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An open letter to New Jersey DOT

September 18, 2013

Dear Sirs and Madam:

I and others have recently noticed large areas of dead vegetation around road-signs and guardrails in the northern part of the state of New Jersey. (Friends have reported this in Pennsylvania and New York as well). Today I contacted several state agencies and learned that New Jersey’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is applying Roundup for weed control. I was told in essence that DOT employs a licensed applicator, that this person is authorized to approve the use of any EPA-approved substance, and that this decision is not subject to any effective oversight by the Department of Environmental Protection.

I and many others strenuously object to the use of Roundup, especially in the quantities evidently being used by DOT. Glyphosate and the associated surfactants are believed by many scientists to be toxic to humans, amphibians, aquatic life, and soil bacteria. Doubtless you are aware that use of Roundup in large quantities has been associated with childhood leukemia clusters in some western states, and that many legitimate sources assert that Monsanto’s political influence accounts for the widely touted view that Roundup is “safe.”

I am not aware of any opportunity for public input into the decision to apply large quantities of Roundup along the roadways. At a time when our soil, flora and water are so imperiled, it is difficult for me to accept that the persons charged with protecting these resources have so cavalierly elected to risk poisoning them.

Kindly provide me any information available as to the quantity of Roundup purchased and applied, the dilution used, and any studies conducted, or indicia of safety considered, so that I and others concerned about the health risks and environmental impacts to which you have chosen to subject us, and our once-beautiful state, may become better informed about them.

Lisa O’Neill
Montague, NJ