Industry roundup: EPA reaffirms glyphosate not a risk to public health

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that a final interim determination on the review of the herbicide glyphosate has been reached.

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the EPA has concluded: “that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.”National Association of Landscape logo

The EPA reached this determination after conducting extensive human health and ecological risk assessments, and NALP says the interim final determination follows the publication of a draft assessment on glyphosate in 2017, which the EPA says also did not find glyphosate to be harmful to public health when used in accordance with label instructions.

NALP says the 2017 draft assessment was open for public comment for the EPA to review prior to this final interim decision being published. The EPA says the 2017 risk assessment did not identify human health risk factors but did identify some ecological impacts, and the interim final rule will propose new guidance to mitigate adverse impacts on the environment.

The final decision will publish in the Federal Register in the coming days and will be open for public comment. Upon a complete review of the interim final decision, NALP says it will provide further information and resources for landscape industry employees and customers.

Click here to read the statement released by EPA.

Click here to read NALP Member Bulletin published in April 2019 Concerning Glyphosate.

Click here to read the 2017 Glyphosate Draft Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment.

For more information please contact Andrew Bray.

Little Beaver celebrates four generations with new addition

Little Beaver recently welcomed Joseph Haynes as a product engineer at the company’s manufacturing facility in Livingston, Texas. As a fourth-generation Little Beaver team member, the company says Haynes brings a familiarity of the family business and innovative knowledge of product design processes.

Joseph HaynesJoseph Haynes

“When my grandfather, Newman Haynes, started in the auger industry years ago, he wanted a family-run business that left customers feeling like they were dealing with family,” says Joe Haynes, Little Beaver president. “Joseph grew up around this business and understands our vision for building safe and dependable products while going the extra mile to serve our customers. He brings a unique experience with 3D modeling and CAD software, which will enhance our product development process.”

The company says Haynes most recently spent 11 years as a product engineer at WFI International, a pipe fitting manufacturer. In his previous role, the company says Haynes designed and developed a variety of fittings for different industries including gas and oil, nuclear and fossil fuel power plants and the food processing industry.

The company says he brings a wealth of manufacturing experience, as well as a strong understanding of mechanical engineering and product development to his new role.

“I’m looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective and different technological expertise to Little Beaver,” says Joseph Haynes, Little Beaver engineer. “I’m excited to leverage my experience and insight to continue my family’s tradition of providing customer-driven design.”

The company says he holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University.

Smart Rain announces launch of new mobile applications

Smart Rain recently announced the launch of their new iOS and Android mobile applications.

Photo: Smart RainPhoto: Smart Rain

The company says the app features interactive Google mapping and map view, as well as improved user experience on any mobile device. The apps were officially launched on May 1.

Smart Rain says this will positively impact all of their customers when it comes to mobile applications with increased notifications and reporting, as well as real-time flow readings and sensor readings.

“Our customers have come to expect the best in smart controller technology; with this new app, they are getting the best of everything,” says Dan Hyman, president of Smart Rain. “With our mission to add value, all Smart Rain customers will have access to all increased features of this mobile app, playing into our goal to continue to add value to our current customer base.”

Arborjet enhances flagship brand with new product

Arborjet says it has expanded its TREE-äge legacy by enhancing its flagship brand with the launch of the new TREE-äge R10.

With the science and technology behind the development of this product, Arborjet says it continues to revolutionize how trees are treated. This line of products, according to the company, has been available to arborists for over 10 years and successfully used by thousands of professional applicators in hundreds of cities.

TREE-äge R10Arborjet says that when used with the company’s equipment, field studies demonstrate the R10 injects three times faster than generic brands and reduces tree pest damage significantly better than competitive products. This, the company says, is particularly useful when injecting conifers and other diffuse porous trees that typically take more time to inject.

The company says this product can be used on trees grown in both commercial and residential landscapes, golf courses, municipal areas, parks and areas of greater environmental sensitivity.

Other facts about the R10 include:

  • TREE-äge R10, available in a pint-size, uses less than half the original TREE-äge, and delivers significantly reduced injection times
  • Similar to the original TREE-äge, offers 2 years of protection (for most listed pests) and controls more than 40 pests including bark beetles, emerald ash borer and gypsy moth
  • Works in all Arborjet equipment
  • For use by commercially licensed applicators

“With its reduced injection time and proven results, R10 is the ideal product to enhance our customer’s productivity,” says Arborjet COO Russ Davis. “We’re proud to continue the TREE-äge brand’s legacy and uphold Arborjet’s mission to develop the most effective formulations and delivery systems to preserve, protect and ultimately to save trees.”

LiveWall Living Wall added at Cornerstone University  

The Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology at Cornerstone University recently added a 374-square-foot green wall installed with the LiveWall system.

The $15.5 million Center for Science and Technology is a three-story, 29,500-square-foot academic building that provides a new home for the university’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

Designed by ProgressiveAE and constructed by The Christman Company, the center opened in December 2018, and it includes seven labs, group study areas for collaborative learning and faculty offices.

Photo: LiveWallPhoto: LiveWall

“The idea of a green wall came up during early brainstorming on design goals and approaches to constructing a building the reflects and incorporates natural elements of God’s creation and gives honor to God as creator,” says Bob Sack, vice president, advancement, Cornerstone University.

The center’s living wall was installed with two separate LiveWall structures with shared infrastructure. They were assembled so that from most vantage points in the atrium, the living wall appears to be one continuous wall that spans the second and third floors.

“The wall was also wrapped around the corner,” says Jamie Benvenuto, design architect, ProgressiveAE. “Wrapping the wall around the side adds dimensionality and makes it more visible and prominent within the interior and from the exterior of the building.”

LiveWall says the living wall aids in providing passive biofiltration within the building, and the LiveWall structural components were installed on steel studs anchored with standard fill plates two feet in front of a metal screen that covers the building’s main cold air return.

Four holes were drilled into the back of the system’s modular planters, and as indoor air returns to the HVAC system, the living material of the plants and growing medium filters the air and biologically degrades air pollutants.

“The engineering and flexibility of LiveWall made it the right choice for the project,” says John Haadsma, commercial landscape manager, Katerberg VerHage Inc., the landscape design/build contractor that installed the green wall. “Simple, minimal modifications to standard parts and installation techniques turned it into a passive biofiltration system without the expense of more complex and costly systems specially designed for this purpose.”

“Horticultural expertise is a critical success factor for any living wall project,” says Pat Zawacki, senior project manager, The Christman Company. “Given the aesthetic and functional purposes of the Center’s living wall, it was important for us to have the experts from LiveWall working with us.”

Appellate court ruling in Maryland undermines state-level pesticide regulation

According to the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), a decision from the Maryland Court of Special Appeal in Montgomery County, Maryland v. Complete Lawn Care, et. al., found the county’s ban on outdoor pesticide use on private property by residents and professionals valid.

“We disagree with the decision, which failed to consider the strong opinion issued by the Circuit Court for Maryland in 2017, finding the county ban was illegal under existing state law and the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive pesticide regulatory program,” RISE says in a press release. “We believe the county’s ban on consumer and professional pesticide use on private property is preempted by existing state law and we are disappointed with the decision of the Court of Special Appeals given the well-reasoned opinion of the lower court, which found the county’s ban to be preempted by existing state law.”

Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment logoThe organization says it is still concerned that this local pesticide regulation undermines the state’s authority in regulating pesticides and ensuring they are used properly and safely throughout the state.

RISE says that the ban also includes the outdoor use of virtually all EPA and Maryland state registered pesticide products available at big-box retailers, retail nurseries, grocery stores, online and through lawn and landscape professionals.

“Harmful pests are still present in the county regardless of the court’s opinion,” RISE says in a press release. “Montgomery County residents now have no realistic options to treat their own property or to have professionals make treatments using products that have been approved for this precise use in Maryland by the U.S. EPA and Maryland Department of Agriculture and that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective when used according to their labels.”

Currently, RISE says they are evaluating their next steps to help ensure that each Montgomery County resident has the right to decide for herself/himself whether to use pesticide products that have been approved by the state of Maryland.

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