Maine Environmental Policy Institute

For Immediate Release

For More Information:

March 29, 2006

Matthew Davis, Environment Maine, (207) 253-1965 (office), (207) 318-5162 (cell)

Will Sugg, Maine Environmental Policy Institute, (207) 622-9766

Will Everitt, Toxics Action Center, (207) 871-1810 (office), (207) 671-1315 (cell)

Groups Release Report on Agri-Business and Endangered Atlantic Salmon

Board of Pesticides Control to Hold Hearing on Banning Aerial Spraying

View/download the report in pdf format

Bangor, ME--Environment Maine Research & Policy Center, the Maine Environmental Policy Institute (MEPI) and Toxics Action Center released a report entitled, Agribusiness and Atlantic Salmon: The Effects of Large-scale Blueberry Production on Endangered Atlantic Salmon, detailing the threats that pesticides used by the blueberry industry have on the species.

"This report attempts to connect the dots between chemicals used and released by agri-businesses and threats to the endangered Atlantic salmon," said Will Sugg, one of the authors of the report and the director of MEPI.

Some of the reportís findings include:

"Clearly there is a lot of work to be done to further protect salmon from chemicals used by agri-businesses," said Matthew Davis, one of the authors of the report and advocate with Environment Maine Research & Policy Center.

The report was released prior to the Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) hearing on banning aerial spraying, phasing out organophosphate use and increasing residentsí right-to-know about pesticide use in their communities. Residents across Maine collected signatures to begin this formal Board of Pesticides Control rule-change process.

"Today the Board of Pesticides Control will be holding a hearing on rules that will go a long way to solving a lot of our concerns with aerial spraying and the use of the most dangerous pesticides," said Will Everitt, Associate Director of Toxics Action Center. "Hopefully the Board will do the right thing and enact these protections."

In addition to changes through the BPC, the report calls on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to do more to mitigate storm water runoff, fertilizer and nutrient loading, and continue its water withdraw rulemaking.



Commonly used blueberry pesticides and their human health and environmental effects.


Trade Name

Common Uses

Human Health Hazard

Environmental Hazard



Used on a variety of insects; In a variety of locations including forests, greenhouses, and blueberry barrens

Class III Pesticide: Caution; A neurotoxin: many neurological problems in large doses

Toxic to wide range of fish, amphibians, and birds


Roundup®, Touchdown®

An Herbicide; Kills a variety of weeds; Is ubiquitious in commercial use and personal gardens

Not Directly Toxic; Some degenerative by-products cause tumors

Some inert ingredients toxic to marine animals


Velpar®, Pronone®

An Herbicide; Kills broadleaf weeds, grasses and woody plants; Used in aerial spraying commercially

Can produce developmental defects in high doses

Not particularly toxic to marine animals, but can be harmful to endangered poplulations


Orbit®, Banner®

A fungicide; Is ubiquitous in commercial use

Can generate tumors in high doeses chiefly in male victims

Slightly to moderately toxic in a wide spectrum of fish species

View/download the report in pdf format


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