EUGENE, Ore. – On to capitol news and a new law targeting the environment in Oregon.
Backers call it a major victory for clean air and water that came out of the just concluded 2013 Oregon Legislature.
Lawmakers passed the bill called the Safe Public Place Act.
The Eugene group, Beyond Toxics, was a proponent of the bill that requires all state agencies to cut back on pesticide spraying for weeds, pests and other problems. The law applies to state roads, parks and state forests.
Beyond Toxics Executive Director, Lisa Arkin, says the law is already paying dividends and adds, “The Oregon Department of Transportation has actually pledged to reduce pesticides by 25% on all of their state highway/right of ways where they currently spray for weeds.” Arkin explains reducing the use of pesticides will help keep runoff from polluting the Willamette River and other streams.
Agencies will have to use more non-chemical tools to control weeds and pests–what is termed as integrated pest management.