NACWA sent comments to EPA on August 22 asking the Agency to modify its proposed label language for diquat dibromide, a root control chemical. Diquat dibromide can be effectively used to control roots in wastewater collection systems, helping to prevent overflows and backups. However, if too much of the chemical is used in too short a time, it has the potential to interfere with the microorganisms used in the wastewater treatment process.
NACWA and the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA) have expressed concern to EPA about this potential interference, as well as worker safety due to the health risks associated with direct exposure to diquat dibromide treatment solutions. Utilities can keep workers out of manholes if they are notified in advance of diquat dibromide treatments. NACWA therefore asked that the language be changed to improve notification enforceability and worker safety protection, while still minimizing the burden on applicators.
NACWA members with concerns about diquat dibromide or any other root control chemicals should contact Cynthia Finley.