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on Mon, 02/06/2023 - 7:06pm

Release of 6 February, 2023

A bill that bans toxic pesticides and promotes the use of organic methods of groundskeeping in St. Louis parks and public spaces has been introduced in the St. Louis Board of Alderman (BOA). BB #174, aka the Healthy Outdoor Public Spaces with Protection from Toxic Pesticides was introduced by Alderman Jesse Todd in early January. Alderman Todd hopes to have the City join the130+ other cities in the USA that have already enacted this type of ordinance.

At a public hearing for BB #174 conducted by the BOA's Parks and Environment Committee on January 24th, Daniel Romano, testifying for the No Spray Coalition, spoke of a long battle to get the City to release records of pesticide use in public parks, using Missouri's Sunshine Law. “In those records, we found seven pesticide products used by the City of St. Louis that are 'possible carcinogens' or 'probable carcinogens' and are known to cause other human health problems and environmental damage. The city is using large amounts of these toxic chemicals on our parks and public spaces, usually without warning or notifying the public,” Romano said. He added, “More and more evidence shows how dangerous chemical pesticides are and how inadequately these poisons are tested by regulatory agencies.”*

Barb Chicherio testified about the fate of Earl Neal, a former employee of St. Louis's Department of Parks' Forestry Division. Mr. Neal won a settlement from Bayer in early 2022 following a lawsuit he filed connecting his cancer, chronic-lymphoma leukemia (CLL), to his exposure to Roundup while working for the City agency. This was part of the $11 billion settlement with Bayer dealing with people who got cancer due to use of Monsanto's herbicide (Monsanto is now owned by Bayer). As part of this larger settlement, no new claims may be filed against Bayer once the money awarded to plaintiffs is paid out.This means that any agency using Roundup (such as the St. Louis Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Forestry) assumes liability for future claims.

The St. Louis No Spray Coalition also asked the BOA's Parks and Environment Committee to provide procurement records of what the City's Parks, Recreation and Forestry department spends on pesticides and equipment. This is so we can include a cost/benefit analysis with this legislation. It seems this kind of ordinance has increased costs somewhat in cities during the transition to environmentally friendly landscaping in their parks but then spent less on landscaping after 3-5 years (South Miami, Florida is a good example of this).

As of this writing, a follow-up meeting has not been scheduled by the BOA's Parks and Environment Committee. This could be because elections will begin in all of St. Louis's newly realigned wards. If you believe that St. Louis's parks and public spaces should be free of toxic pesticides, please join our effort! Here are ways you can help:

-Join the St. Louis No Spray Coalition informational/planning meeting held on Zoom on Friday, February 4 at 7:30 pm. We invited supportive to alderwomen/men to this meeting. Send a message to the email below and we can send information on how to get the link to attend.

-Talk to alders, neighbors and other city residents about supporting BB #174. We can send more information, a copy of the bill and talking points.

-Help us support the campaign of Carla “Coffee” Wright, who has endorsed this bill and supports safe, toxic free parks in St. Louis. She is running for Alderwoman in the 11th Ward. Her grass-roots campaign needs voters, canvassers and contributions.

Help us create safe parks and public spaces in our city!

St. Louis No Spray Coalition

Phone: 314-771-8576 or 314-727-8554



facebook: March Against Monsanto St. Louis