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Subject: Preventing herbicide application near Big Creek reservoir – Newport’s primary source of drinking water.
I am writing on behalf of the local group Concerned Citizens for Clean Air which is based in Seal Rock and includes about 60 members residing in Newport and south Lincoln County. After reading the memos and other documents available online for the City Council agenda, I am surprised that Newport has responded so mildly with regard to Hancock Forest Management and their possible herbicide application.
If I found out that someone was going to poison my well, I’d ask them not to do it. If they insisted that their legally registered poison would not really hurt the health of my family, my pets or my garden plants, I would ask them for proof, and I’d be skeptical if they said they could provide it. I’d ask for proof from an independent source. I definitely would not agree to jointly test the water after they poisoned the well .
Since Hancock is willing to forego spraying the property near the reservoir without signing an MOU, according to the city manager’s memo, that is the best and safest choice. Please insure that they do not spray near the reservoir. If the city of Newport entertains the possibility of an agreement with Hancock regarding water testing, that would be collaborating with a company that wants very much to have results to show they do no harm. While they may comply with the Forest Practices Act and Best Management Practices, those guidelines were never shown to adequately protect human or environmental health. Oregon’s forest rules regarding herbicides and required buffers along waterways are weaker than nearby states.
Lastly, please consider that a portion of any sprayed herbicide ends up in the air, and can drift for miles. That too can cause health and environmental effects. No spray is the healthiest choice.
To see how fast parts of Oregon are being clear cut and sprayed – Click here.