Measure 21-177 Wins! Lincoln County Bans Aerial Pesticide Spraying

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Read the May 31st Press Release by Kai Huschke of CELDF: Lincoln County, OR, Adopts First-in-Nation Ban of Aerial Pesticide Spray

Lincoln County passes a ballot measure banning the aerial spraying of pesticides
By Meerah Powell
Eugene Weekly | June 15th, 2017

On May 30, Lincoln County passed ballot measure 21-177, a measure banning the aerial spraying of pesticides, making it the first county in the nation to do so. A group in Lane County is looking to enact a similar ban.

Aerial sprays are used to kill unwanted plants and bugs on crops and on private timberlands. Though many environmentalists and environmental justice advocates have qualms with any usage of toxic pesticides, aerial application is particularly frowned upon due to the risk of pesticide “drift” or “trespass” — when pesticides are dispersed outside of their target area due to wind and runoff. That phenomenon can affect humans as well, whether directly or through waterways.

Along with making it unlawful for any corporation to aerially spray pesticides, the Lincoln County measure also includes the “Right to Local Community Self-Government,” according to the Lincoln County’s Voter’s Pamphlet, where “for limited purpose of prohibiting aerial spraying, community has collective and individual right of self-government.”

Within this section of the measure, it also “authorizes direct action by person if county or courts fail to enforce law.”

Although the measure’s passing was a big win for both environmental and community rights activists, it’s not totally out of the woods yet as it’s faced both legal backlash and public opposition from local government.

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Photo from Lincoln County Community Rights.