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VIDEO: NDOT Sprays Weeds on I-80, Warns Against “Wet Paint”

By Bob Conrad
ndot weed spraying

ndot weed spraying

Reader Sandy Rowley sent us the video below which shows the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) spraying weeds on Interstate 80 east of Reno. However, the trailer behind the spraying truck warned against “Wet Paint Ahead.”

“People had their windows open,” Rowley said. “Watch out for the wet paint, my ass.”

NDOT Public Information Officer Meg Ragonese said the spraying truck is a multi-use vehicle and that the warning sign was erroneous.

“Inadvertently, the crew has used a painting message instead of a very general caution message that they normally use during any type of weed spray or anything like that,” she said. “All of our maintenance workers who do that are very experienced applicators. (They) are actually certified applicators of per-emergent and other weed and vegetation spray. They’re certified applicators through the state Department of Agriculture, and so obviously through that training and certification they work very diligently to limit exposure.

“One of the ways that they do that is, of course, to spray low down. We watch the weather very, very closely. They don’t spray on windy days.”

She said that in this case NDOT was spraying the center median.

“It’s certainly nothing that would be a health risk,” she added.

Ragonese said that spraying vegetation is for safety reasons. Large tumbleweeds, she explained, present a hazard to vehicles.



Aaron Aveiro July 6, 2016 - 6:34 am

Doesn’t NDOT have access to inmate labor???

Perhaps it’s just cheaper to lie to the people?
Spraying is a health concern, if you’re driving by and can “smell” the product being used…there is a health concern.

That area has residence and critters living in the proximity…should have been an advisory…

Not the FEEBLE excuse given about a wrong sign…poppycock.
No advisory because they knew the people in the area would have objected

Sandy Rowley July 7, 2016 - 12:37 pm

Your right on!
NDOT broke Federal Law June 30 2016 on I 80 East at around 12:40 PM Pacific Time.

Laws broken:
– Spraying when temperatures were over 85 degrees
– Failure to protect persons in area from pesticide drift
– Spraying during time of day when pollinators are most active.
– Spraying within 250 feet of a water way, The Truckee River
– Improper signage, Wet Paint.
– Not enough time for drivers to merge.
– Failure to respond to requested pesticide complaint within 24 hours
– Spraying weeds after they had seeded.
– Spraying 2 4 D Weed ONE in wind speeds above 15 MPH, the average wind speed in that area was 25 mpg.
It Is A Violation Of Federal Law To Use This Product In A Manner Inconsistent With Its Labeling.
Read entire label before using this product. Do not apply this product in a way that will contact workers or other persons, ·either
directly or through drift. Only protected handlers maybe in the area during application. View EPA fact sheet on how to use this chemical here : https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/ppls/071368-00003-20110429.pdf

Sandy Rowley July 5, 2016 - 12:43 pm

Thank you for sharing my video. I hope this spurs positive changes in our community.
Spraying these weeds is inefficient and unnecessary. The weeds just keep coming back.

There are other cities around the country and the world that have stopped the use of herbicides and other pesticides in favor of non toxic methods of land care. I hope we can find a way to bring the State of Nevada up into the latest and safest means of management of pests.

Patricia Burrett July 5, 2016 - 10:13 am

I would appreciate if NDOT would not spray pesticides without warning and listing the ingredients. Who knows what toxins are in the air, what direction the wind carried them, the destruction of beneficial insects, and animals, not to mention the unexpected exposure people received. How close were they spraying to Wild Island and, what about all the people there who might have been exposed?

Rhonda July 3, 2016 - 10:01 pm

Thanks for pointing out the dangers and what was truly being sprayed. However it does concern me that you are driving at a fairly high rate of speed and video taping the incident while you are driving. Please stop that behavior and concentrate on the road. We don’t need a senseless death of yourself or an innocent by stander over this.

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