July 8 2019 08:12 AM

Council members acknowledge weed control challenges but cite environmental and human impact benefits.

The city council in American Canyon, California, unanimously voted to prohibit glyphosate, the weed-killing ingredient in Roundup, on city-owned land as part of a new integrated pest management policy, according to an article by the Napa Valley Register.

This ban comes as Bayer, who acquired Roundup’s maker, Monsanto, in 2018, faces more than 13,000 lawsuits claiming its herbicide causes cancer.

Residents and business owners can still use Roundup on their properties, but city parks and landscape areas will be Roundup-free.

According to the article, City Councilmember Mark Joseph is unsure whether foregoing chemical weed killers will cause the city to experience a lower standard of service. But he believes that as the city rolls out this policy, its messaging should focus on the environmental and the human impact this change could have.

Parks and Recreation Director Creighton Wright also acknowledged that having more weeds in city parks is going to be the challenge and that the city is going to have to be more creative in its efforts to keep weeds at bay.

American Canyon will reportedly step up its integrated pest management approach, trying to keep weeds from growing by using more mulch and pre-emergent herbicides. It will mow and pull weeds, though this is labor-intensive. It will also experiment with organic herbicides.

According to the article, city landscape contractor Coast Landscaping estimates maintaining the same level of service without use of Roundup will translate to a 15 percent cost increase, or $40,000 annually.

American Canyon’s integrated pest management policy also includes posting signs to notify the public at least 24 hours in advance of pesticide applications on public spaces. Several council members asked that the city put out notices on social media.