I want to thank South Portland’s City Council for having passed ordinances that ban the use of pesticides, which have recently been found legally responsible for causing cancer in humans. And I appreciate their continued attention to these issues and concern for the health and welfare of our community and beyond.

Now South Portland is considering companion ordinances, adding these chemical fertilizers to the banned pesticides. Councilors have asked City Manager Scott Morelli to form a committee to help draft the companion fertilizer ordinance.

There have been years of research showing that chemicals in widespread use for decades as pesticides and fertilizers cause cancer in humans. We have been using these chemicals on our lawns and on our farms, in huge quantities. I recently learned that only 10 percent of the chemical fertilizer is absorbed by the plants, which means 90 percent runs off and goes into the water. Ninety percent! So if these chemicals cause cancer in people, what do you think is happening in the ocean? Please, people, we are killing the ocean. We need to pay attention.

I grew up in the middle of the country. The first time I came to Maine, I knew immediately that I wanted the ocean in my daily life. Quite literally, I moved to Maine because of the ocean. And of course, Mainers value the ocean. They know that the ocean is critical to Maine’s economy. It is part of the beauty that brings tourists; it provides many kinds of jobs; perhaps most importantly, it is a significant source of food. We must take care of the ocean.

Louise Tate

South Portland

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