Prepare for Pesticide Spray Season - Part II: Reporting Pesticide Drift

| 4/15/2013 4:13:00 PM

“…pesticide drift emerges as a systematic though invisible example of widespread chemical contamination.”

“The states hold the primary responsibility for enforcing federal pesticide laws.”

(From Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice, by Jill Lindsey Harrison)

One of the most important steps to take in order to stop and prevent future pesticide drift is to file a complaint with your state’s enforcement agency. According to Jill Harrison, author of the above quotes, the state department of agriculture is responsible for handling pesticide complaints in most states. There are six states which have a separate agency to enforce pesticide complaints. These states are: Alaska, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Find out your state’s contact information before you need it and add it to your dedicated Spray Drift Notebook, as outlined in How To Prepare for the Pesticide Spray Season, Part I. In addition, add the following contacts to your Spray Drift Notebook:

1. Driftwatch - if your state has this organization, Join It! (In Illinois it is on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website.) Its purpose is to show farmers and spraying companies where farms with sensitive crop (including bees) are located, so they will not spray near them. If your state does not have this organization, please work with Leighanne Hahn at Purdue University to get it in your state.

2. Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund - If you are a farmer and you have a spray drift incident (and the incident meets with the mission statement of Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund) you can be represented at no cost to you. A donation of $125 for farmers, $50 for consumers, will make you a member. Their mission statement is: “Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.”

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