Stop Railroad spray of Herbicides!

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Don’t let the Alaska Railroad Spray Harmful Herbicides in our yards and water!

The Alaska Railroad Corporation proposes spraying herbicides along the railroad tracks, which directly threatens salmon streams, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, farms and neighborhoods.

This toxic herbicide mixture contains glyphosate and other chemicals  known to harm human health.  These chemicals are associated with birth defects, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer.

Tell the DEC to deny all three of ARRC’s permit applications for herbicide use.

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ACAT’s Comments to ADEC Regarding three Proposed Permits for Application of Herbicides by the Alaska Railroad Corporation: Glyphosate (March 12, 2012)

Deadline 3/12/12.

Take Action | Quick Facts | Problems with ARRC’s Permit Application | More Info | Links to Permit Applications

Alaska Railroad Herbicide Use

Alaska Railroad tracks along wetlands near Spencer Glacier between Anchorage and Seward. Photo by Frank Kovalchek.

Your comments are needed today on all three of the ARRC permits which are for spraying the railroad in areas of Fairbanks, Talkeetna, Palmer and Wasilla.

Written Comments Due:

March 12, 2012 by 4pm.

Rebecca Colvin, ADEC

555 Cordova Street

Anchorage, AK 99501

Phone: 907-269-7802

Fax: 907-269-7600

Email: [email protected]

Quick Facts and Talking Points:

The Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) has applied to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) for permission to apply herbicides Aquamaster and Agri-Dex along railroad right of ways in areas of Talkeetna, Fairbanks, Palmer and Wasilla stretching along 122 miles of railroad track covering 243 acres next to waterways, farms and backyards.

• Spraying the proposed herbicide threatens salmon streams, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, farms and neighborhoods along the railroad.

• The proposed herbicide applications threaten human health. The active ingredient in Aquamaster is glyphosate (also used in Roundup). Glyphosate has been linked to certain cancers, endocrine, reproductive and developmental health effects in humans.

• Agri-dex is a surfactant designed to disperse the herbicide more effectively. This chemical mixture enhances the toxic effects, bio-accumulation and persistence of the herbicide in the environment. Agri-dex contains a proprietary combination of chemicals including at least two that are considered likely to cause cancer.

The Alaska Railroad’s permit application:

• Does not offer measures to protect water sources, fish and wildlife habitat, and communities. A 25 foot buffer from water bodies does not provide protection to sensitive wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes. Use of this toxic herbicide mixture is a hazard to the health of our waters, habitat, and health.

• Fails to properly identify potentially affected water bodies. Aerial photos included in the permit do not properly identify or detail water bodies, wetlands, streams, rivers, private property, or wells within 200 feet of the application area and fails to identify buffer areas.

• Ignores peer-reviewed science and uses chemical industry “facts” to justify the use of the herbicide glyphosate. Monsanto, the primary manufacturer of glyphosate-based herbicides, claims that glyphosate is safe for the environment and human health. In fact, numerous studies link exposure to glyphosate with certain cancers, harm to reproduction and development, neurological damage, and birth defects. In addition, there is evidence that shows that plants develop resistance to the herbicide, thus perpetuating the use of greater quantities and more toxic herbicides.

• Does not provide justification for use of the herbicide mixture.

• Viable alternatives to the use of herbicides exist and the Railroad has not taken measures to control weeds with safe, non-chemical alternatives. Vegetative removal without herbicides and track maintenance could provide jobs to workers in railbelt communities and help boost the economy.


Project Name: Alaska Railroad Corporation Clear-Fairbanks Pesticide Use Permit
Project Links:


Public Notice & Maps

Project Area:

Fairbanks area railroad mile posts 388-468

60 miles of main line and 7.1 miles of siding tracks, for a total of 134 acres.


Deadline 3/12/12 at 4 pm email: [email protected]

Palmer – Wasilla

Project Name: Alaska Railroad Corporation Palmer-Wasilla Area Pesticide Use Permit
Project Links:


Public Notice & Maps

Project Area:

Palmer & Wasilla, Matanuska Valley, Alaska

Palmer Branch Line & Wasilla main line mile posts 152-159,

12 miles of track for a total of 24 acres.


Deadline 3/12/12 at 4 pm email: [email protected]


Project Name: Alaska Railroad Corporation Gold Creek-Broad Pass Pesticide Use Permit
Project Links:


Public Notice & Maps

Project Area:

North of Talkeetna between railroad mile posts 261 – 299

38 miles of track, and 5.5 miles of siding for a total of 85 acres


Deadline 3/12/12 at 4 pm email: [email protected]

To learn more:

Read ACAT’s detailed and referenced public comments submitted to ADEC in 2009.

Learn about the past 15 years of ACAT’s efforts and successes banning Alaska Railroad Herbicide use.

Please contact Alaska Community Action on Toxics at 907-222-7714; or email [email protected].

Read Pamela Miller’s PANNA Blog on the Pesticide Action Network and sign their petition.



Questions? Contact us any time.