Iowa Public Television


Washington State Mulls New Rule on Farm Pesticides

posted on November 11, 2005

Washington State officials are considering a new rule that would require farmers to notify schools, nursing homes, hospitals and day-care centers next to their orchards and farms when they plan to apply pesticides.

Farmworker advocates and environmental groups say the proposed rule, while long overdue, is not strong enough. Farm groups, though, argue it is arbitrary and places undue burden on growers.

The proposed rule would require farmers to give written notice to those places that are within a half-mile of their farms 48 hours before applying Category I pesticides, which are considered dangerous or poisonous.

The State Department of Agriculture proposed the rule after farmworker advocates and public health officials raised concerns three years ago about the potential for residents to inhale airborne chemicals that may drift from orchards and fields.

Tags: agriculture farms news pesticides pollution Washington