To the Editor: Herbicide Spraying Planned for County Roadways Presents Potential Hazard

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Herbicide Spraying Planned for County Roadways Presents Potential Hazard

Gazette readers may have seen the article in the Daily Progress on 7/26/13 notifying the public of VDOT’s intention to spray Krenite S herbicide (fosamine ammonium) along roadways in Albemarle County from August 26 through September 27.

Concern exists about chemical control of brush. Mechanical trimming was used for years and causes less risk to humans and the environment. In the past year, our community experienced aerosol spraying of chemicals by operators who did not know what chemicals they were spraying, much less to avoid spraying them on bicyclists and waterways. It may be easier and less costly to VDOT for them to spray chemicals, however, there are costs to the health of our families, our farms, and our food and environment.

Krenite is not approved for use on country roadways, near cropland, or public water supplies. Label warnings required by EPA directly contradict spraying near homes, farms, or vineyards, where people drive, ride bicycles, walk, or raise vegetables or animals. Land on which Krenite has been sprayed is not safe for growing crops for food or feed for at least a year.

According to the manufacturer, Krenite exposure has plenty of potential health effects including airway irritation, difficulty breathing, nausea, headache, itching and burning of skin, and pain and blurred vision. There is a lack of health testing for the active and unnamed components of Krenite.

Property owners who object to application on their right of way should call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-367-7623. Note the time of your call and to whom you spoke. VDOT will post no-spray signs on withdrawn properties.

Below is the list of state-maintained roads VDOT plans to spray between Aug. 26 and Sept. 27:

  • Route 29 entire County stretch 
  • Watts Passage Road
  • Black Cat Road (west and east)
  • Polo Grounds Rd from 
  • Proffitt Rd to Route 29 
  • Clark’s Tract
  • St. John Road 
  • Plank Road
  • Coles Rolling Road
  • Schuyler Road
  • Gooch’s Mill
  • Deer Bonn Road

Ann Mallek
White Hall District Supervisor
Earlysville