Sign our letter: tell the Board of Supervisors to stop Caltrans from using RoundUP/Glyphosate in Sonoma County
To the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors:
The undersigned collectively representing a broad coalition of Sonoma County business leaders, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations respectfully request that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors tell the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Region 4 to stop using RoundUp and other synthetic herbicides in Sonoma County.
The environmental and human health consequences of synthetic herbicides are well documented and researched. RoundUp/glyphosate is a known human carcinogen and other synthetic herbicides that Caltrans uses are not readily biodegradable, highly toxic to fish, water pollutants, and inhalation hazards. As a state agency Caltrans is exempt from local rules and is allowed to spray pesticides with far less oversight and environmental precautions than other entities in Sonoma County.
Most city and county agencies in Sonoma County have stopped using RoundUp/glyphosate and other synthetic herbicides entirely. Caltrans has managed roads in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties without synthetic herbicides for over 20 years. Caltrans is capable of managing Sonoma County lands without toxic chemicals.
Caltrans’ pesticide use has resulted in documented and preventable human exposure to known carcinogens. Caltrans currently sprays RoundUp/glyphosate and other toxic herbicides along CA-116, CA-12, and CA-1, CA-37, and CA-101 (including on/off ramps). Many of these highways flow through rural communities, directly past the doorsteps of businesses and homes, and along bicycle lanes and bus stops. Community members are afraid to take public transportation along state roads because of the potential for pesticide exposure. Spraying occurs during the daytime and on weekends. Caltrans provides no advanced notification.
Water that collects in roadside ditches recharges aquifers, and flows directly into the Russian River, Laguna de Santa Rosa, and Petaluma River. Spraying roadsides with known water pollutants further contaminants our clean water and makes our community less resilient to drought.
Pollinator highways are a proven non-toxic alternative to roadside spraying. They are common in Florida, Arizona, and Texas and have been shown to improve wildlife habitat, reduce water pollution, increase farm yields, and reduce maintenance costs.
For these reasons and more, we respectfully ask that you as our elected leaders send a clear message to Caltrans Region 4 to stop using synthetic pesticides in Sonoma County.
Thank you for your continued service and dedication to our community.