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Irene Bensinger

Irene Bensinger's activity stream


  • signed Protect Farm Worker Safety 2017-12-21 13:25:40 -0800

    Protect Farm Worker Safety

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    Oregon’s OSHA has a responsibility to protect worker safety and health. A new proposal being considered by Oregon OSHA threatens farm worker family safety. Join NCAP and others in opposing this rule change and calling for protection from pesticide exposure!

    Background

    A new federal rule called the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) included a provision called an Agricultural Exclusion Zone (AEZ) to protect anyone within range of a pesticide application. The AEZ is an area surrounding the application equipment that must be free of all persons other than appropriately trained and equipped handlers. The AEZ moves with the application equipment, akin to a “halo.” The size of an AEZ varies from zero to 100 feet, depending on the type of application and other factors, including droplet size, and height of nozzles above the planting medium.

    The new rule requires the handler to suspend the application if any workers or other persons are anywhere in the AEZ. This requirement is NOT limited to the boundaries of the establishment. This includes people occupying migrant labor camps or other housing or buildings that are located on the agricultural establishment.   

    Oregon OSHA is proposing to: 

    • decline to adopt the recent federal rule strengthening worker protections for agriculture (the “Worker Protection Standard” or WPS - 40 CFR 170.405(a)), and
    • implement OAR 437-004- 6405 instead (which calls for worker families to “shelter in place” in their houses).     

    Comments will be submitted on January 30, 2018.

    Petition language:

    20 signatures

    We, the undersigned, call on Oregon’s OSHA to protect worker safety and community health.

    In solidarity with farm worker and community organizations, we support a 300-ft. permanent buffer around farm worker housing for pesticide sprays. Farm workers and their families deserve protection. It is time for OSHA to be firm on this issue, and to adopt the best strategy to protect worker and family health and safety.  

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  • signed Imidacloprid Oyster Petition 2017-10-26 14:45:18 -0700

    Help protect a fragile ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest

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    Thank you for your interest in this petition, however, the comment period is now closed. You may read or sign, but no additional signatures will be sent to the Washington Department of Ecology at this time.

    The Washington Department of Ecology is examining an application to allow an imidacloprid insecticide application to the waters of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. The use of imidacloprid is intended to control two native species of burrowing shrimp, ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis) and mud shrimp (Upogebia pugettensis), which are negatively affecting oyster farming.

    Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) has been following this issue. We’ve researched scientific data on this pesticide and we have reviewed the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). We will soon submit a comment letter which raises serious concerns about the conclusions by the Department of Ecology and possible approval of the use of imidacloprid in a tidal area.

    Petition Text:

    156 signatures

    "We, the undersigned, support efforts to protect this fragile ecosystem from a potentially dangerous pesticide application. This plan is understudied, inadequate and fails to protect community and environmental health!

    We support timely efforts to expand promising alternatives to neonicotinoids and to increase their feasibility and effectiveness. Investments should be made in educational, technical, financial, policy, and market support to accelerate adoption of alternatives rather than continuing to rely on highly toxic pesticides. Research and demonstration are needed to determine and improve the most effective alternatives and their respective potential and feasibility for farms of different sizes, locations, shrimp population density, and access to equipment. The state should invest its resources in these efforts prior to and instead of allowing toxic contamination of state estuaries.

    Department of Ecology must protect Washington’s water, wildlife, public health, and local economies from the harmful impacts of toxic pesticides. The future of oyster farming in Washington State depends on the industry’s ability to adopt sustainable cultural and management strategies."

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