Water Quality
June 22 2011

Spraying Herbicides and Pesticides Near Water - What’s Wrong With This Picture?

by Rick Wilson

A recent article in the Oregonian pointed out that the effects of the use of weed killers (herbicides) on humans and plants is raising concerns nationwide. Partially in response to this, Oregon recently passed what may be the strictest standards for toxic water pollution in the United States.  Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that a bill allowing pesticide manufacturers and users to avoid the Clean Water Act permitting process passed in the Senate Agriculture Committee yesterday. If passed in the Senate, bill H.R. 872 lets farmers spray pesticides near public waters without having to meet Clean Water Act permitting requirements. What's wrong with this picture?