From: Lynne Farmer Rushford, Minn.
According to a 4/17 article in the Winona Post, the city has contracted with the DNR to use the chemical “imazamox” to kill weeds in Lake Winona. The Public Works Director cites the hassles of using a mechanical harvester over the past nearly 30 years as one of the main reasons for turning to chemical control. But the article also states that independent research by SERA (Syracuse Environmental Research Associates) finds that data on imazamox toxicity to aquatic plants is limited and that data on amphibian toxicity does not exist. In fact, imazamox is a broad spectrum herbicide and that means it kills other plants besides the target plants. Is that O.K.? And, shouldn’t the DNR be required, at the very least, to show that imazamox will cause no toxicity to our Lake Winona amphibians before applying it to control weeds? That the EPA has approved imazamox is no reassurance that this is a safe chemical for amphibians. For example, the EPA approved Atrazine use, which has many known negative affects on animal life and is prohibited in all European Union countries. I urge the city of Winona to take a second look at its contract with the DNR.