Under direction by the Newport City Council, city Parks and Recreation Department Director Jim Protiva is proposing new policies for herbicide use on city property, parks and playgrounds. And the new policy is basically, “NO HERBICIDES,” unless specifically authorized by the city manager. A recent discussion among city councilors and citizens opposed to herbicides because of their reported health hazards to pregnant women and children especially, drove the policy change. In the past, herbicides were used occasionally “as a last resort,” according to Protiva. But no more, at least without the expressed authorization by the city manager.
Protiva said the prohibition will be especially strict on city owned and maintained property where children play. If and when any further herbicide use is employed, the new policy requires that signs will be posted 24 hours ahead of spraying and that the sign shall reveal the date and time of the spraying, when it’s safe to re-enter the sprayed area, the type of herbicide used and contact information. The city council is expected to review the new policies Tuesday during their noon workshop.