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Aerial spray ban overturned in court

October 2, 2019

Newport News Times,

Madeline Shannon,

October 2, 2019-

After two years of review, Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Sheryl Bachart ruled a county ordinance, Measure 21-177, or The Freedom from Aerially Sprayed Pesticides Ordinance, is invalid on the basis that state law regulates pesticide use, not local governments. The decision came after the measure, passed by Lincoln County voters in 2017, was challenged in court by commercial fisherman and timberland owner Rex Capri. Bachart wrote in her decision that the measure is subject to the Oregon Pesticide Act. This statewide regulation bars local governments from regulating pesticide sale or use on a local level.

A statement from the local group Lincoln County Community Rights, which supported the aerial spray ban, said, “What the judge did not substantively consider was the issue of the right to local self-government and how it must prevail against state preemption when exercised to protect health, safety and welfare. Exercising this fundamental right, the people may recognize and secure expanded local rights and prohibitions that surpass current state protections.” Members of Lincoln County Community Rights went on to say the state law, which sets a ceiling on the maximum protection allowed rather than a floor, or minimum protection allowed, violates both the U.S. and Oregon state constitutions.

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