BY MEGAN GREEN
I’m writing to add another voice in support of the continued Glyphosate ban and to add my perspective as a Hydrologist and a Labor Union leader. We have seen many arguments about why the use of Gylphosate, found in both Roundup and other commercial weed killers, is unsafe for our community, especially our children and our pets. I urge Council to consider the wider implications for our Rio Grande Watershed and downstream communities when making this decision. This is an environmental justice issue.
As we sit here atop the Pajarito Plateau, we are in the upper reaches of the Rio Grande watershed. Downstream of us are hundreds of communities that rely on Rio Grande water for drinking, faheep rming, and recreating. Every time we have a significant rainfall, especially during monsoon season, runoff from our roads and parks flow down into Los Alamos and Pueblo Canyons and directly into the Rio Grande. The residence time is short- if the rainfall is intense enough, water that fell on the strip of weeds near the airport, for example, will reach the Rio Grande that same day, carrying with it any contaminants it has picked up along the way. The USDA states that Glyphosate is persistent in the environment for a long time; the half life in surface water is up to two months long and residues persist in stream sediments for over a year.
Let’s not “beautify” Los Alamos at the expense of more marginalized downstream communities. If these weeds are truly a concern, as the richest county in the State, we have the money to do the right thing and seek alternative methods for removal.