NO. R-231. JOINT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING RAILROAD COMPANIES FOR THEIR INITIATIVE TO FIND ALTERNATIVES TO HERBICIDAL WEED CONTROL.

(J.R.H.169)

Offered by: Representatives Zuckerman of Burlington, Sullivan of Burlington, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Kehler of Pomfret and Klopchin of Clarendon

Whereas, the Vermont Pesticide Advisory Council is statutorily required to recommend reductions in the use of all pesticides including herbicides, and

Whereas, many Vermonters support increased environmentally sound rail traffic to ease the transportation burden on our highways, and

Whereas, the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, United States Senators Patrick Leahy and Jim Jeffords, United States Congressman Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Pesticide Advisory Council and concerned Vermonters have cooperatively created a pilot project to implement a vegetation management plan along the St. Lawrence and Atlantic's rail corridor to investigate alternatives to the use of herbicides for weed eradication, and

Whereas, members of the Railroad Association of Vermont are also willing to explore using safe and cost-effective herbicide-free alternatives for weed control along the ballasts, and

Whereas, herbicidal alternatives, including ballast regulation, geotextiles, steam, hot water, infrared and ultraviolet light, as well as various mechanical controls, have been successfully used in integrated vegetation management planning in Alaska, Germany and Sweden, and

Whereas, an effort by railroad companies to work with concerned Vermonters to develop herbicide-free alternative management plans for weed control will encourage increased use of Vermont's underutilized railway system, and

Whereas, the information gathered as a result of this project will provide a wonderful resource, not only for railroad companies and state regulatory agencies, but for all Vermonters committed to reducing the level of toxins in our environment, and

Whereas, the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad has assumed a leadership role in the herbicide alternative initiative because of its genuine concern for Vermonters' environmental quality of life, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the cooperative and farsighted endeavor by the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad on behalf of Vermont's environment, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad and the Railroad Association of Vermont.