Why did Marin Municipal Water District stop using herbicides?

The Marin Municipal Water District stopped using herbicides on its properties in about 2005, in response to the public’s concerns.  MMWD then hired consultants to evaluate the risks of using herbicides.  As a result of those studies, MWWD decided in 2015 to make a permanent commitment to NOT using herbicides on its properties.

A member of the Board of Directors of MMWD has written a public comment for the East Bay Municipal Utilities District Master Plan in which he explains why MMWD made this decision.  His letter is available here:  MMWD – public comment from Board member

Here is a summary of the reasons why MMWD no longer uses herbicides on its properties:

  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.”
  • The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has recommended that glyphosate be listed under Proposition 65.
  • A study conducted by researchers at UC Davis found that glyphosate persisted for at least 84 days when applied to foliage. “The clear inference from this study is that glyphosate could well migrate to water courses and streams which feed MMWD’s reservoirs.”
  • The toxicity of herbicides to aquatic life and habitat is well documented.
  • The persistent toxicity of many herbicides decreases soil biota which reduces CO2 absorption. “Hence, it appears that the non-pesticide approach may well assist with society’s ongoing efforts to remediate GHG through regenerative forestry practices.”


Thank you, MMWD, for writing this letter to EBMUD about their use of pesticides on our watershed in the East Bay.  EBMUD should follow your lead!

Please write your own public comment on the East Bay Municipal Utilities District Master Plan.  Public comments are due by Friday, September 16, 2016.  Comments should be sent to watershedmasterplan@ebmud.com or by mail to Doug Wallace, EBMUD, 375 11th St, Oakland, CA 94607.

There is also a petition to EBMUD that we encourage you to sign:  

Sign the petition!
Sign the petition!

2 thoughts on “Why did Marin Municipal Water District stop using herbicides?”

  1. It’s not clear to me how to sign your petition. many as I’ve signed, I couldn’t see where to do it on that page full of info. maybe there’s just too muchgoing on that page.

    1. Put your cursor on the green button that says, “Sign for EBMUD trees.” Then, click on it. It will take you directly to the petition. The petition has been signed by over 1,000 people, so people are finding it and signing it. Please try again. Thank you.

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