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[GreenYes] Emergency Ban on Dow Herbicide in Washington State
KING 5 News - Seattle, Washington
February 28, 2002


Reported by Scott Miller

SEATTLE - The state is taking emergency action to keep
herbicide-laden lawn clippings from contaminating
compost facilities.

Clopyralid is not something you commonly see down at
your local lawn and garden store, but it was popular with
professional landscapers who used it to kill weeds like

Clopyralid poses a serious threat to Washington's
composting industry.  Unfortunately herbicide residues
remained on grass clippings, posing a serious threat
to Washington's composting industry.

The state Department of Agriculture found clopyralid
contamination at 11 Washington compost facilities.

The herbicide posed no threat to people but even small
amounts can damage many common garden vegetables.
The discovery sent a shock wave through the industry. It
was feared that consumers would lose confidence in a
product that was supposed to help gardens, not hurt them.

Composters urged the state to ban clopyralid and Thursday,
the Department of Agriculture acted.

"What we finally decided to do is to put into effect
tomorrow emergency rules. These emergency rules are for
the most part going to prohibit the use of clopyralid in a
lawn and turf-type situation," said Cliff Weed, Department
of Agriculture.

The herbicide can still be used on golf courses.

Landscapers are pushing for more exemptions but
reluctantly support the new rules.

The Washington Association of Professional Landscapers
said they understand the problem and will adapt

Solid waste utilities in Seattle and other communities were
also urging the state to ban clopyralid. They said that
curbside yard-waste pickup programs would be in jeopardy
if composters went out of business.


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