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Daily News Blog

11
Feb

Tell Oregon Department of Agriculture to Ban Tree-Killing Herbicide, Aminocyclopyrachlor (ACP) [Perspective]

(Beyond Pesticides, February 11, 2019) Aminocyclopyrachlor (ACP) is a tree-killing pesticide masquerading as a broadleaf herbicide. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has the opportunity to lead the country in banning this inherently dangerous chemical. According to ODA, nearly 1,500 dead or dying trees have been reported along Oregon’s iconic Interstate 20, home to old growth ponderosa pines. Many of these 150- to 300-year old trees are now dead from ACP exposure. ODA indicated that “because [ACP] is a relatively new herbicide it is unknown how many trees stressed from past applications of [ACP] will die in the future.”

Even at tiny levels, ACP run-off and drift kills trees. Tell Oregon’s Department of Agriculture to lead the country in completely banning its use.

In 2014, DuPont chemical company settled a nearly $2 million lawsuit with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the herbicide (under the brand name Imprelis®) was found to kill trees at golf courses, homeowners associations, businesses, and private residences. Despite this history, regulators left ACP on the market. Its use was banned on lawns and turfgrass, but allowed for roadside rights-of-way. A couple years ago, Bayer purchased the rights to ACP from DuPont and continues to market and sell the chemical under the brand names Perspective®, Streamline®, and Viewpoint®. It should be no surprise to officials that this tree-killing herbicide is killing trees, but we must now deal with their errors of judgment.

ODA announced late last year that it was temporarily banning the use of ACP on roadsides while it put together a new rule. That rule is now available for public comment, and while it would make this temporary ban on roadside uses permanent, Oregon officials stopped short of a complete ban, allowing a limited one-time per year exemption from the ban when spraying an invasive weed in a limited area. While this is an important step, it is clear that there is enough evidence to completely ban the use of this chemical in Oregon.

Tell ODA to strengthen its final rule on ACP and completely ban the chemical from use in the state!

Although ODA’s new rule prohibits roadside right-of way spraying, it does not ban all uses of the chemical. In effect, this is simply setting the stage for the next round of news stories picturing ACP-poisoned trees.

Real action against tree-killing ACP is needed now. ODA will accept public comments from any U.S. resident, so regardless of where you are in the country, send the letter below to ODA today! Deadline for comments is 2/26/2019.

At the federal level, Beyond Pesticides joined with our partners at the Center for Biological Diversity and Beyond Toxics to file a Freedom of Information Act request in order to get more information about this tree-killing pesticide. We’ll keep fighting EPA’s approval of this herbicide, but please help encourage the state of Oregon to step up and lead the way!

Letter to Oregon Department of Agriculture:

Thank you for taking action against roadside uses of the tree-killing pesticide aminocyclopyrachlor (ACP). I am encouraged by the restrictions outlined in ODA’s proposed permanent rulemaking. However, given the range of damage this chemical has caused throughout the state, I strongly urge the Department to go further, and strengthen the final rule into a complete ban on the use of this chemical in Oregon.

According to ODA, nearly 1,500 dead or dying trees have been reported along iconic Interstate 20, home to old growth ponderosa pines. Many of these 150-to-300 year-old trees are now dead from ACP exposure, and ODA indicated that “because [ACP] is a relatively new herbicide it is unknown how many trees stressed from past applications of [ACP] will die in the future.”

In 2014, DuPont chemical company settled a nearly $2 million lawsuit with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the herbicide was found to kill trees at golf courses, homeowners associations, businesses, and private residences. Despite this history, regulators left ACP on the market. Its use was banned on lawns and turfgrass but allowed for roadside rights-of-way.

While the uses eliminated under the proposed rulemaking are an important step, leaving this chemical on the market is simply setting up the next tragic event in the state. Oregon has the chance to take a precautionary approach, and lead the country in banning all uses of ACP.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my support for this rule and encourage a complete ban on ACP.

Sincerely,

 

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2 Responses to “Tell Oregon Department of Agriculture to Ban Tree-Killing Herbicide, Aminocyclopyrachlor (ACP) [Perspective]”

  1. 1
    michael rosen Says:

    please eliminate this dangerous pesticide!

  2. 2
    Mark Glasser Says:

    Thank you. Tree killing pesticides will erode our ecosystems, cause damage to all vegetation and denude our forests.

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