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Front Porch: Survey to gauge pesticide use around Puget Sound

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Gauging pesticide use
More than 15,000 people who live in the Puget Sound region will be getting mailed surveys about how much they use pesticides on a day-to-day basis.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service are trying to gather data to learn how people in urban areas use pesticides.
The three-page survey will be mailed within a week to people living in the 12 counties making up the Puget Sound region. The agencies say that the information gathered will be kept confidential and the response can be returned in self-addressed envelopes provided.
The survey was prompted by a 2011 study conducted by the Department of Ecology, which identified urban use of agricultural products as a potentially significant source of copper to freshwater and marine areas in the Puget Sound basin. Copper is a component of many common pesticides and is toxic to fish and other aquatic species. Young salmon, in particular, are especially susceptible to the effects of copper.
This and two other surveys are costing $135,000. A report detailing the results of the survey is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013.

Traffic alert: Drivers heading into Seattle on the southbound I-5 express lanes will be squeezed into two lanes near the Ship Canal Bridge, and will find the Northeast 42nd Street on-ramp closed from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday. During that time, bridge maintenance crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation plan to repair a worn and noisy expansion joint.
Typically, Drivers can check the cameras on the Seattle Traffic page at www.wsdot.com/traffic/seattle/default.aspx?op=/traffic/seattle/.
Story tags » Environmental IssuesRoad RepairPuget Sound

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