People’s Ban on Aerial Spray Being Challenged
Friday, June 9, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Maria Sause Rio Davidson
541 574 2961; cell 541 961 6385 cell 541 961 5606
NEWPORT, Oregon - On June 6th, one day after the vote to enact Measure 21-177 became official, a lawsuit challenging the law was filed by Rex Capri of Newport. Capri’s first claim raises two arguments about the new law that were both rejected by the court before the election, and also alleges that the county lacks the authority to address pesticides. His second claim asserts that state preemption overrides the new law adopted by the people, banning aerial spray of pesticides.
Mr. Capri is represented by Davis Wright Tremaine of Portland, who is also attorney of record for Oregonians for Food and Shelter, the corporate lobbyist organization for chemical and timber corporations. Oregonians for Food and Shelter contributed $33,000 to the No on 21-177 campaign.
“It’s obvious that the lawsuit isn’t coming from the person listed but from the chemical and timber corporations that profit from the poisons”, says Maria Kraus of Citizens for a Healthy County. “It’s also obvious that we expect our local government to stand up for our rights to clean water and to say no to toxic chemical exposures.”
Measure 21-177 or the Freedom from Aerially Sprayed Pesticides Ordinance of Lincoln County, written to protect the right to clean water and to be free from toxic trespass, would not go into effect until early July.
It is unclear at this time if the plaintiff’s property is even suitable for aerial pesticide spraying. In addition, there is nothing keeping the property owner from spraying weeds by other methods or using alternative weed abatement.
The claim that Measure 21-177 is preempted by state law completely ignores the right of the people of Lincoln County to self-government powers on matters of health, safety, and welfare. For the state to allow the practice of aerial spraying at all violates both the right to local self-government and the right to clean water, air, soil, and freedom from toxic trespass.
“State law grants a license to kill while denying any recourse from victims or local governments,” says Carol Van Strum, herbicide historian.
There is no indication at this time how long this case will delay implementation of the new law.
Citizens for a Healthy County
For more information www.yes-on-21-177.org