Groups call for buffer zones in pesticide use

Aerial spraying of pesticides, or “crop dusting,” is a practice dating back to 1906.

Several public advocacy groups held a rally today against pesticides at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza during the Saturday Market. Pitchfork Rebellion, an anti-pesticide group from the Triangle Lake area organized “Occupy This! Rally for Pesticide Justice and Jobs!” The event called for banning aerial spraying of pesticides near homes and schools, creating a buffer zone to protect people’s health.

The rally began with a performance by local reggae/jam band Sol Seed, followed by a spoken word protest performance calling for a “pure organic Oregon.”

Then “Day,” a resident of the Triangle Lake area, took to the stage. Day is one of several residents of Triangle Lake who has been documented to have the pesticides 2,4-D and atrazine in his urine. 2,4-D, or 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, is a major ingredient in Agent Orange, one of the chemicals used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. A professional analysis of four public streams near Day’s and other residents’ homes found these pesticides in all of the streams.

Several environmental groups held a rally today against pesticides at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza during the Saturday Market.

Day said,

“We’re just a bunch of hillbillies from Triangle Lake tired of getting hit by pesticides everyday.”

Studies by numerous organizations, from the EPA to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to public universities, have documented the effects of human consumption of pesticides. Pesticides can cause damage to the human nervous system, reproductive system and other organs, developmental and behavioral abnormalities, disruption of hormone function as well as immune dysfunction.

Day introduced Roy Key, a professional forester of over 40 years. Key said he was there to talk about the dangers of pesticide poisoning in Lane County.

“I’ve been in the forest business for 40 years. I’ve managed forests without herbicides or pesticides. You don’t need those substances to manage the forest.”

Key compared pesticide use to his experience in the Vietnam War.

“It’s just like Agent Orange all over again. But here in Lane County.”

Key called on attendees to tell Oregon governor John Kitzhaber to stop the use of pesticides in the state near homes and schools.

Day, a resident of Triangle Lake, has been documented to have the pesticides 2,4-D and atrazine in his urine. A professional analysis of four public streams near Day’s and other residents’ homes found these and other pesticides in all of the streams.

Oregon already has a buffer zone to protect waterways and salmon species. Streamside protection rules for non-federal forest land in Oregon were adopted in 1994. All private, state and local government forest landowners or operators conducting pesticide operations near streams, lakes or wetlands must comply with these rules. In November 2011, a federal judge upheld buffer zones for pesticide use near streams and rivers. Dow Chemical Company, a leader in specialty chemicals based in Michigan, filed a lawsuit seeking to undo the Oregon rules, saying that they were too restrictive. The restrictions ban the ground spraying of three agricultural insecticides within 500 feet of waterways with salmon. They also ban aerial spraying within 1000 feet of said waterways.

While Oregon has a buffer zone for pesticide use near water, it has not adopted a buffer zone near human activity. The Oregon Department of Forestry says,

“Currently, there are no regulations in Oregon requiring a buffer zone for aerial application of herbicides near specific structures or facilities, including schools.”

There are, nonetheless, safety requirements in how pesticides are used, both in residential and forested situations:

“While pesticide use in a residential setting must abide by pesticide label safety requirements, forestry applications must follow those requirements plus additional regulations spelled out in the Oregon Forest Practices Act.”

Pesticide companies, such as Dow Chemical, argue that their products abide by these safety requirements. Concerning 2,4-D, the substance found in Triangle Lake residents, Dow Chemical has said the following:

“2,4-D is available for use in U.S. crop production today because EPA has determined, after evaluating all human health and safety considerations – including the concerns expressed by activists – that current uses (including currently authorized uses on corn) pose ‘a reasonable certainty of no harm.’ This EPA conclusion was reached only after the Agency had considered all relevant data…This regulatory conclusion is supported by mainstream health and safety experts who have thoroughly evaluated the product.”

The application of pesticides has had a long and controversial history. Dr. Patricia Muir, Professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, says that, following World War 2,

Ingrid Edstrom, nurse practitioner at Eugene’s Infrared Breast Thermography LLC, spoke of the link between pesticides and breast cancer. “Oregon has the second highest breast cancer rate per capita in the nation,” she added.

“Chemical pesticides have become the most important consciously-applied form of pest management.”

The Oregon Department of Forestry explains this popularity according to pesticides’ cost-effectiveness:

“Many landowners see herbicides as the most cost-effective means of achieving their reforestation goals following logging or fire, or for converting neglected brush land to forests.”

The first important pesticide was DDT (otherwise known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). Muir says,

“DDT was discovered in 1939 by a Swiss chemist Paul Muller. In its early days, it was hailed as a miracle…It was inexpensive and easy to apply. It was so effective at killing pests and thus boosting crop yields and was so inexpensive to make that its use quickly spread over the globe. In 1948, Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize for its discovery.”

As years went by, however, DDT was labeled both directly and indirectly toxic to many organisms. Most disturbingly, as Muir explains, DDT

“showed up in human breast milk at remarkably high concentrations — so high that the milk couldn’t legally be sold through interstate commerce if it were cow’s milk! [DDT] is the most widespread contaminant in human milk around the world.”

While DDT was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1972, other pesticides are commonly used in Oregon. The last year in which Oregon has data compiled for pesticide use is 2008. That year it was reported that 280,001 pounds of pesticides (chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion) were used in the state.

A rally attendee protests 2,4-D, one of the pesticides found in streams near Triangle Lake.

The groups that rallied today are hoping to change how those hundreds of thousands of pounds of pesticides are administered. They asked all attendees to fill out postcards to Governor Kitzhaber to ask for expanding pesticide buffer zones to include not just fish, but people.

Christina Hubbard, the Project Director of Forest Web, also spoke at the rally. Forest Web is a grassroots conservation organization based in Cottage Grove. Hubbard said,

“Forest Web stands in solidarity with these groups. I’ve personally been working with Day since 2007. A lot of these pople have had major clinical studies done on their urine and it is documented that they have pesticide poisoning.”

Hubbard says this rally’s message is not particularly radical.

“Really what this is about is creating a reasonable buffer zone for aerial spraying. This is common sense, to protect homes and schools.”

For more information about Oregon’s use of pesticides in agriculture, go to the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website at http://oregon.gov/ODA/PEST/. For more information about Oregon’s use of them in forestry, go to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/privateforests/pesticides.shtml. Websites for the groups involved in the rally are: Pitchfork Rebellion, http://pitchforkrebellion.com/; STOP, http://stop-oregon.org/; Forest Web, http://www.forestweb-cg.org/.

March 20 – Morning Headlines



City of Springfield approves sandwich board advertising.
  • BPA may rebuild Eugene-Albany power line
    If the Bonneville Power Administration gives the OK, crews will rebuild high voltage lines from Albany to Eugene this summer using 700 wooden power poles and more than 90 miles of wire. The power lines, which delivers BPA power to Eugene, were erected …
  • Herbicide Spraying Along Railroad Begins Soon
    It’s almost springtime and railroad companies are getting ready to do their annual herbicide spraying along the tracks in Eugene. Residents were notified that spraying would start March 20, but all the rain in the forecast this week led crews to pos…
  • Oregon State knocks off TCU in CBI, 101-81
    Say what you want about the College Basketball Invitational, it’s doing wonders for Oregon State’s confidence. On Monday, the hot-shooting Beavers rolled to their sixth win in the past seven games with a 101-81 beatdown of TCU before …

Keep Current: – EDN Headline News, Sports and Weather is updated as it happens!

Tim Chuey Weather:

Spring is here and so is the Spring rain.

High: 55
Low: 35
Rain: up to an inch

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with showers this AM, rain this afternoon (0.50 in. of rain possible), rain tonight (0.50 in. of rain possible) and Wednesday (0.50 in. of rain possible), mostly cloudy with a (40%) chance of showers Thursday AM, showers Thursday afternoon, then mostly cloudy with a good (50%) chance of showers Thursday night highs 55-50 lows 42-35. A mix of clouds and sun with a (30%) chance of showers Friday, a (40%) chance of showers Thursday night, a mix of clouds and sun with a (30%) chance of showers Friday, then mostly cloudy with a (40%) chance of showers Friday night through Monday highs 50-53 lows 32-40. (seasonal averages high 57 low 38)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com

July 13 – Morning Headlines


July 13th Morning Headlines

Listen to the Morning Headlines:
Morning Headlines with Steve Kaye

Tim Chuey Weather:

It looks like the chance of showers is going away for a while starting Thursday and it will warm up a bit too.

Advisories: NONE AT THIS TIME.

An upper level trough of low pressure (“U” shape) has moved through the Pacific Northwest, but a series of ripples in that flow will be followed by an even stronger low that will slide along the coast. That will keep us alternating between periods of clouds and cooler temperatures, and even some light rain or drizzle, then back to some more sunshine and warming temperatures. A frontal system has pushed through the Pacific Northwest spreading showers throughout. Another frontal system approaches the coast Friday AM with clearing and warming behind it for the weekend.

Forecast: Mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers this AM, a (30%) chance of showers in the afternoon (under 0.10 in. of rain possible), just mostly cloudy tonight and Thursday AM, a mix of clouds and sun Thursday afternoon and Friday, partly cloudy Thursday night and Friday night highs 70-75 lows 47-50. A mix of clouds and sun and warmer Saturday and Sunday with partly cloudy skies Saturday night, then partly cloudy Sunday through Tuesday highs 76-82 lows near 50. (seasonal averages high 81 low 51)

The Pollen forecast for the Eugene/Springfield Area is for trees and weeds to be low, and Grass to be moderste. (Provided by Allergy and Asthma Research Group)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather: timchueyweather4u.com



  • Disabled veteran attacked in Springfield
    An early morning attack in Springfield leaves a disabled veteran with cuts and bruises.
  • Commissioners balk at jail-bed closures
    Lane County commissioners said they want to avoid closing jail beds for the current fiscal year, and want to consider other service cuts instead to balance the budget. The commissioners noted, however, that an unexpected drop in federal timber pa…
  • GOP lawmaker to introduce ‘Caylee’s Law’ in Oregon
    One Oregon lawmaker is tapping into public outrage over the not guilty verdict for Casey Anthony, the Florida mother accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
  • Husband sentenced for killing wife
    A 43-year-old Elmira man was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for shooting his wife in the head during a domestic dispute Sept. 30. In a 911 call, Stephen Mark Sullivan initially reported that an intruder had struck him in the head and shot his 51…
  • Man assaulted during confrontation with car thieves
    A homeowner confronted two men who were trying to break into his car and got punched and hit with pepper spray early Tuesday morning.
  • Bethel District leaders take voluntary pay cut
    For the sake of quality education, two members of the Bethel School District are making a sacrifice. They say they are doing it to help win their budget battle.
  • Health officials rebut contamination claim
    Oregon health officials on Tuesday said no detectable amounts of radioactive material have been found in Northwest drinking water following Japan’s nuclear accident in March, countering the claims of a Washington environmental group. Heart of America…
  • Health care premiums tie up Oregon labor bargaining
    Negotiations between the state and unions representing government workers are heating up over the state’s demand that employees chip in part of their health care premiums.
  • Officials will meet with Triangle Lake residents about herbicides
    In what activists call a watershed event, state and federal officials will meet Thursday with Triangle Lake area residents concerned about herbicide exposure. The meeting is a key step in an accelerated response to years of complaints…
  • On-Site Commissary Sale Coming to Springfield
    Local United States military personnel, retirees and their families have a chance to take advantage of a commissary sale without the long drive to Washington.   McChord Field Commissary will host an on-site sale this weekend in Sp…
  • Bugs Around Oak Trees
    If you have oak trees, you may have noticed some peculiar bugs jumping around them.  Ross Penhallegon from the OSU Extension Service explains more about the jumping oak gall.
  • Bellotti: ‘Chip feels like he’s done nothing wrong, and I believe him’
    The University of Oregon football program is in somewhat unfamiliar territory, especially for the guy who led the Ducks for 14 years but is still close to the program.


What do you mean you won't pay for part of your own healthcare?

June 15 – Morning Headlines


June 15 – Morning Headlines

Tim Chuey Weather: – The chances for rain are going away and we will see some warmer temperatures as we approach the official start of summer.  Mostly cloudy this AM, a mix of clouds and sun this afternoon, mostly cloudy tonight and Thursday AM.

Springfield panel approves budget – It took four meetings, but the Springfield School District’s budget committee on Tuesday finally approved Superintendent Nancy Golden’s proposed 2011-12 budget — and, in the process, probably saved some high school sports and avoided raising participation fees to play them.

Lawsuit focuses on herbicide drift issue – A handful of Oregon residents have filed a lawsuit against the state over rules they say protect forest and farm landowners at the expense of the legal rights of their neighbors.

Campus police bill approved – The Oregon House on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow public universities to establish their own police forces with powers, responsibilities and training similar to those of any other municipality.

Review board backs detective in incident – The city’s Civilian Review Board voiced no objection Tuesday to Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns’ ruling that an off-duty police detective was just doing his job when he stopped a group of high school students after catching them trespassing, then tussled with one of the teens who questioned his authority.

A SCHOOL’S TRIBUTE – The stern face of slain Eugene police officer Chris Kilcullen looks out of a small glass showcase labeled “Cop’s Corner” near the front office of Willamette High School — his 1986 alma mater.

Backyard burning ban to take effect through the summer – Starting Thursday, fire pits and brush piles across Lane County will lie dormant through the beginning of October — at least in theory. Today is the last day for backyard burning until the fall under Lane Regional Air Protection Agency rules, marking the end of the wet season and the beginning of summer.

This could cost you $175 – Consider yourself warned: Trim those weeds and grasses or the city will do it for you. – what happened to prevailing wage? –ed.

Oregon Senate approves medical marijuana fee hike – The Oregon Senate has approved a bill that doubles the cost of a medical marijuana card.

you've got till Thursday.