In a revealing answer to a question from Sen. Russell Black, R- Franklin, Sen Troy Jackson, D-Aroostook, shared his support for an outright ban on glyphosate at the ACF work session Tuesday on LD 125
An Act To Prohibit the Aerial Spraying of Glyphosate and Other Synthetic Herbicides for the Purpose of Silviculture. See video above.
Sen. Russell Black asked:”Is it just the aerial spraying you’re against or is it the glyphosate that you’re against, could you answer that for me please?”
Senator Troy Jackson: “I’m definitely against glyphosate. But look at the trouble we’re having just banning aerial herbicide spraying. It certainly was not something that I thought we were going to have an outright ban on, but certainly making sure that there’s less opportunity for drift, less opportunity for this to get in the water is at least a good start. I’m certainly more than happy, Senator Black, if you want to amend this (bill) to ban glyphosate, I’m a supporter of that.”
Earlier in the work session Karen Nadeau
, OPLA analyst (Office of Policy and Legal Analysis), reminded the ACF Committee that Patty Cormier, director of the Maine Forest Service, that MFS “had some technical concerns, basically, I think, In a nutshell, they felt my sections, two and three, the bill were not necessary. And on some level I have to agree with that.”
“What I would do is I would strike sections, two and three,” Nadeau said, “and simply add a phrase to Section One of the bill at the end, that would just say, ‘including but not limited to timber harvesting activity is conducted in accordance with Title 12 Chapter 805, subchapter 3A, which is a Forest Practices Act.”
The Council’s testimony
, as well with that of many of our members, focused on the fact that aerial spraying is a proven and safe silvicultural tool used in Maine for decades. It is an essential part of forest management, and very important for control of invasive and other undesirable vegetative competition.
When the tone of the discussion seemed to be moving in that direction and Rep. Scofield said, “I would like to move not to pass on this on this bill.” But supporters of the bill said they were not ready to vote and the bill was tabled. The date of the next work session has not yet been set, but it may be set for the week of April 5.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center
animal and human studies have been evaluated by regulatory agencies in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the European Union, as well as the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues of the United Nations and World Health Organization (WHO). These agencies looked at cancer rates in humans and studies where laboratory animals were fed high doses of glyphosate. Based on these studies, they determined that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic.(National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate General Fact sheet.
ACF will be changing its process slightly for work sessions
- Just like for public hearings, ACF work sessions will be held on a Zoom webinar platform, where “attendees” will be able to see and hear ACF members and those individuals recognized to speak but will not be able to speak or be heard unless and until recognized by the Chairs. Unlike a public hearing, there should be no expectation that work session attendees will be called upon to provide input or additional comment. As has always been the case, work sessions are an opportunity for the committee to discuss and vote on proposed legislation and comments from non-members are typically only requested as necessary to clarify questions raised by the legislation.
- Cheryl McGowan, committee clerk will send out a Zoom webinar registration link to those on the ACF mailing list. If you wish to attend that committee meeting, please use that link to register for the meeting. Upon registration, you will be sent by Zoom a meeting access link, which you can use to join the meeting when it begins or when the matter you are interested in is taken up. Click here if you would like to sign up for the ACF mailing list.
- If a work session follows or is held on the same day as a public hearing and you have registered for that public hearing but also wish to attend the work session, there is no need to separately register for the work session – you can use the same meeting access link you are sent upon registering for the hearing to attend any part of the meeting. If you did not register for the hearing but wish to attend a work session on the same day, you will need to use the registration process described in above.
If you are interested in observing a work session but have no interest in providing additional comment, you should plan on viewing the meeting livestream on YouTube instead of attending directly.