From King County DOT: Weed-control time

Just announced by King County DOT, it’s time for weed work in areas including the unincorporated county areas. If you do NOT want them spraying herbicide near your property, read on to see what to do:

The King County Road Services Division is scheduled to begin its
roadside weed control program in unincorporated areas of the county and
in the cities of Burien and Maple Valley beginning March 29, 2010. As
part of the program, certified technicians will perform controlled
herbicide spraying along some road shoulders through the summer to
reduce safety hazards for pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists. The
spraying will also control noxious weeds that are toxic to some animals
and pose environmental risks to native vegetation.

As in past years, residents who do not want crews to spray county
right-of-way that abuts their property may post “owner will maintain”
signs. Those residents, however, must sign an agreement with the county
to maintain the right-of-way themselves. Maintenance agreements must be
completed and returned to the Roads Services Division before “owner will
maintain” signs can be issued. Maintenance agreements should be received
by the Road Services Division by March 26, 2010.

The signs are once again being provided to property owners at no charge.
The county has already sent letters to property owners who asked to
maintain right-of-way last year. Signs and copies of the maintenance
agreement are available by calling (206) 296-8100 or toll-free 1-800-KC
ROADS. The maintenance agreement is also available on the Road Services
Division website at

The Road Services Division uses small amounts of herbicides on a
carefully controlled basis. Trained technicians use only those
herbicides approved by the United States Environmental Protection
Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the state Department of
Agriculture. Applications are additionally guided by best management
practices that include follow-up monitoring and soil testing.

No spraying is conducted near water including rivers, streams, wetlands,
bridge abutments, guardrails near water, ditches, levees, back slopes,
or in moratorium zones, which include the Snoqualmie Valley and Vashon
and Maury islands. Spraying in moratorium zones is only conducted in
very limited situations mandated by state or local law and/or by action
of the King County Weed Board.

Herbicide applications are designed to keep road shoulders safe for
bicyclists and pedestrians, prevent root systems from damaging roadways
and reduce sod buildup that causes road flooding and icy conditions in
winter. Weed control also reduces fires that can ignite uncontrolled
vegetation and overgrowth that can causes accidents due to reduced

The Road Services Division will also be removing all tansy ragwort from
right-of-way due to the flowering weed’s danger to animals. State and
local laws require the removal of tansy ragwort and other noxious weeds.
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

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