Paid summer canvassing positions with our good ally PennEnvironment

From PennEnvironment, 6/3/21:

Want to spend your summer building skills that will help you launch your career in activism, working on urgent issues you care about like stopping plastic pollution and reducing bee-killing pesticides?

PennEnvironment has officially launched their door-to-door canvass office this week. They will be going door-to-door engaging with thousands of PA residents about stopping the use of bee-killing pesticides and gathering thousands of petitions urging Amazon to stop selling bee-killing neonic pesticides. It’s going to take all hands on deck, so if you’re interested fill out a lead form below for a paid summer campaign position!

Summer Campaign Job Opportunities: Full Time positions available $10-$15/ hour, Monday-Friday

Find out more and apply at www.summerjobsthatmatter.org

The Fund for the Public Interest is seeking hard-working individuals with a passion for social change to fill citizen outreach and Field Manager positions across the country (including in Philadelphia) this summer. We are hiring full-time positions. As canvassing requires face-to-face interaction with the canvassing team and members of the public, getting vaccinated and following our safety protocols are essential functions of the job and are therefore required for all staff.

Find out more about the campaign to Ask Amazon to stop selling bee killing neonic pesticides

Where is PA spraying Bifenthrin in Chester County?

Bifenthrin is a pyrethroid insecticide (thus in the same family as permethrin) which kills many insects (and of course it can’t tell the difference between spotted lantern flies or mosquitoes and bees and butterflies), toxic to fish, banned for agricultural use in the European Union.

And now our own state government is spraying it around us. The Department of Agriculture’s May 28 release begins:

“As Spotted Lanternflies hatch across much of the state, PA Department of Agriculture crews have begun to spray an insecticide that kills the insects on contact along railways, interstates and other transportation rights-of-way. Contact spraying is a new element of strategic efforts to slow the spread of the invasive pest, which moves primarily by hitching a ride on vehicles traveling out of infested areas….”

Well, good luck with that. It’s intriguing to picture the spotted lantern fly hordes lining up along route 30 to hitch a ride to the central part of the state. But how will spraying at the verge of a highway affect any SLFs that have already stowed away in the underneath and under-the-hood areas of trucks?

According to state law, people on the Hypersensitivity Registry list must receive advance notification of spraying within 500 feet of the residential, school, or employment locations they indicate. It’s hard to see how the law can be complied with in spraying at the side of a road, especially when the sprayer won’t tell us where they are spraying. Suppose a hypersensitive driver pulls over to change a tire or take a break?

And we have also learned that 13 non-highway locations in Chester County will be sprayed. For whatever reason, the Department of Agriculture has not chosen to publicly mention this aspect of its spraying program and does not publicly identify these locations. But here they are, so act accordingly:

L F Lambert Spawn Co Inc. 1507 Valley Rd., Coatesville

Lampart Limited Partnership, 1021 Charles St., Coatesville

Keehn Service Real Estate Limited, 99 Eleventh Ave., Coatesville

Old Coop, 1189 Old Schuylkill Rd., East Coventry

September Farm Cheese, 5287 Horseshoe Pike, Honey Brook

LCM-Mar Enterprises Llc, 749 Norway Rd., Kennett

Kennett Square Borough, 120 Marshall St., Kennett Square

New Garden Township, 1235 Newark Rd., New Garden

Shainline John J & Phyliss, E 800 Township Line Rd., Phoenixville

Clementine Realty, 35 Industrial Blvd., Tredyffrin

2480 LLC, 45 W Industrial Blvd., Tredyffrin

Pacer Industries Inc., 14 Laurel St., Valley

Codepeco Assoc, 1220 Wilson Dr., West Goshen

Portsmouth NH having the same problems as West Chester PA…

A New Hampshire activist named Ted Jankowski has been making the case against indiscriminate use of chemicals that can affect both people and the environment.

In an article that someone mistitled “Portsmouth should ban harmful GMOs” (Seacoastonline.com, June 16, 2016), he showed the dangers of Bifenthrin (newly relevant here, as the PA Department of Agriculture is now spreading it around Chester County in a no doubt futile attempt to control spotted lantern fly) and Roundup (which continues its swath of destruction notwithstanding numerous court judgments against its maker Bayer).

And he also showed that the City of Portsmouth was breaking NH state law about advance warning about the use of pesticides and herbicides. It’s hard not to think the same here, as the PA Department of Agriculture is not publicly disclosing where it is spraying Bifenthrin–so how can hypersensitive people (entitled to prior notice of spraying by PA state law) and others avoid exposure?

Read Ted Jankowski’s full article at Seacoastonline.com.

WEST CHESTER BOROUGH MOSQUITO ABATEMENT ACTION PLAN

In May 2019, West Chester Borough officially adopted a well-conceived mosquito abatement plan relying on controlling stagnant water and larviciding where needed. The text can be downloaded here in official form and also is copied below:


Regarding the spread of disease, such as West Nile Virus, through mosquitos, the Borough of West Chester has tasked the Public Works Department to implement the following action plan which replaces all other mosquito/West Nile Virus plans:
• The attainment of Larvicide Applicator Certification by at least two Public Works employees.
• Continue to store adequate quantity of dunks at its facility to be made available to Borough residents at their request.
• Elimination of all sumps from existing inlets inspected and found to facilitate ponding.
• Re-double its efforts to keep inlets clean and clear of debris that might inhibit proper drainage.
• Establish GIS mapping of current low-lying areas that are deemed susceptible to water ponding.
• Identify locations within the Borough that are potential “hot spots” for mosquito breeding for additional investigation by the Public Works Department.
• All activities must be consistently coordinated in concert with Chester County Health Department (CCHD) protocol.
• Constant communication must be kept with the CCHD as this will further enable the Public Works Department to be pro-active with on-going responses, by their ability to provide more detailed inspection and identification of potential breeding grounds.
• Direct residents who observe standing water on properties to call Building, Housing & Code Enforcement at 610-696-1773.

Get your 2021 T-shirt!

This year Don’t Spray Me! and its associated groups are offering not a new yard sign (see past signs, still available, here) but our first T-shirt. As pictured, you can order it in black or lime green. They are 100% cotton, high quality, made in USA, and will last through many, many washes!

Cost: $15 each with pick-up in West Chester and $20 with delivery by mail or in person. Please email us HERE and specify color, price, and size (small, medium, large, extra large), and we will invoice you accordingly. (N.b.. the small runs small, about 14-16 in youth size; the others are more true to size.)

Herbicide and Pesticide Drift

Pesticides and herbicides applied by air drift, of course. That’s the point. If they just fall to the ground, they won’t kill off what they are designed to kill off.

If you are seeing plants on your property droop inexplicably, investigate immediately and try to determine if a neighboring property has been subjected to any recent application of herbicides. If you suspect drift, contact PennState Extension immediately for advice. They may be able to test the plants quickly and determine the cause. See more here.

Of course, keep an eye out for any potential toxics being applied anywhere near you and politely inform neighbors that if the wind is blowing your way, you will be documenting any damage to your plants.

If anyone in your family has a personal sensitivity to chemicals, they should apply to be on the state’s Registry of Pesticide Hypersensitive Individuals; see info here. This registry does not include herbicides and fungicides, but chances are, if your neighbor is into poisons of one sort, their or their “landscaping” company is applying others.

The registry does not prevent spraying, but it requires that you receive advance notice, so that you can act accordingly.

The manufacturer of one anti-mosquito spray commonly applied by truck says that it kills mosquitoes at 300 feet. Draw your own conclusions about the scope of potential damage from such sprays.

Would the state spray us anyhow?

The Chesco Health Department has, in the past, been saying that if they did not spray us, the PA DEP would, whether our county or municipality wanted it or not. In fact, if that happened, it would be the first such case in the state since at least 2000. In December we filed a Right To Know request for DEP to find:

“Records, 2000-2020, of any cases of PA DEP itself spraying for mosquito control A) in counties and municipalities which opposed such spraying, or B) in counties that have their own health departments.”

The answer came back with no such cases of spraying adulticide (that is, spray released from trucks into the air), only 27 cases of PA DEP larviciding in Philadelphia between 2004 and 2016. Don’t Spray Me! supports the use of larvicide, as an environmental way to control mosquitoes before they take wing.

This information may be useful if you hear anyone tell you: “Someone will spray us anyhow, so what does it matter?”

Given the evidence, no community should be sprayed unless they make an informed judgment to accept it.

Roundup et al. and cancer

In 2015 the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a report identifying glyphosate, malathion and diazinon as probable carcinogens and tetrachlorvinphos and parathion as possible carcinogens (Roundup contains glyphosate but also inert ingredients, some of which the manufacturer is allowed to keep secret):

A Working Group of 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on 3–10 March 2015 to review the available published scientific evidence and evaluate the carcinogenicity of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides: diazinon, glyphosate, malathion, parathion, and tetrachlorvinphos. A summary of the evaluations has now been published in The Lancet Oncology. The detailed assessments will be published as Volume 112 of the IARC Monographs….

Download the IARC report here.

This photo of Roundup-induced skin damage from Wikimedia Commons is not necessarily related to cancer but is certainly a warning sign:

File:Blister_roundup.jpg Tael, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons