Wednesday, January 28, 2009
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.
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
Jan'09 - Gardening News
News of Interest to Gardeners: by Wes Porter
· 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.
27 Jan 2009
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."
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.
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.
January 28, 2009
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.
=============================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.
============================= Blog Gadgets
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 (
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
Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of
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 (
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 (
Judie Squires - health of your families. When
Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (
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 (
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 (
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...