Proposed Amendments Would Have Prohibited Army Corps of Engineers from Using Glyphosate in L.A. River
Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) expressed disappointment that the House Majority blocked two amendments he proposed that would have prohibited the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using glyphosate for vegetation management in the Los Angeles River. There is a signiﬁcant body of evidence linking glyphosate exposure to health problems, and in 2015 the World Health Organization declared that it was “probably carcinogenic” for humans. California’s Ofﬁ ce of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has warned about the carcinogenic properties of glyphosate as well.
“Over the past year, I have heard growing concerns from my constituents who live near the Los Angeles River about the Army Corps of Engineers’ use of glyphosate to manage vegetation,” said Schiff. “Given the legitimate issues raised over the health impacts of the use of this chemical, I believe the Army Corps should choose alternative approaches to manage the river and the surrounding area. I am disappointed that the Army Corps has declined to do so voluntarily, and I will continue to seek legislative avenues to compel them to ﬁnd a new approach.”
Rep. Schiff sent two letters to Colonel Kirk E. Gibbs of the Army Corps in October 2017 and January 2018, urging the Corps to voluntarily find alternative approaches that did not use glyphosate. In his January letter, Schiff stated that he would consider legislative remedies to protect the health of the Los Angeles community if the Army Corps did not voluntarily end the use of glyphosate in the L.A. River.
After the Corps indicated they would not cease using glyphosate in response to community concerns, Schiff proposed two amendments to legislation being considered this week by the House, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5895) and the Water Resources Development Act (H.R. 8), to prohibit the use of glyphosate along the L.A. River. The House Rules Committee blocked both amendments from receiving a vote in the full House.