YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW IF toxic products are being used in your community which could impact air, land and water and public health.
You need this information in order to fulfill your responsibility as a guardian of
future generations and to advocate that the Precautionary Principle is used as a
basis for determining public policy.
The major questions you need to ask are:
A – What herbicides are being used?
B – Where are they being applied? How close to waterways, water runoff, schools and playgrounds, athletic fields?
C – Who is applying them? Are those applying them well trained for safety for themselves and the environment? How is leftover chemical residue being disposed of?
D – Are they being applied according to the safety application directions? For instance, how often are the applications scheduled? What happens if rain is predicted on a day when applications are scheduled? How close to storm drains, water reservoirs, streams and creeks are these chemicals being applied? Are the chemicals being applied in the recommended strengths and diluted appropriately?
E – Who monitors the application of these chemicals for compliance with safety guidelines?
Here are some more detailed questions to ask:
- What level of government in your town and state sets policies on the use of toxic chemical herbicides and pesticides that impact air, land and water and public health?
- How can you interact with them? Do they hold public hearings? Do they meet regularly? Do they have citizen review committees or councils?
- How do these policies and standards compare with other communities, cities, states and the EPA standards?
- How is the state policy reflected in your local community and/or county policy?
- What agency is responsible for writing, reviewing, up-dating and enforcing your local community policy?
- How often are these polices reviewed?
- When was the most recent reveiw conducted? Who signed off on it?
- What products are used in your community for maintenance of public land: greenbelts, parks, open spaces, road-sides, all types of landscaping and trees, etc.
- Is this done by your Public Works Department or is it contracted to a private company?
- What kind of oversight is there of either the Public Works Department or the private company to ensure compliance?
- What are the major herbicides and pesticides sold in your local garden and hardward stores? Record the list of products, the corporations that produce them, the chemicals included, and the brand names.
- Does your School Board have a different policy for school grounds? Do they contract with a private provider? Who oversees what products and are used and the application? Are principals and parents notified when there will be applications? How much time do they require from application to use of playfields or green areas around the schools?
- What for-profit private lawn companies operate in your community? Consider setting up meetings with them to ask the same questions. Try to bring some of their own customers with you when you meet who can express their own concerns about the safety of the application procedures and the use of glyphosate in your community.
- If your own private testing shows high levels of glyphosate in community water, wells, urine, or breastmilk samples, would your official(s) consider revisiting their policy on using and applying these herbicides?
- What groups in your community might you collaborate with to build a campaign to ban the use of glyphosate-based herbicides in your community? HERE is a list of allies who sometimes work on these issues. Do any of them have a presence in your community?
Consider adding questions that are specific to YOUR neighborhood and your local situation.
- Has your city or area been declared a Super Fund Site or had long term problems with chemical dumping or pollution in the past?
- Have your streams or lakes experienced any large scale fish kills recently?
- Are there Mining, Oil Drilling or Fracking going on nearby? Do you know what kinds of liquids are being injected in your fracking operations?
- What chemical companies or coal plants are in the area? Where do they release their waste?
- What kinds of protections are in place to protect the air and water in your community
- How do those protections compare with other cities in other states?
If the answers to these questions are not satisfactory, or if your own test results measuring for glyphosate contradict the information being given to you, HERE are some of your options for FURTHER ACTION.