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LAYING NO CHARGES FOR ISLAND FISHKILLS OUTRAGES EARTH ACTION
Dec. 16 2000
Charlottetown Guardian A4
The province's decision not to lay charges against those responsible for pesticide spills that killed fish last summer has, according to this story, outraged a P.E.I. environmental group.
Earth Action spokeswoman Sharon Labchuk was cited as saying that Environment Minister Chester Gillan has abandoned his responsibility to protect the environment in order to protect the potato industry, adding, "Over and over again, we see this government shielding the potato industry while human health and the environment continue to be harmed by the widespread use of highly toxic pesticides.
Even more outrageous, however, is the minister's idea that these poisons can be used safely through better education and legislation.'' Labchuk was further cited as saying there are reams of scientific literature to contradict this dangerous delusion, adding, "It is impossible to prevent pesticide spray drift. It is impossible to prevent pesticides from polluting the air as they evaporate from sprayed fields.''
Labchuk pointed to the fishkill in French River where the potato field under investigation is much further away from the stream than the required 30 feet, adding, "This potato field is apparently more than 100 feet away from a stream, yet pesticides still managed to kill fish.
"There are other examples of potato fields with 30-foot buffer zones where huge amounts of topsoil washed off into streams. What does this say about the province's buffer-zone legislation?''
Labchuk says the problem in this province is much bigger than pesticide runoff and dead fish, and that only organic agriculture promises a better future for all.