Please write, email, or call Governor Kate Brown and ask for an immediate statewide halt to aerial pesticide spraying, and also ask her to initiate a statewide ban on prescribed burning.
Concurrently with the coronavirus public health emergency that is going on, many people who live in rural communities near the Oregon Coast are also concerned about their ongoing exposure to smoke and pesticide spray. One concern is the smoke and pesticide spray caused by outdated industrial forestry practices that put the health of the public at risk. Smoke from prescribed burning of wood is a major source of dioxin and other toxic emissions, damaging both our health and our environment. Exposure to smoke and pesticides can have both short and long-term adverse health consequences. Those of us living on the Coast are concerned that with potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, which can result in serious respiratory infections, toxic chemicals in the air from smoke and pesticide spraying puts our health at even more risk. We are requesting that the Governor issue an executive order banning all prescribed burning and aerial pesticide spraying. As it is, people who live and work at the Coast are already adversely affected by existing policies that allow burning and pesticide spraying…..policies that can endanger public health by sending harmful substances into the air we breathe and the water we drink.
As someone associated with North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection recently wrote, “At a time of sheltering at home, those who have sought spray notifications in the past [notification prior to the spraying of pesticides by timber companies so that nearby residents can evacuate the area] will not be able to go elsewhere without additional virus exposure. So, can we please ask that the State impose a spray ban when folks are supposed to stay at home?” There currently is no vaccine against this coronavirus; so, we have been told to “stay home and stay safe.” At the same time, it would be possible to stop prescribed burning and aerial pesticide spraying, both of which are not essential activities. Even during this State of Emergency, the application of pesticides both from the air and at ground level continues across rural Oregon. In many rural areas, aerial spraying is done near highly vulnerable populations, including near health care facilities, long-term convalescent homes, and communities with many people older than sixty.
Please inform your friends and neighbors. Share the message you send to Governor Brown with local news sources, other elected officials, and government agencies. Take a look at the North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection website for more information about contacting public officials.
Here is contact information for the Governor of Oregon:
Gov. Kate Brown, Office of the Governor, 900 Court Street NE, Suite 254
Salem, OR 97301-4047 Phone: (503) 378-4582
Our name, North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (formerly known as Rockaway Beach Citizens for Watershed Protection), reflects our working together on a regional basis to insure that the air we breathe and the water we drink are safe.