2015-09-25 / Letters

Residents to receive phone survey

To the editor:

Some South Portland residents have received a misleading telephone call from Net Research Today, a Colorado telemarketing firm. People who have received this call report that the firm won’t divulge who is paying for the poll. What we do know is that the poll suggests that the pending South Portland pesticide ordinance will restrict the use of a long list of household sprays that include Raid for ants, flea medication for pets and even antibacterial hand soap.

In fact the ordinance, as proposed, does not include anything you choose to use inside your home, or on yourself or your pets.

The ordinance will only apply to toxic chemicals applied to lawns, gardens and green spaces. It is in response to the growing scientific evidence of the multiple dangers that these substances pose to humans, animals, pollinators such as bees, and the damage to the waters and sea life along our shores. The ordinance will also provide variances for special situations, both public and private.

Already 24 communities along the Maine coast have antipesticide ordinances in place, as do many communities nationwide. Canada also is engaged in limiting chemical use along its waterways. Quebec has some of the strictest environmental laws in the country, e.g. no chemical fertilizers or sprays in lake and stream areas. Ontario, which borders on all the Great Lakes, has very strict laws governing the use of fertilizers and phosphates in a pact with neighboring U.S. states. The awareness of the dangers of these products is growing and our city council should be applauded for addressing this issue.

Linden Thigpen Member of Bees, Bays & Backyards, affiliate of Protect South Portland

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