We applaud Sen. Ben Cardin's courageous opposition to the pesticides bill now before the U.S. Senate ("Cardin opposes break on pesticide," July 4). This proposal would cancel the Environmental Protection Agency's permit program limiting the amount and types of pollutants discharged into waterways and threaten the Chesapeake Bay.
Without definite limits on hazardous pesticides, it will be impossible to keep Maryland's streams and rivers free of toxic chemicals. Without the permit program, 95 percent of our streams will continue to show pesticide pollution, and the majority of our aquatic communities will be exposed to complex mixtures of chemical contaminants that have the potential for harm.
Small aquatic invertebrates, such as immature oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, are among the organisms most vulnerable to pesticide toxicity. The Chesapeake, once one of the world's greatest oyster spawning sites, urgently needs contaminant reduction if it is ever again to be a healthy, fully-functioning ecosystem.
We need all senators to join Senator Cardin in opposition to this legislation. Defeating it is vital to the survival of the bay, the economic prosperity of our region and the health of our nation's waterways.
Diana Post, Silver Spring
The writer is president of the Rachel Carson Council, a non-profit environmental advocacy group.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times