Letter: Rochester needs way to warn citizens about herbicide use
Despite the concerns expressed over the health impact on citizens, and the impact on the environment, widespread herbicide use continues in Rochester.
In recent weeks, there has been application of herbicides on the road side of Fourth Street Southeast, 12th Street Southeast, 15th Avenue Southeast and 16th Street Southwest. After contacting city and county public works, as well as city's parks and forestry departments, there has been no acceptance of responsibility for oversight of these applications.
Applications such as this, in close proximity to sidewalk areas, are irresponsible and potentially harmful to citizens. These areas are regularly frequented by those on the sidewalk. Since it can be assumed that these applications are non-regulated herbicides, then there is no requirement for public notification of their application. The citizens of Rochester are left in the dark about these applications, because there are no laws governing their use.
Non-restricted herbicides are governed only by their label guidelines and have loose restrictions for non-agricultural use such as this. Chemical manufacturers create the labels, which are the foundation for state and federal laws concerning their use. Regardless of the admitted health effect, their use continues unchecked.
Please speak to the Rochester City Council about enacting warning sign ordinances, which are modeled after state statutes. Please speak to your local and county departments when you notice chemical application in your neighborhood.