Glyphosate Use Reduction and Alternative Options
Glyphosate based products (such as Roundup) have been in use since the 1970s, and are commonly used to control weeds in landscape areas, parks, and athletic fields. These products are also used in natural areas to control invasive, exotic plants that can destroy native vegetation and disrupt wildlife habitat. Recently, there has been a growing concern that glyphosate may be toxic to humans and animals, and may pose an environmental risk to water resources if the application is improperly timed (just before a rainstorm) on land areas adjacent to water bodies. Taking these concerns into account, the Town Council directed staff to research ways to reduce the potential risks in a manner that is consistent with the long term goals of the Town to encourage an overall reduction in the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. While the scientific evidence linking glyphosate to harmful effects on people, wildlife, and the environment has been inconclusive, the Town believes it is important to recognize the potential risks and take steps to address them.
On November 19, 2019, the Jupiter Town Council passed Resolution 108-19 that calls for a reduction in the use of glyphosate-based products by the Town and its contractors on Town-owned properties.
- The resolution does not ban the use of glyphosate products.
- The reduction in use of glyphosate-based products only applies to Town-owned lands and contractors hired by the Town.
The following strategies laid out in the resolution will be adopted by the Town:
- Elimination – Cease using products containing glyphosate in parks, landscape areas and playgrounds that are frequented by people and pets;
- Reduction – Consider potential alternatives that are safe and effective and limit the use of products containing glyphosate to areas not highly frequented by people and pets, such as landscape medians and exotic plant management in natural areas;
- Smart Application – Follow all label instructions on any herbicide used in the treatment of weeds or invasive exotic vegetation. This includes incorporating best management practices (BMP’s) in the use and application of herbicides (i.e. minimize use, prevent over-spray, reduce the potential for waterbody contamination by spraying at appropriate times, etc.) and ensure that all applicators - whether Town employees, applicators on Town owned property, or contractors licensed to work within the Town - are fully trained and licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), and require that proof of such licensure is provided at time of application for a Business Tax Receipt (BTR);
- Education – Post signage in areas that are being treated and provide information on the Town’s website and social media sites regarding proper herbicide use
Residents are encouraged to take similar steps and can help achieve this goal by reducing the use of chemicals when maintaining their own properties. Visit the Florida Friendly Landscaping website for more information about environmentally sustainable landscaping in Florida, and consider incorporating some of these methods into your own maintenance practices.
Businesses such as landscape and lawn maintenance companies contracted by the Town to provide chemical application services, will be required to show proof of current licensure by FDACS.