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Court Challenge Filed Against Aerial Pesticide Spray Ban in Lincoln County

OPB News

A lawsuit was filed this week against a Lincoln County ordinance that was narrowly passed by voters last month. The suit challenges a ban to aerial pesticide spraying.

Measure 21-177 passed by just 61 votes in the May election. Local farmer Rex Capri filed the lawsuit, claiming, among other things, that the ordinance is unconstitutional. One provision of the measure calls for “direct action” by citizens to enforce it. The suit asks for a preliminary injunction to delay implementation of that provision. The Board of Lincoln County Commissioners this week decided to support this request. County Council Wayne Belmont made the recommendation, saying it’s now up to a judge:
Belmont: “I have no doubt that this will not only go through the Lincoln County Circuit Courts but one or the other side will appeal this to the Oregon Court of Appeals and possibly, if they’re unhappy with the decisions made by the Court of Appeals, to the Supreme Court. We’re going to be involved in litigation for some time.”
Measure 21-177 is part of the citizen’s rights movement to give more local control over policy.  Its supporters say the lawsuit is backed by corporate interests. [I’m Rachael McDonald reporting.]

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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