Court Challenge Filed Against Aerial Pesticide Spray Ban in Lincoln County

Jun 9, 2017

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 bans the practice of aerial spraying of pesticides in Lincoln County.
Credit OPB News

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.]