NOAA scientist to review Clallam County herbicide plan

An ecotoxicologist will review a Clallam County proposal to deploy herbicides in the battle against noxious weeds.

Commissioner Mark Ozias announced last week that a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist will conduct an independent review of a proposal to allow spot spraying of herbicides such as Roundup along county roads.

“And she’ll be able to do that in time for the public hearing in January,” Ozias reported at the Nov. 29 business meeting. “So, really good news.”

Commissioners then called a Jan. 10 public hearing on a proposed ordinance to add an “integrated weed management” chapter to the county code.

The ordinance would allow herbicides as one of several ways to combat noxious weeds in road rights of way, parks, gravel pits and other county property.

The Jan. 10 hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. in commissioners’ chambers (Room 160) at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.

State law requires Clallam County to control invasive plants such as tansy ragwort, poison hemlock, butterfly bush, knotweed and scotch broom in its 1,050-acre-road right of way. Unlike most jurisdictions, Clallam County does not permit herbicide spraying on roadsides.

Commissioners heard nearly three hours of public testimony on the ordinance and draft roadside weed management plan in a public hearing Oct. 18. About two-thirds of the speakers supported the ordinance. Others were vehemently opposed to herbicide spraying, citing health and environmental concerns.

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