Appeal to Herbicide Spraying Permit Denied

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

An Anchorage superior court judge has denied an appeal to a permit for herbicide spraying along the Alaska Railroad’s right of way. The permit was challenged by the public advocacy law firm Trustees for Alaska on behalf of the Alaska Community Action on Toxics and the Eklutna Tribe.

Trustees had asked Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Larry Hartig for an adjudicatory hearing and a stay on the permit in June but the request was denied. Trustees then sought an appeal to Superior court in early July. Trustees for Alaska attorney Austin Williams says today the court denied the motion for preliminary injunction.

At issue are the two chemicals used in the herbicide Roundup. The active ingredient is Glyphosate and the second chemical is called Agredex.

Concerns over run off contamination of streams and water bodies along the railroad tracks, impacts to human health for those who live alongside the right of way and over spray on berry picking areas prompted the suit. Williams says Trustees for Alaska will file a request for hearing with the Alaska Supreme Court as early as tomorrow.

Download Audio (MP3)