The Alberni Clayquot Regional District will continue to use the conroversial herbicide Roundup at the airport because no better alternative is feasible.
“Current use of the Roundup product is the preferred method with the contractor because of the effectiveness of this, said manager of environment services Andrew McGifford.
“Underneath the fence and around the fuel tank at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport are the areas need to be attacked twice a year,” said McGifford.
“So [Alberni Landscaping] does that with minimal spraying within the guidelines that he has to follow with the Ministry of the Environment.”
The regional district’s CAO Russel Dyson said that the chain link fence along Airport Road and around the fuel tanks are the only areas where Roundup is used.
In response to public concern, other areas are weeded using manual labour and not herbicides, Dyson added.
McGifford’s report to the board included two alternatives to Roundup; Amitrol 240 and EcoClear.
“Both do not attack the actual broom and thicker brush because it has to be a soft celled membrane to get this stuff to work,” MCGifford said.
“Plus the amount of product you would need to use for the other two is quite high and the concentrations of salt in the ground will become a factor overtime.”
Cost is also an issue according to McGifford’s report to the board.
“Current amount spent on weed spraying at the AVRA is approximately $3,000,” the report reads.
Switching to EcoClear would increase that amount to $15,000 annually.
According to Port Alberni director Jack McLeman, the city of Port Alberni has attempted to stop its usage of Roundup before.
“The city tried to get rid of Roundup and it didn’t work and cost us a lot more money.”