Thursday, August 23, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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Sunday, August 19, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
Landscape N.L. says Hedderson’s comments ‘slap in the face’ to industry and government
A group representing the provincial landscaping industry is reacting strongly to comments made earlier this week by Transportation and Works Minister Tom Hedderson concerning the reasons the provincial government banned the cosmetic use of certain pesticides.
“It’s a slap in the face to people within the industry — the professionals in the industry,” said Boyd Loveless, chairman for lawn-care professionals on Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador’s board of directors.
According to a story published by VOCM, Hedderson said Wednesday that a ban on the use of certain pesticides for cosmetic lawn care purposes was not implemented this year for health reasons. Instead, he said it was because spraying was overused improperly and that its use was getting out of hand.
Loveless, who operates the company Nutri-Lawn out of Torbay, said lawn-care professionals receive training through the Department of Environment and Conservation and are required to study materials and write an exam.
“They’re trained by (Hedderson’s) colleagues, so basically it’s a slap in the face to us and a slap in the face to them, because if the products weren’t banned for health reasons, why then was it banned?”
The issue of pesticide use became news again within the last week over the use of Tordon 101 along provincial highways to control vegetation in areas where brush cutting has taken place to improve visibility and reduce moose-vehicle collisions.
Tordon 101 contains the active ingredient 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), one of five pesticides banned for cosmetic use in the province.
Exceptions have been made for what government calls non-cosmetic use, including golf courses, agriculture and forestry use, and road and infrastructure maintenance.
Speaking with reporters Thursday at the Confederation Building, Hedderson said he has nothing but the utmost respect for the professionals who have worked with such products in Newfoundland and Labrador, including those who currently apply Tordon 101 along the highways.
“As a minister, I’ve got a great level of comfort, because these same professionals work for my department in carrying out the spraying program, and I have all the faith in the world (in) what they are doing,” said Hedderson. “They know what they’re doing, they know how to do it and they’re doing it very successfully.”
Hedderson went on to say that while the use of Tordon 101 along provincial highways helps make them safer for motorists, spraying lawns with pesticides such as 2,4-D is not something he considers to be a “necessary use” when the intention is to simply have “a nice looking lawn.”
He added if such a product is used incorrectly and manages to find its way into sensitive areas, such as bodies of water, that can have a negative impact.
“We’re doing it all in the interest, again, of good health and safety,” said the minister.
Karen Linfield, manager of pesticides control with the Department of Environment and Conservation, said Tordon 101 has always been a commercial product and has never been made available to the public for residential use.
“When we allow these programs to be conducted, we only permit people who have written and passed an examination. They’re certified, and companies who have a certain level of responsibility — these companies have to carry a certain amount of insurance, (and) they provide quite a number of pieces of information to us before we allow our program to be undertaken.”
Loveless believes the decision to implement the lawn-care ban was a political one.
He notes that the product has Health Canada approval.
“We’ve got local politicians, provincial politicians, making decisions based on what — political science or real science?”
If the government’s concern with the use of the banned pesticides was not health related, Loveless suggests it should have consulted with the industry and taken an integrated pest management approach whereby products would only be applied when necessary.
“They should have consulted with the professionals that are trained to apply these products and follow the Health Canada regulations,” he said.
While Loveless said it is possible the minister may have only meant to target the improper application of pesticides by homeowners in his statement to VOCM, he added if that was the case, the government should have simply removed the product from store shelves instead of issuing an outright ban.
“They’ve attacked a small industry within Newfoundland and Labrador. They’ve put employees’ lives in jeopardy. Personally, if I thought I was going to harm any one of my four children, I wouldn’t be using it.”
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Residents in the Codroy Valley are raising concerns about a plan to spray pesticides on the side of the road between North Branch and MacDougall’s Brook, as well as at the St. Andrew’s Airstrip.Topics : Ontario College , Trans-Canada Highway ,Department of Transportation , South Branch-Coal Brook , DDT , Codroy Valley
The chemical being sprayed - 2,4-D (also known as Tordon 101 or Agent White) - was banned for residential cosmetic use in July 2011 by the province. The ban does not extend to industrial uses such as the spraying program by the government.
Shelley Gale works and lives in the South Branch-Coal Brook area, just off the Trans-Canada Highway.
She has a young daughter and another child on the way. She heard about the planned pesticide spraying through Facebook and doesn’t want the chemical sprayed around her home or business.
“People’s wells are here,” she said. “They grow potatoes in the field just next to this house. Everyone here has their own well, and most are dug, not drilled.”
Mrs. Gale’s list of concerns didn’t end there. From employees who work near the road for her family’s business, to a neighbourhood boy who snares rabbits, to worries about moose eating treated vegetation. She said there are just too many unknown to be spraying a chemical where people live and work.
“Why don’t they pay people to cut the brush down?” she asked.
A fact sheet on Tordon 101 by the Dow Chemical Company says the pesticide is less toxic than vitamin A, aspirin, or nicotine. The fact sheet recommends not eating berries treated with Tordon 101, but says scientific studies of accidental ingestion of sprayed berries showed no adverse affects.
Mrs. Gale is skeptical of such claims.
“My parents told me how the schools used to wash their head in DDT to get rid of lice that used to be safe too,” she said.
She tried once contacting the company that won the spraying contract but was unable to get through. She plans on continuing to call. She wants the option to opt out of spraying near her home.
A spokesman for the Department of Transportation replied to questions on the spray program in an email. He wrote that spraying pesticide is the best option because it prevents the regrowth of alders and other deciduous plants for up to ten years.
“If the department were to undertake only brushcutting to clear all roadways, it would have to constantly monitor the condition of roadsides to see if new vegetation had appeared, and would have to constantly revisit areas to redo brushcutting work, which would be inefficient and ineffective,” wrote the spokesman.
There are buffer zones around rivers and other water zones according to the spokesman. He said homeowners living near spray areas do not need to take any special precautions.
No press releases or public notices of the spraying were provided on the provincial government’s web site. A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said the contractor is responsible for issuing public notices in newspapers before spraying, and posting signs in spray areas.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment said the company responsible, Newfoundland and Labrador Vegetation Control, has met all requirements for notifying the public.
Dr. Ian Simpson, a cabin owner in the Codroy Valley and co-chair of the Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (CAP-NL), said there is lots of scientific literature that suggests health risks from casual pesticide exposure.
“These things are cumulative,” he said. “The chemical problems of the environment are going to be the tobacco of the next twenty or so years.”
Dr. Simpson, who is now a semi-retired family physician, worked with CAP-NL to issue a press release on the spray program because he was concerned the general public was not aware of the plans.
He noted a study released in June by the Ontario College of Family Physicians which cautions the public to reduce its exposure to pesticides whenever possible.
The study found positive associations between general pesticide exposure and reduced neurodevelopment in children under three, as well as negative repertory and reproductive symptoms.
Dr. Simpson said exposure may not produce any immediate ill health effects, but scientists are just beginning to understand the long-term dangers of even casual exposure.
“I do an enormous amount of reading in these areas and I do believe in the past two years particularly, there are a number of studies that should make us phase out 2,4-D or make us stop using it, period.”
His advice is to not walk or pick berries in areas that have been sprayed.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
In reference to your editorial “Spraying in silence” (Aug. 2), I would express my concerns with this vegetation control program.
First of all, I have never been notified of this spraying program on Route 92 North Harbour to Branch.
I happen to have a cabin on that particular route, no more than 70 feet from the road, where I spend over 100 days a year.
I have talked with people both in North Harbour and Branch who were also unaware of this spraying program.
This route has four licenced salmon rivers and eight significant rivers, not licenced, that have both salmon and sea trout runs, as well as large brook trout populations.
I have seen the markers that designate where to spray and where not, in my view they have designated only the very obvious, the main rivers, while the small feeders have been ignored. Most rivers along Route 92, with the exception of Little Salmonier, are fed from small shallow ponds, but predominantly are fed by water produced on the barrens and bogs of the inlands which create small streams that feed the larger rivers.
These small streams are numerous and are only evident when there is sufficient moisture to feed them from their source.
I know these streams very well, all of which hold varying populations of brook trout and other aquatic life.
Frogs are also abundant in the many gullies and small ponds along the route and is well understood frogs are sentinels of the health of the environment. Frogs are plentiful on Route 92, a testament to the health this road, something I witness every time I go to my cabin during the summer months.
Route 92 is also blessed with prime locations to pick bakeapples, partridge berries, raspberries and most importantly marsh berries, all of which are picked by locals and others.
Wildlife such as rabbits, grouse and yes, moose and caribou also feed along the side of the road and are utilized by the local population and many others on the Avalon Peninsula.
In my view, both the Department of Environment and the Department of Transportation and Works have abdicated their responsibility for this spray program and have relied on the contractor to exercise their best judgement as to where to spray and what herbicide to use, contradicting their own environmental standards.
This spray program should be halted until a full environmental assessment is completed.
Let’s do it before the environmental habitat of the Cape Shore, Route 92, is harmed beyond repair.
resident, Route 92 Blog Gadgets
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
- Route 1 TCH
- Adeytown - Clarenville,
- Bonavista underpass to Port Blandford Route 210
- TCH at Goobies to North Hr. Intersection.
- Botwood Highway Route 350
- Bay D’Espoir Highway Route360
- Route 1 TCH GrandfallsWindsor – Badger
- Botwood Airport and Road
- Route 1 TCH
- Birchy Narrows to McIsaacs Brook
- North Branch River – McDougall Brook
- Burgeo Road Intersection to Route 490 Intersection
- Route 490 Intersection to 461 Intersection
- Route 401 towards Howley , off TCH
- Route 420 Clam Pond Road to Taylors Brook Road
- St. Andrews Airstrip
- Route 100 Argentia Access Rd. at TCH to approx. 300m West of Route 101 to Long Harbour.
- Route 92 at North Hr. Interection to Branch
- Route 100 South of Pointe Verde to South of Ship Cove
- Route 1 TCH Foxtrap, Paddy’s Pond to Butterpot Park
- Route75 Veteran’s Memorial Highway from TCH to North River
- Route10 Southern Shore Highway from CapeBroyle to Renews - Cappahayden
- Route 63 Avondale Access Rd. from TCH towardsRoute 60
- Route 13 Witless Bay Line from km 13 to TCH
- Route 101 - Long Hr. Road from Route 100 intersection to Route 202 Intersection
Tordon 101 reg# 9007
5ha for test plot (Dupont Navius Herbicide)
WST Roadside Spray
- Avalon Route 1 TCH Fox Paddy’s Pond to Butterpot Park
- Avalon Route75 Veteran’s Memorial Highway from TCH to North River
- Avalon Route 10 Southern Shore Highway from Cape Broyle to Renews Cappahayden
- Avalon Route 101 Long Harbour Rd. from Route 100 Int. to Route 202 Int.
- Avalon Route 63 Avondale Acess Road from TCH interchange toward R60
- Avalon Route 13 Witless Bay Line from km 13.4 from TCH interchange to Route 10 Int.
- Eastern route 1 TCH from 1.7 km East of Adeytown to Clarenville
- Eastern Route 1 Bonavista Peninsula Underpass to first Intersection to Port Blandford
- Eastern Route 210 TCH at Goobies to North Harbour Intersection
- Central Route 350 Botwood Highway km 12 – km 19
- Central Route 360 Bay D’Espoir Highway km 49 – km 60
- Central Route 360 Bay D’Espoir Highway km 80 – km 84
- Central Route 360 Bay D’Espoir Highway km 113 – km 125.4
- Do not apply this product in a way that this product will contact workers or other persons, either directly or through drift.
- Do not ship or store with food, feeds, drugs or clothing.
- Toxic to small mammals, birds, aquatic organisms and non-target terrestrial plants.
- The use of this chemical may result in contamination of groundwater particularly in areas where soils are permeable (e.g. sandy soil) and/or the depth to the water table is shallow.
- DO NOT apply this product directly to freshwater habitats (such as lakes, rivers, sloughs, ponds, prairie potholes, creeks, marshes, streams, reservoirs, ditches and wetlands),estuaries or marine habitats.
- Avoid application of this product when winds are gusty.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Dear Editor: The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides-NL has been lobbying for changes in the pesticide legislation, for a ban on those non-essential pesticides that are shown to be harmful to peoples health, for a “white” list of safe acceptable products and for legislation comparable to that in Nova Scotia and Ontario.
Last July, when Ross Wiseman was minister of the Environment, he announced there would be a ban on five products.
We have corresponded with his department, and had a meeting last month with his successor Minister Terry French.
It appears the restrictions to pesticides in Newfoundland and Labrador will be limited to a few products, and that this will be brought about by change in regulations, not by legislation.
In addition, we are led to believe that there will be no approved list of products.
There is no indication that there will be an effective monitoring or educational system in place. Nor is there any plan, or one that we have been able to find, to screen new products from entering the system.
In other words 2,4-D will be banned, but there is no regulation preventing glyphosate (Roundup) from being used extensively within our communities.
CAP-NL has written the department detailing our concerns, but to date has not received a satisfactory reply. As the spray season is soon to be here, it is important that our communities and citizens become aware of the likely deficiencies in the new — soon to be announced — regulations.
Dr. Ian McD Simpson, Humber Village
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Below is a file containing the provincial files showing the landscape pesticides used in our province by commercial applicators each season from 2004 to 2007.
These files do not include pesticides used for agriculture or pesticides sold in stores.
Please also take note to the Diazanon use within the above files and refer to the Health Canada document Below:
HEALTH CANADA - DIAZANON
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...