Tentative Labor Deal, Clean Water Projects & Free Pesticide Disposal
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
West Coast ports have resumed full time operations after a tentative agreement was reached on a new 5 year labor contract by the PMA and the ILWU over the weekend, but it will now take several months for ports to return to normal. Washington Potato Commission’s Matt Harris says that the 9 month long contract negotiations caused damage to exporters’ foreign buyer relationships that may take years to recover from.
HARRIS: Once you lose a customer it is very hard to regain their confidence, and that’s not a short term fix; that takes a long long time. And that’s something that we’ll have to work very hard at.
For fiscal year 2016 the state Department of Ecology is proposing $229 million in grant and loan funding for 165 clean water projects across the state. Six of these projects are in communities that qualify for financial hardship status. Roughly 110 of the projects would reduce stormwater pollution coming from existing development across Washington, and 31 projects would receive $8 million to address land-use-caused pollution. Public comment on the proposed funding list is open through 5 p.m. March 15.
This spring the WSDA will be collecting unwanted agricultural and commercial-grade pesticides in Eastern Washington. Growers wanting to participate should contact the WSDA by February 27 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Collection dates and locations are to be set later based on grower response.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.