Sedona AZ (October 13, 2016) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:
Candidates for a Toxin Free RRREMD FACT CHECK 2016 Board of Directors ELECTION
The following are fact checks on statements made on the campaign website for RRREMD candidates Mark Mumaw, Joanne Johnson and Dave Norton (rrremd2016.com):
1. “Re-elect Mumaw Johnson Norton”
FACT: Mumaw, Johnson and Norton were not elected to the RRREMD Board by the RRREMD voters; they were appointed by county supervisors. Source: improvementdistrictservices.com/redrockroademd.html
2. “The candidates that have proven to keep your taxes low”
FACT: In FY 12/13, the fiscal year before Mumaw, Johnson and Norton took office, the annual RRREMD tax (Ad Valorem Tax) was $60,000. During their 4 years in office, it has gone up to $90,000. Source: improvementdistrictservices.com/redrockroademd/rrremdannualbudgets.html
3. “The safe EPA approved product used by the RRREMD for weed control is about as toxic as baking soda.”
FACT: From the EPA website: “EPA generally has not allowed the use of ‘safe’ in labeling because it has been considered to be false or misleading. EPA does not approve claims that suggest a pesticide is safe….” Source: epa.gov/pesticide-labels/pesticide-labeling-questions-answers
FACT: Two herbicides are used for weed control in the RRREMD: Roundup QuikPRO and Surflan (oryzalin) or its substitute Quali-Pro Oryzalin 4 Pro. Both have well documented hazards.
Roundup QuikPRO hazards:
A. Probably carcinogenic to humans. Source: International Agency for Research on Cancer of World Health Organization: iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf
B. Harmful if inhaled. Source: Product Label cdms.net/ldat/ldACK000.pdf
C. Toxic to aquatic invertebrates. Source: Product Label) cdms.net/ldat/ldACK000.pdf
D. Causes damage to kidney, liver, adrenal, ovary, thyroid or blood through prolonged or repeated exposure.
Source: Product Safety Data Sheet cdms.net/ldat/mpACK003.pdf
E. Numerous scientific studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals indicate health hazards associated with exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate as well as its “inert” ingredients.
Surflan/Quali-Pro Oryzalin4 Pro hazards:
A. Likely to be carcinogenic to humans. Source: EPA: npic.orst.edu/chemicals_evaluated.pdf
B. High risk to non-target plants, including endangered and threatened plants, from runoff and spray drift.
Source: EPA archive.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/web/pdf/0186fact.pdf
C. Toxic to fish. Source: Product Label cdms.net/ldat/ld6EC001.pdf
D. Biodegrades slowly with a half-life [time for potency to be reduced by half] of two months.
Source: Product Label cdms.net/ldat/ld6EC001.pdf
4. “EPA Toxicity-Table download now”
FACT: The table identified as “EPA Toxicity-Table” is signed “@DocCamiRyan”. That Twitter account belongs to Cami Ryan, who describes herself as “Social sciences junkie and CDN expat working at @MonsantoCo.”
5. “The candidates employing ‘Tried and Tested’ methods of weed control while our opponents propose expensive experimental methods”
FACT: The Toxin-free RRREMD Candidates along with current RRREMD Board member Paul Gazda are proposing an Integrated Pest Management program for weed control which is strongly advocated by the EPA and “tried and tested” successfully by numerous cities including Santa Fe, NM; San Francisco, CA; Eugene, OR and Seattle, WA. The IPM program is estimated to cost only $4 per year for the average RRREMD District property.
FACT: The Dual Weed Barrier System that the Toxin-free RRREMD Candidates and Paul Gazda are proposing to further evaluate has been used successfully by the City of Sedona since 2010 and is expected to result in long term maintenance and irrigation savings for the RRREMD District.
6. An article entitled “RRREMD BOARD STUDY: WEED BARRIER NOT COST EFFECTIVE AND WILL DOUBLE TAXES IN FOUR YEARS” is posted on the rrremd2016.com site.
A. The article refers to a “Board study” and “cost analysis study conducted by the Board.” Neither the study nor cost analysis were requested or approved by Board vote, but were presented by Board member Mark Mumaw at the October 2015 Board meeting.
B. The article states Paul Gazda’s proposal would cost over $700,000. In reality, his proposal was for three small pilot projects estimated to cost $10,000 each, to be completed and evaluated before making a decision on the full project which Mr. Gazda estimated to cost $400,000, not $700,000. Mr. Mumaw derives his $700,000 figure by adding 3.22% to the cost of installation every year for 21 years after installation has already been completed.
C. The study referred to in the article uses incomplete cost data, and is based on the inferior performance of standard weed barrier and plastic. Mr. Gazda’s proposal uses costs from the RRREMD landscape contractor’s official bid and the superior performance of the Dual Weed Barrier System.
D. The article implies Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has used the Dual Weed Barrier System; but, in fact, ADOT has not used the Dual Weed Barrier System. The quotes from ADOT refer to plastic and standard weed barrier used separately, whose shortcomings are well known.
Source: Paul Gazda’s presentation to the RRREMD Board on the inaccurate and misleading information in the above article given at June 15, 2016 Board meeting. paulgazda.com./ResponseToMumawArticle.pdf
7. A letter dated July 14, 2011 written by Big Park Regional Coordinating Council President Mel Copin to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors (who were then acting as the RRREMD Board) is posted on the rrremd2016.com site. The letter states in part: “Finally, the Council unanimously endorsed awarding the contract to a bidder who relies on the proven method of weed control in these situations which emphasizes the use of traditional herbicides in using pre-emergents and spot spraying.”
FACT: In July 2011, 96 businesses located within the RRREMD on or within one block of SR 179 were asked to sign a petition in support of choosing a non-toxic weed control option for the RRREMD. Those businesses are on the front lines of RRREMD weed spraying operations. 85 of the 96 businesses signed the petition. Additionally, 3 local non-profit organizations and 183 individuals signed the petition. The petitions were sent to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors on or about July 19, 2011. In spite of this strong support for non-toxic weed control, the Board of Supervisors awarded a maintenance contract for “traditional” (i.e. toxic herbicides) maintenance.