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For the week of July 4 through July 11, 2000

Aerial crop spraying to be sorted out by Carey council

Express Staff Writer

Express photo by Peter BoltzOn June 20, three Carey residents, Diana and Jerry Decker and Kaye Sparks, presented the Carey City Council with a petition of 39 local names urging a prohibition on "the practice of airplane [crop] spraying" within the city.

The petition states, "This practice has, among other damages, aggravated asthma and respiratory problems (especially among our elderly), caused sickness in our children, and nausea among adults."

Because of the close proximity of residences to crops in Carey, "aerial applicators"— those who do the flying and spraying—are allowed to spray over homes or near enough that the spray drifts over homes and yards. This spraying and subsequent drifting has residents, like the Deckers and Sparks, concerned for their health and the health of children and the elderly.

According to Carey city council minutes from Aug. 17, 1999, the city unanimously approved a motion "authorizing the mayor to prepare a form letter approving the spraying application as long as they follow state guidelines." This motion was a response to applicators who had requested "a letter from the city spelling out the spraying patterns they could use."

The resulting form letter grants petitioning applicators permission to apply pesticides/herbicides within the municipal boundaries of Carey "provided the applicator complies with all laws, rules, and regulations…and that said applicator does not overfly occupied structures."

The city will have a public hearing on the matter of aerial spraying at its July 18 council meeting.


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