Thursday, June 2, 2016

Petitioning against pesticides

Nearly 50 Cold Lake residents are hoping to weed out the city’s new dandelion spraying program.
A new weed spraying project has officially taken root in the city. The program cost $50,000 and covers 685,000 square metres of weed spraying, and uses a three-way chemical that includes 2,4-D, Dicamba, and Mecoprop-P. The chemical mixture is toxic to broad-leaf plants such as dandelions. City workers sprayed the mixture on boulevards that have been taken over by dandelions.
“It’s a new program we’re trying out to help keep the dandelions and other weeds down,” said City of Cold Lake CAO Kevin Nagoya in a press release. “A lot of the weeds seem to be sprouting up this week, so we’re hopefully hitting them at the right time.”
Local resident Melissa Bordeleau started a petition against the weed spraying project to raise awareness about the harmful effects of the chemicals.
Bordeleau included the following statement in her petition:
“Please no spraying of 685,000 square meters of fields with toxic chemicals including 2-4-D (agent orange) Dicamaba, and Mecoprip-p. These are highly toxic chemicals that are carcinogenic cause birth defects and bio accumulate. This will end up in our lake and drinking water. $50.000.00 to be spent on these chemicals. I’d rather see a few dandelions on our fields then our children with diseases.”
While 2,4-D was one of the ingredients in Agent Orange, an herbicide used widely during the Vietnam war, a second ingredient, 2,3,5-T was linked to the adverse health effects associated with Agent Orange. The chemical has been banned in Canada.
While this year’s program was recently completed, Bordeleau hopes that city council will take her concerns into account.
“I just wanted to raise awareness and put up a little bit of a stink,” said Bordeleau. “It’s a toxic substance that we’re putting into our environment. It’s unnecessary.”
Along with the 47 residents who supported Bordeleau’s petition, more than 50 rallied against the new weed spraying program by commenting on the media release posted to the City of Cold Lake’s Facebook page.
Several shared their concerns about the chemicals polluting the lake.
“I was horrified to read this, and so glad to see that every post here agrees. Chemicals will run off slightly into the lake with a rain, and then we drink it,” wrote Cindy Boerdyk.

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