect on sugar beet will be the loss of most of theeffective triazole fungicides in use. Beet will also lose quinoxyfen,which gives good control of powdery mildew.
The result will be greater pressure on the strobilurin fungicides andthe remaining triazoles to control the full range of diseases –powdery mildew, rust, ramularia and cercospora. The latter has beenseen in the UK and is expected to spread in future hot summers.
Field storage of beet means that the level of disease control requiredin modern beet growing is higher than in the past. Diseased foliage,especially where rust in present, appears to be more frost-prone thanhealthy foliage. Field storage not only maximises the beet growingseason, it also offers energy use efficiencies.
The loss of glufosinate-ammonium will further restrict the options forcontrol of emerged weeds before beet emergence, meaning that for thisgrowers will be almost entirely reliant on glyphosate. Some studieshave tepraloxydim on the list of at-risk substances. It is importantfor control of blackgrass in sugar beet where growers are usingrotations to provide a resistance prevention strategy. Its loss willmean that less efficient herbicides have to be used, resulting, attimes, in inefficient control.
POTATOES Rob Clayton, Potato Council
The biggest challenge will be blight control. The potential loss ofmancozeb, which comes up for renewal in 2015, could hurt. Forty yearswithout a resistance problem means it's widely accepted as themainstay anti-resistance product and there is a mancozeb component inmore than 10 products on the market.
These products will all have to re-formulated without mancozeb andwe'll need to rethink anti-resistance. This won't be straightforward,as the Water Framework Directive (WFD) could preclude some obviouschoices.
Weed control after 2013 will present a real challenge, as linuron,pendimethalin and metribuzin are due to be reviewed. The first two aredefinitely at risk from the new legislation, while metribuzin has alsobeen included in some lists.
The industry could survive with some complicated mixtures of otherherbicides, but this will cost an extra £20/ha and we'll need to lookagain at in-crop cultivation. There is also a question mark overvarietal susceptibility to alternative herbicides that will need to beresolved over the next five years.
Previous fears over the future of PCN, aphid and slug control havebeen allayed to some extent with a concession in favour of a morepragmatic, risk-based approach combined with better use of bufferzones.
Pesticide-table.jpgWater Framework Directive warning
Another threat for pesticides – and one that might have an evengreater impact – is the Water Framework Directive. Under thisdirective, which aims to protect water quality, actives that are usedat high rates or ones at risk from exceeding environmental qualitystandards could be at risk. That might include many key herbicides,especially those used in oilseed rape, slug pellets, some insecticidesand fungicides.
Notes
* Products based on PSD/Swedish (KEMI) assessment * Hazard criteria still not fully defined * List subject to change
What now?Only the approval of the EU farm council, expected to be given inMarch, is now needed before the directive can be implemented into law.But that is not the end of the debate. A definition for the endocrinedisruption cut-off criteria, crucial for determining which azolefungicides will be approved, needs to be agreed.Also being discussed is how a derogation clause within the legislationshould apply, The idea is that it will allow products that exceedcertain hazard cut-off criteria to continue to be used for a furtherfive years, providing there is alternative available and there is aserious danger to plant health. UK representatives are thought to belobbying strongly for a flexible interpretation.
Author: Mike Abram
http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2009/01/29/114014/pesticides-ban-how-it-will-affect-your-crops.html
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Transforming Pesticide Policy: Sign-on to Priorities for Obama Administration

Transforming Pesticide Policy: Sign-on to Priorities for Obama Administration

Transforming Government’s Approach to Regulating Pesticides to ProtectPublic Health and the Environment is a document drafted by BeyondPesticides and Pesticide Action Network North America that capturesgrassroots pesticide priorities for the Obama Administration. While wehave already submitted these priorities to the Obama transition team,we ask for your support and suggestions because we will continue touse this document as we begin to work with the new administration. Tosign on to the document, follow the link above and include your name,organization/company affiliation (if any), city and state in thecomment field.
The document identifies what the Obama administration can/should takeon under existing authority/statutory responsibility, with a specificfocus on the first 100 days. Most of the comments in our documentfocus on pending regulatory actions and pending petitions before thegovernment, either because of ongoing chemical reviews, pendingrulemaking, or petitions. While we incorporate big picture thinking,we are focused on specific actions that the relevant agencies couldtake now. We plan to meet and communicate with the Obamaadministration to put these suggested actions in place.
Issues covered in the document include, but are not limited to:Promoting organic agriculture; Protecting sensitive species;Regulating endocrine disruptors; Protecting farmworkers and theirfamilies; Disclosing inert ingredients; Banning persistent,bioaccumulative pesticides; and, Protection from low-dose exposure.
Our intent is to (1) proactively outline pesticides issues during thetransition (and so time is of the essence!), and (2) we view thisdevice as a living document in which we seek input on a continuingbasis to enable the pesticide reform movement to develop a nationalpolicy agenda over time, while we build consensus as a movementcommitted to healthy, clean and fair pesticides policy.
To sign on or to comment, visit: http://www.transformingpesticidepolicy.org.Please include your name, organization affiliation (if any), city andstate in the comment field.
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/
=============================
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Grand Junction leaders planting idea to discourage big, thirsty lawns
By MIKE WIGGINS
Grand Junction city leaders are considering incentives to encouragebusinesses to shun large, thirsty lawns in favor of drought-resistantplants and other forms of xeriscaping.
City Council members pitched the idea last week during a review ofproposed changes to landscaping requirements for commercial andindustrial businesses looking to remodel or upgrade their facilities.
The move would represent a nod to the Grand Valley’s semi-arid climateand steady population growth that will place more demands on finitewater supplies. Council members said it would fit in with the city’songoing efforts to promote energy conservation and environment-friendly practices.
“I want to be able to tell somebody that this is our first choice foryou because of the cost savings, the environmental friendliness, thewhole bit,” Councilwoman Bonnie Beckstein said.
Council members suggested the incentives would apply initially tobusinesses but haven’t specified what form those incentives may take.Public Works and Planning Director Tim Moore told council members hewill provide some options in the near future.
City planners say xeriscaping has been an option for developerslooking to landscape their property for years but acknowledge theyhaven’t actively promoted or offered information about it.
Asked if she could quantify the businesses and residentialsubdivisions in the city that employ xeriscaping, NeighborhoodServices Manager Kathy Portner could name only a handful.
“Xeriscaping kind of gets pushed aside as not being viable, and it’sunfamiliar,” Moore said.
Planners and landscape architects say up-front installation costs canexceed those for traditional landscaping, which can act as adeterrent. But they say there are misconceptions about xeriscapingthat scare off people.
“Xeriscape itself doesn’t mean no water or desert plants. It’s aboutsmart choices, smart placement,” said Ted Ciavonne with Ciavonne,Roberts & Associates, a landscape and planning architecture firm inGrand Junction. Ciavonne noted turf can still be an option inxeriscaping, as long as it’s a variety that requires less water thanKentucky bluegrass.
In the long run, officials say, xeriscaping will save its users moneyon watering and maintenance.
In addition to offering incentives, Ciavonne suggested the councilcould look at portions of the city’s landscaping code that conflictwith the goals of xeriscaping or offer more flexibility to plans thatimplement xeriscaping principles but may not meet the exact wording ofthe code.
“Whether council is giving out incentives or whether it’s an incentiveto your pocketbook, I think there is going to be a lot of value inpromoting xeriscape,” Ciavonne said.
The city hopes to boost xeriscaping by the recent transfer of longtimeparks planner Shawn Cooper in the Parks and Recreation Department tothe Public Works and Planning Department, where he is working as alandscape architect.
City officials say Cooper can collaborate with developers onlandscaping options, including xeriscaping.
Portner said she believes a new law requiring landscaping plans to bestamped by a certified landscape architect could generate moreinterest in xeriscaping.
“Having a landscape architect that has that specific expertise inlandscape design and who would certainly be familiar with xeriscapeconcepts might be more likely to result in more of the designincorporating those concepts,” she said.
COST COMPARISONXeriscaping• Cost: $2.25 to $5.50 per square foot.• Maintenance: $500 to $900 an acre per month.• Water use: One-half to one-third less than traditional landscaping.• Overall cost: 10-20 percent more at installation, but savings withirrigation, fertilizer and maintenance.Landscaping• Cost: $2.25 to $4 per square foot• Maintenance: $1,300 to $2,600 an acre per month.• Water use: One-half to two-thirds more than xeriscaping.• Overall cost: Less at installation but increased costs withirrigation, fertilizer and maintenance.Source: Grand Junction Public Works and Planning Department
http://www.gjsentinel.com/hp/content/news/stories/2009/01/25/012609_3a_city_xeriscaping.html
=============================
Rittenhouse
Jan'09 - Gardening News
News of Interest to Gardeners: by Wes Porter
Lawns
· Push mowers have made a comeback as the “Suburban MetroChic,” reported the Newsmakers ’08 Maclean’s summarizing edition ofthe year. “The grass is always greener when cut with a push mower,”claims the Canadian icon, adding that choices of clotheslines and tapwater are making the similar returns to the scene.
http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/AboutUs.asp?LID=2040
=============================
27 Jan 2009
telegraph.co.uk
Co-op bans use of pesticides in bid to save beesThe supermarket chain Co-op has banned foods grown using pesticidesthat harm honey bees.
By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
In recent years bee populations around the world have plummeted due toa mysterious problem known as Colony Collapse Disorder, with Britishbee keepers losing up to a third of hives over last winter.
The use of pesticides have been blamed for the collapse and yesterdaythe Co-operative announced it was banning any foods grown using thechemicals from their own range of fresh products.
The retailer also said it was donating £150,000 for research into whyhoneybee numbers are falling, and would be trialling a wild flower mixto be planted alongside crops on its farms to support bees.
Members of the Co-operative will be invited to special screenings of afilm on bee declines and have access to 20,000 packets of free wildflower seed mix, while bee boxes will be available at a discount.
Co-operative Farms – the UK's biggest farmer with 25,000 hectares –will also invite beekeepers to establish hives on its land as part ofa 10-point "Plan Bee".
The scheme comes less than a week after the Government announced anextra £4.3 million will go to research and protection of bees.
Paul Monaghan, head of social goals at the Co-operative, said:"Nature's number one pollinating machine appears to be breaking downand no one knows for sure why.
"But it's not just pretty gardens that are at stake; one third of theaverage diet relies on honey bees.
"Last week the Government finally accepted that there was a problem,however we are not seeing any real recognition that pesticides couldbe a contributory factor."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4359629/Co-op-bans-use-of-pesticides-in-bid-to-save-bees.html
=============================
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
St. Joseph Pesticide Company, Owner Plead Guilty to Illegally Storing,Discharging PollutantCase was investigated by EPA – Criminal Investigation Division, thecity of St. Joseph, Mo., and the Missouri Department of NaturalResources.
Kansas City, Mo - infoZine - John F. Wood, United States Attorney forthe Western District of Missouri, announced that a St. Joseph, Mo.,company that produces pesticides and herbicides, as well as thecompany’s president, pleaded guilty in federal court today toillegally storing and discharging pollutants into the city’s sewersystem.
“This company routinely violated environmental safeguards over aperiod of many years,” Wood said. “Federal environmental regulationsare essential to protect the health and safety of the public, and wewill hold businesses accountable to follow those standards.”
William Garvey, of St. Joseph, and HPI Products, Inc., with its mainplant at 222 Sylvanie St., St. Joseph, and operations at severaladditional locations, waived their right to a grand jury and pleadedguilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs this morning toseparate federal informations. Garvey is the president and majorityowner of HPI.
Both Garvey and HPI pleaded guilty to discharging a pollutant –pesticide waste water – into the city’s sewer system without a permitand in violation of federal pretreatment standards from 2003 to 2005.HPI also pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permitfrom Oct. 7, 2003, to May 1, 2007.
“The defendant’s illegal discharges and storage of pesticide wastesposed a risk to the treatment plant and the community,” said MichaelBurnett, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s Criminal InvestigationDivision in Kansas City. “Today’s guilty plea is an admission thatthese serious violations posed a potentially dangerous situation, andI want to acknowledge the coordinated efforts by EPA Region 7, thecity of St. Joseph and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources tohelp investigate and support the prosecution of this crime.”
By pleading guilty today, Garvey admitted that for nearly 20 years heinstructed his employees at various HPI locations to wash wastes,spills and equipment rinses down floor drains which are connected tothe sewer system. Garvey did not authorize sufficient expenditures forthe proper disposal of HPI’s wastes until 2006, when it removed wastespursuant to government directions. In addition, HPI’s pretreatmentdischarge permit issued by the city of St. Joseph was limited tosanitary waste and did not authorize the discharge of industrialwastes.
HPI admitted that numerous 55-gallon drums containing hazardous waste,such as chlordane, selenium and heptachlor, were illegally stored formore than 90 days at warehouses that had no permit. The drums, labeled“for disposal” or “HPI Hazardous Waste,” were variously dated fromNov. 14, 1994, to April 11, 2005.
Under federal statutes, Garvey is subject to a sentence of up to threeyears in federal prison without parole, plus a fine. HPI is subject tothree years of probation and a fine. Sentencing hearings will bescheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by theUnited States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney WilliamMeiners and Senior Counsel for the Environmental Crimes Section of theU.S. Department of Justice Rocky Piaggione. It was investigated by EPA– Criminal Investigation Division, the city of St. Joseph, Mo., andthe Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/33527/
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Tuesday, 27-Jan-2009
Experts suspect dengue mosquito is resistant to pesticides
With the number of confirmed dengue fever cases in north Queenslandnow thought to be in excess of 200, experts are concerned that themosquitoes responsible for spreading the disease may have developed aresistance to pesticides.
Dr. Scott Ritchie from the Tropical Health Unit in Cairns saysalternative pesticides to address is the state's worst dengue outbreaksince before World War II, are now being explored, but concern remainsthat some residents in the affected areas still do not recognise thepublic health risk associated with neglecting potential mosquitobreeding grounds on their properties.
According to Dr. Ritchie dengue mosquitoes are very clever at findingwater in a wide variety of containers, are secretive, indoor, daytimebiters, which rest in dark areas under furniture and in dark corners,and even one or two mosquitoes in a house are enough to maintain thetransmission cycle.
Dr. Ritchie says to date, 13 suburbs in Cairns have now been affectedand as many as 190 dengue fever cases have been confirmed - inTownsville 20 people have been infected.
A study published in the current issue of the British EcologicalSociety's journal Functional Ecology raises fears as it says that therevival in popularity of rainwater tanks in Australian back yardscould encourage the dengue mosquito to areas as far south as Sydney.
Dr. Michael Kearney of the University of Melbourne, says due toclimate change, the backyard rainwater tank is making a come-back andrainwater tanks and smaller storage tubs such as modified wheelie binsare potential breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito whichcarries the disease.
Dr. Kearney says in the late 19th century, infected water barrelsintroduced the spread of mosquitoes from Queensland to Sydney and westto Perth but by the late 1960s it had been restricted to the northernhalf of Queensland partly due to the removal of old galvanisedrainwater tanks, the installation of piped water, insecticides and newlawnmowing equipment that helped keep yards tidy and he warns thedengue mozzie could spread again in the same way.
Dr. Kearney says a major impact of climate change is reduced rainfalland that results in a dramatic increase in domestic rainwater storageand other forms of water hoarding and unless care is taken with waterstorage hygiene, the mosquito's current range could dramatically re-expand.
In Cairns, the hotspot of the current dengue outbreak, healthinspectors and teams of trained staff are targeting suspect areas inattempts to curb the spread of the outbreak, checking on potentialbreeding sites, spraying yards and the interiors of homes and settingdengue mosquito traps.
As the dengue mosquito favours the colours red and black, the trapsare usually black containers two-thirds full of water with a strip ofred fabric permeated with an insecticide which are placed in darkareas attractive to dengue mosquitoes.
There are few commercially available traps and those which aresuccessful target the female dengue mosquito using spectrum light andsound to attract them.
http://www.news-medical.net/?id=45262
=============================
January 28, 2009
Brisbane Times
Taskforce 'should ban cancerous chemicals'
by Marissa Calligeros
A fish expert has called for an immediate moratorium on pesticidesthat have been linked to chronic abnormalities in fish larvae and apossible cancer cluster on the Sunshine Coast.
Mystery has surrounded Gwen Gilson's Sunland Fish Hatchery sinceAugust, when 90 per cent of a batch of fish larvae, taken frombreeding stock in the Noosa River, spawned with two heads.
A pathology report obtained by brisbanetimes.com.au indicated the fishwere victims of chemical spray drift from neighbouring macadamia nutplantations.
In the report, aquaculture veterinarian Dr Matt Landos indicated thepesticide endosulfan and the fungicide carbendazim had caused thedefects.
"I would like to see a focus on finding alternatives for macadamiafarmers urgently and identifying the safety of these chemicals bytesting them on fish larvae," Dr Landos said.
"Using the precautionary principle, do no harm until such a time as wecan really determine the safety of these chemicals."
The State Government has formed a special taskforce, which is meetingfor the first time today in Brisbane, to investigate the contaminationclaims.
Several residents of properties that back on to the macadamiaplantation have been diagnosed with cancer in the past two years. Ofthese, two have died, two are in remission and one is being treatedfor suspected bowel cancer.
Queensland Health is expected to examine any link between the cancercases and chemical run-off from the plantation.
Dr Landos, who operates the commercially run Future FisheriesVeterinary Services and is the vice-president of the AustralianCollege of Veterinarian Scientists' aquatic animal health chapter,said the evidence stacked up against carbendazim.
"The timing between the mist spraying and the affected larvae fitshand in glove," Dr Landos said.
Carbendazim products, which are banned in the US, are currently beingreviewed by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary MedicinesAuthority (APVMA). The chemicals are used to control mould, spot,mildew, scorch, rot and blight in a variety of crops includingcereals, fruit and macadamias.
Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin said the APVMAwould need to complete its investigation before a ban could beconsidered.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of PrimaryIndustries and Fisheries have begun monitoring the river for chemicalcontamination.
Passive samplers which absorb chemicals from the water have beenplaced in the Noosa River and will monitor the water for a month.
Copyright © 2009. Brisbane Times.
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/task-force-investigates-deformed-fish-larvae/2009/01/28/1232818493722.html#
=============================Warning Industry Propaganda Below=============================
Jan'09 - City Gardening
City Gardening by Wes Porter
PREDICTIONS FROM YOUR HUMBLE HORTICULTURAL HACK
Horticultural Happenings + News of Interest to Gardeners
The weather was, as the late Benny Hill was wont to observe about anentirely different subject, “not pretty – not horrible . . . prettyhorrible.” An enviro-skeptic observed: “Why does Ontario haveblizzards while B.C. has David Suzuki? – Ontario had first choice.”
Roman naturalist Pliny believed that diseases came from the gods orthe stars. “Whoreson caterpillars!“ exclaimed Shakespeare. From thevery earliest times come claims that various chemical concoctions willeradicate the gardener’s woes. All are now set aside by legislationfrom Queen’s Park: thou shalt not use synthetic pesticides. “ The Lordtook the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to dress it and keepit,” according to the Bible (Genesis 2:15).
Sondra Gottlieb, writing in 1985, claimed her tropical hibiscus plant.“Needs a bug blast every three weeks. The stronger the better.Actually the ones with health warnings on the can do the best job.”One cannot wonder why it is not only environmentalists that getuptight.
So, chemical pesticides are verboten for Ontario gardeners. We willattempt to keep you posted through the coming season on what agedgardeners did before the advent of such artificial aids.
http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/AboutUs.asp?LID=1926
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone


Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise


Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use


Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the


Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that


Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't


Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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