The timber industry asserts its practices are safe and that they have the studies to prove it. I searched for these studies and came up short.
The latest DEQ study I found was a toxics report on the Willamette River finalized in 2015. Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that a statewide water quality assessment done in 2015 never saw the light of day because it found those practices are causing harm and industry threw a tantrum.
The 2015 DEQ toxics report used generous benchmarks in which to grade what is safe. Atrazine had a benchmark of 1,000 ng/L, yet it was noted that “OR and 10 other states are currently evaluating the EPA’s recommended benchmark of 1 ng/L for atrazine. Until then OR will continue using 1,000 ng/L.”
If Oregon adopts EPA’s benchmark, atrazine would be over safety limits.
Studies I found on spray drift relied on either computer or wind-tunnel models, not actual field studies with chemical detecting equipment.
The real proof of harm is found in those who have been sickened by chemicals used in forestry. Money and convenience should not take precedence over health and wellbeing.
A ban on aerial spraying is the only safe thing to do.