It took a couple of years to get a decision, but Lincoln County residents who sued to stop aerial herbicide and pesticide spraying on nearby forest lands still came out on the short end. The court ruled against the citizens and in favor of the forest landowners and the aerial spraying industry.
In the ruling, the judge determined that a small group of Lincoln County anti-spray advocates from a relatively small area doesn’t have the standing to file such a suit – that’s the state’s job if the state so chooses. The judge said the state pre-empts any attempt for anyone to single out a small area for such a determination. Residents maintain that their health is on the line when such operations are allowed to spray from helicopters and that fickle winds and streams running through an area can pickup the chemicals and carry them far beyond where they were applied.
Those who filed the suit are planning their response to the ruling which we’re told could trigger a legal appeal to a higher court for review. For years, there have been stories of rural and not so rural residents coming down with what they call “pesticide and herbicide caused afflictions” including cancer and other serious life threatening conditions that they contend is directly related to aerial spraying. The sprays are known to drift beyond their intended application areas as well as riding on moving air. The spray industry contends that they follow very strict rules and regulations to ensure the spray gets to what it’s aimed at and that they don’t spray in windy conditions.
Late this afternoon, NewsLincolnCounty.com received this statement from Lincoln County Community Rights member Rio Davidson:
“We are going to fight this decision on two levels, we are going to appeal this in court and we are also going to move forward with another citizens initiative to protect our right of self government and the rights of nature for Lincoln County. This new ordinance would protect all the waters in Lincoln County.”Rio Davidson www.lincolncountycommunityrights.org