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State resumes spray program

For opponents of chemical spray in Island County, victory is ironic and bittersweet.

Just as no-sprayers celebrate the county's recent decision to eliminate the roadside use of herbicides in vegetation management this spring, along come the state trucks this week, laying down such commercial sprays as Oust, Round-up and Direx 4L on Highways 525 and 20.

The irony? May has been declared "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month" by Gov. Gary Locke.

Lori Oneal, a no-spray advocate who suffers from multiple chemical injury, said Friday she can largely avoid the sprayed-upon state highway. But if she has to use the road, it will make her sick.

"Last summer I was so sick," Oneal said.

According to a May 15 press release from the Washington Department of Transportation, truck spraying along the highways is almost finished. After the work is complete, crews will continue "spot spraying" by hand throughout the growing season.

Oneal said the folks who succeeded in convincing the county in going no-spray will now take their fight to the state.

"I know our highways all over the state are being sprayed right now," she said. "We've already been overdosed with this stuff."

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