PG&E Spray Alert, Spring 2009 - PG&E Prefers Poisons On Power Poles

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics
April 7, 2009
Contact: CATs 707-445-5100 ••

PG&E is spraying around the base of poles within county road and state highway rights-of-way throughout the state. 

Residents of Westhaven (northern Humboldt County) found PG&E's contractor Trees, Inc spraying poles in a light rain early on President's Day, 2009 just a few yards above a year-around stream. Neighborhood opposition convinced PG&E to suspend spraying of 24 roadside poles in the Trinidad/Westhaven area but the utility company plans to continue spraying poles along county roads and state highways throughout the region.

Similar scenes are enacted around California this spring. Although PG&E provides property owners the option to not allow spraying on poles located on private property and checks with government agencies for poles along roads and highways, errors frequently occur and spraying near water resources, schools and homes has been reported.

PG&E uses a variety of herbicides and chemicals that promote the herbicides'potency. Mixed together and sprayed heavily around the base of poles and out for ten feet out are: - Landmark XPx(active ingredients sulfometruon methyl and chlorsulfuron, chemicals so potent that tiny amounts are used), - Gallery 75DF (active ingredient isoxaben, EPA says its a possible carcinogen and California lists it as a potential groundwater contaminant), - Accord (active ingredient glyphosate of Roundup infamy) and two chemical enhancers: In – Place and Syl-Tac, which promote the killing efficacy of the entire mix. One witness in Westhaven described smelling the chemicals from 10 feet away and tasting it for an hour after being exposed.

What to do? Call PG&E to demand a stop to power pole spraying. Find out if PG&E plans to spray near your home, work, school or any area you care about -- and tell PG&E to remove vegetation with string or blade trimmers.


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