STEPHENVILLE The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Newfoundland and Labrador (CAP-NL) is strongly recommending the provincial government refrain from the spraying of roadways in our province with Garlon XRT and Tordon 101.
The coalition said this would better protect the health of the public and the environment.
Wayne Hounsell, coalition spokesman, said there are many safer and healthier alternatives to roadside herbicide spraying using more environmentally sustainable methods to remove or control vegetation, which can be less expensive than herbicide applications.
He said alternatives used elsewhere include labour intensive mechanical removal, use of dry steam and preferred vegetation planting, such as wild flowers and the use of organic mulches.
Hounsell said more desirable and manageable vegetation, such as native flowers and grasses, are especially effective in providing increased erosion control, aesthetics, non-intrusive wildlife habitat and biodiversity.
He said numerous states in the United States have established roadside wildflower programs for these reasons.
Hounsell said these safer methods should be a required alternative to herbicide applications along power and other utility line corridors in the province.
He said it is the understanding of their coalition that Newfoundland Hydro and Newfoundland Power have almost totally ended use of herbicides on their corridors.
Hounsell said however, Nalcor, a provincial crown corporation, has stated it will be relying on herbicides such as Tordon 101 and mechanical methods, where practical, for vegetation control along the new Muskrat Falls power line corridors.
Since 2004, the coalition has been lobbying for changes in Newfoundland and Labrador pesticide legislation and for a comprehensive ban on non-essential pesticides that are shown to be harmful to people’s health.
CAP-NL has requested a meeting with Environment Minister Hedderson and is asking the provincial government seriously consider their request to refrain from spraying along roadways with toxic pesticides.