- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A populated stretch of railroad in Montpelier is not going to receive herbicide after officials outlawed the spray because of nearby residents’ concerns over its effect on people.

Instead the city will use cutting machinery to remove weeds from a half-mile stretch of railroad in the state’s capitol, The Times Argus reported (https://bit.ly/1MA000l ) Saturday.

The agreement between Montpelier and Washington County Railroad Friday comes after residents expressed concerns about the health impacts of using herbicides in the city. The compromise only applies to this summer.

“This is a one-time agreement that allows us the time to see if there are viable long-term alternatives,” Mayor John Hollar said.

The state will consider a more complete review of ways to control vegetation, according to the agreement. It states the city must also pay for labor and equipment. It is expected to be formalized at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

The Vermont Pesticide Advisory Council refused to allow the pesticide last year and the railroad was supposed to work with the state and public to seek alternative weed control methods during a one-year hiatus.

An attorney representing the Vermont Rail System said residents could not use weed cutting machinery themselves, as one neighbor suggested, since only rail workers are allowed to work on the tracks.

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Information from: The Times Argus, https://www.timesargus.com/

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