County to begin herbicide spraying
The King County Road Services Division will begin roadside herbicide spraying Feb. 12 in unincorporated areas. Spraying will be done along roadway shoulders through August, with additional spot applications scheduled as necessary to control noxious weeds and brush.
Residents who do not want crews to spray right-of-way that abuts their property may post "owner will maintain" signs, provided free by the county, but must sign an agreement by Feb. 12 to maintain the right-of-way themselves. The agreements are available by calling 296-8100, or toll-free 1-800-KC-ROADS.
The county has already sent letters to property owners who asked to maintain right-of-way last year.
The yearly herbicide spraying program is conducted on a carefully controlled basis, roads officials said. Spraying crews will use a herbicide approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the state Department of Agriculture.
No herbicide spraying will be done on riverbanks, streambanks, river islands, bridge abutments, guardrails near water, ditches, levees, or backslope areas. Also exempt will be moratorium zones, including the northeastern portion of King County and Vashon and Maury islands.
According to county officials, herbicide spraying is designed to maintain shoulder areas for joggers, bicyclists and pedestrians and prevent root systems from damaging roadways, sod buildup that could inhibit roadway drainage, fire hazards from uncontrolled vegetation growth, and vegetation growth that could pose visual hazards for motorists.
The division is removing all tansy ragwort due to the flowering weed's danger to animals. Residents who maintain right-of-way are asked to place vegetation that may contain tansy ragwort in sealable bags to prevent the spread of the weed.