Supervisors Ask County Parks to Update, Clarify Pesticide Use Policy
"It is our duty to protect the citizens of Milwaukee County."
MILWAUKEE – In response to constituent inquiries about the use and application of chemicals like glyphosate in county parks, Supervisors Steve Shea, Marina Dimitrijevic, and Jason Haas are asking the Milwaukee County Parks Department to update, clarify, and publicize its chemical use policies.
“Just this month a California court awarded $2 billion in damages to an individual who suffered serious health consequences in a case involving Monsanto’s Roundup. It is our duty to protect the citizens of Milwaukee County,” said Supervisor Shea.
“Many concerned mothers and neighbors living near county parks have contacted my office about the use of pesticides, like Monsanto’s Roundup. As a mother of young children, I share these concerns, especially since courts have ruled that these pesticides are causing health problems. It’s time for Milwaukee County to have a clear, easy to understand policy that demonstrates our commitment to safe parks for everyone,” said Supervisor Dimitrijevic.
“Given the recent news about the dangers of chemicals like glyphosate, the public deserves to have accurate about the use of pesticides and herbicides in our parks,” said Supervisor Haas, chair of the Parks Committee.
Supervisors Shea, Dimitrijevic, and Haas are proposing that the Parks Department formalize its chemical use policy with a department-wide Integrated Pest Management plan. Currently, the department only employs such a plan at county golf courses.
Milwaukee County Parks currently follows a “least-use” chemical policy, which limits but allows the use of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides on open green spaces, golf courses, and baseball diamonds. Current policy also requires signage announcing the use of pesticides.
The supervisors want to ensure that the policy is publicly accessible and easy to understand. Current policy is not posted online and it can take several days for constituents to determine what chemicals have been applied in public spaces.
The County Board of Supervisors will likely consider the proposal this summer.