Problems Persist with Persistent Herbicides

The EPA and US Composting Council are working together to solve the problem of killer compost made from persistent-herbicide-contaminated vegetation and manure.

| September 19, 2012

  • manure compost
    Persistent herbicide residue in compost can cause problems for plants when it is diluted to as little as 10 parts per billion.
    Photo by Fotolia/Carola Schubbel

  • manure compost

Posted below with permission is commentary from the US Composting Council about the ongoing problem of Killer Compost. The council is currently working with the EPA and is no longer calling for letters to the EPA, according to Cary Oshins, Director of Education and Outreach.   

Our position at MOTHER EARTH NEWS is that this decades-old problem can only be solved by banning persistent herbicides that cannot be degraded by composting. These potent chemicals simply should not be allowed. It is time to send more letters to the EPA, not fewer!   

To read more about this continuing threat to gardeners everywhere, read  Keep Your Garden Safe From Killer Compost.

Thanks to the pressure of USCC members and allies, USCC President Frank Franciosi and Executive Director Michael Virga, along with Brenda Platt, Chair, USCC Legislative & Environmental Affairs Committee and Dr. Fred Michel, Ohio State University, met with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on August 16th at EPA headquarters in DC. Representatives from EPA included Dan Kenny, Branch Chief, Herbicides Branch and Lois Rossi, Director, Registration Division, and representatives from the Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, the Environmental Fate & Effects Division and the Biopesticides & Pollution Prevention Division.

Concerned stakeholders from Vermont, Pat O’Neill, Director, Composting Association of VT, Tom Moreau, General Manager, Chittenden Solid Waste District and Cary Giguere, Pesticide Program Section Chief, Agrichemical Management Section, Vermont Agency of Agriculture participated in the meeting via telephone to offer their thoughts and experiences.

Some of the outcomes from the meeting include:

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