Currently, timber companies don’t need to tell adjacent property owners exactly when they plan to spray. The bill would require them to notify neighbors between a week and three months before a planned spray and keep them apprised of changing plans.The proposal makes Oregon’s spraying laws, the West Coast’s weakest, be closer to those in Washington and California, increasing transparency and public notice of planned sprays and prescribed burns.

A 2014 investigation by The Oregonian found Oregon today does less to protect people and the environment from drifting chemicals sprayed to control weeds that sprout after clearcuts than neighboring states — Idaho, Washington and California.

Oregon’s rules even do more for fish than people. Streams with fish get a 60-foot buffer from weed killers sprayed by helicopter. Residential properties get none, despite the risk of sprayed chemicals drifting.

The bill also gives the Oregon Health Authority the ability to quickly collect tissue samples in cases where sprays are suspected to have poisoned people. Help our neighbors in Southern Oregon by telling your legislators to support SB 613.

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