Sept 2, 1999

Honorable Paul Schell
Seattle Mayor

WEC is concerned regarding the results of a recent study, which documented high levels of pesticides in storm water runoff in King County streams. The study, which was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geologic Survey, Washington State Department of Ecology, and King County Hazardous Waste Management Program, attempted to identify the sources of pesticides in area streams. Sampling data found 23 pesticides in urban streams durning rainstorms. Five insecticides were found at levels exceeding limits set to protect aquatic life. All five of these insecticides are sold for use by consumers.

WEC is pleased that the Seattle Office of the Mayor is considering a pesticide use policy for the City of Seattle which would phase out the use of pesticides linked to serious illnesses such as cancer, neurological and reproductive damage, and hormone disruption. We sincerely hope that the City of Seattle will set a good civic example, and take a leadership role in protecting the health of its citizens by making such a policy a priority.

Such an action would undoubtedly help to encourage the Washington State Department of Ecology to move forward with its plan to develop a strategy to phase out the use of bioaccumulative toxics in Washington State over the next few years.