Tag: pesticides

Golf Courses and the “Good Life” May Kill You

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 12, 2021 by Attorney Michael Wells, PodcastLegal Fact and Fiction

You do not need to be a character in a Lifetime movie to be poisoned by arsenic. Same goes for some other deadly chemical. Just spend time on a golf course or near one. Contrary to what golf affocinadios claim, golf courses are not good for the environment even though many of the courses look like a cross between Xanadu and Shangri La. Pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides and other chemicals abound on golf courses, according to Fred Siegel’s book Environmental Hazards: Are you Exposed?, and they seep into the soil and run off onto property nearby.

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Heart of the matter. In reality, golf courses are not any different than nuclear sites, chemical dumps, and most any other place where toxic chemicals are dumped, buried, or deposited. What makes them more troubling, perhaps, is they masquerade as environmental improvements. 

For example, on Long Island, 52 golf courses applied 192 different pesticides containing 50 different active ingredients, Siegel writes, and it was later found that these courses averaged 7 pounds of pesticides per acre when the national average was 1.5 pounds per acre. 

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In Virginia, the Battlefield Golf Club was built out of 1.5 million tons of toxic coal ash, and its owners sued Dominion Resources for selling them the coal ash laden dirt used to build the golf course. The course is situated in a planned community, and the EPA deemed the water underneath the course contaminated. A contractor hired by Dominion found more than double the acceptable limits of arsenic as well as high amounts of chromium, lead, beryllium, magnesea, and zinc. One of the developers sued Dominion for contracting kidney cancer, and 383 residents sued for over $1 billion in damages. URS Corporation, the company Dominion hired to test the course, found the course was basically an “open dump”. The groundwater under the course threatened the aquifer supplying water to all the residents. 

In Cape Cod , the Conservation Law Foundation sued Willowbend Country Club for dumping toxic nitrogen pollution into the water. 

These are but a few examples, but this is happening everywhere. And very few people living near golf courses are ever asked (or told) about it. Most troubling is that children are the most vulnerable. But, for whatever reason, golf is associated with the “good life,” but sometimes the “good life” will kill you. Talk about a farce.

How this impacts you personally. Maybe you do not golf or think you live near a golf course, but golf courses are everywhere and often near bodies of water. Their chemicals spread through the water and the air like so many other toxic sites in America. They may look pretty, but they are heavily polluted and pose risks to those far beyond their borders. 

If you live in North America, you live near a golf course more than likely.

What you can do. There are a few things you can do. Never play golf, or, if you have, stop playing. Refuse to live on or near a golf course. Show up at zoning meetings open to the public, and say you do not want developers building golf courses in your town. It may not work, but, if enough people speak up, perhaps it will slow their growth.

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Next Steps

Golf is tied to the chemical industry, so fighting golf course development is really about stopping chemical companies such as Dow Chemicals from polluting. To that end, people can:

  • Contact their local, state, and federal officials and complain about golf course development, which is really golf course pollution;
  • Find out which chemical companies manufacture chemicals used on golf courses and protest these companies as well as boycott them; 
  • Google golf course lawsuits, and read more about them. If you do, you will realize these cases are no different than coal ash in North Carolina or the Hanford superfund site. 

Golf courses are the same as any other environmental problem, but they are not as obvious until you learn all about the toxic chemicals necessary to keep them looking pristine. And people should not have to be poisoned, get cancer, and die just because looks can be (and are) deceiving. You shouldn’t have to die for a cliche to be true. 

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Pesticide Chlorpyrifos Lowers Kids IQ | Bill to Ban

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 2, 2019
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

Chlorpyrifos was banned from home use in 2000, after years of monitoring its impact on public health. At the time, scientists proved conclusively that chlorpyrifos resulted in a permanent negative impact to public health, particularly children, when exposed. The chlorpyrifos damage to the American public includes:

In March 2017, shortly after Scott Pruitt was sworn in as EPA Director, Pruitt swiftly moved to reverse the late 2015 conclusion by the EPA that any of the existing predetermined tolerances to the exposure to chlorpyrifos were safe. Pruitt’s reversal, empowered farmers to continue the use of chlorpyrifos on our food supply.

The new year brought a breath of fresh, clean air to the federal legislature in DC, sweeping in the Democratic House Majority. On day one, January 3, 2019, Representative Nydia Velazquez of NY’s 7th District introduced  H.R. 230: Ban Toxic Pesticides Act of 2019 along with her 55 co-sponsors (54-D, 1-R) in a valiant effort to finally ban chlorpyrifos from farming and the American food supply.

Several big hurdles must be overcome before H.R. 230: Ban Toxic Pesticides Act of 2019 can be enacted and become law.

The next steps for Representative Nydia Velazquez and co-sponsors:

  • consider the bill in committee
  • bring to House floor for a vote
  • bring to Senate floor for a vote
  • signed by the President

CALL to ACTION: The American people must unite in support of this vital, life-saving ban on toxic chemicals. Call or email Congressional Representatives and Senators, as well as post on their Facebook Pages, to let them know that we demand their support for this critical Ban on Toxic Chemicals.