On Thursday, the Tampa City Council approved safety tests for a controversial golf course pesticide. But neighbors argue the timing of the testing isn't going to keep the people that live there safe.
Their stance couldn't be clearer. Carrying signs and chanting neighbors loudly protested Tampa Sports Authority outside their office at Raymond James Stadium. Sandra Duenas tells ABC Action News she is so concerned about TSA using the same pesticide that sickened her neighborhood in 2006, she's taking her RV and leaving her home for a week. A luxury she says many of her neighbors cannot afford.
"I just feel sad that they don't care," she said of Tampa leaders, "I mean if they cared they would not allow TSA to fumigate us in Forest Hills."
The Environmental Protection Commission explained the risks associated with the pesticide called Curfew to council today.
"Is it a correct statement to say that if applied pursuant to the label it would be unreasonable to believe that there could be an adverse health effect," asked City Council Member Luis Viera of the EPC, "Is that a correct statement?"
The EPC representative answered yes.
City councilman Harry Cohen is going on defense. He tells ABC Action News, council does not have the authority to stop the TSA. But they are voting for the EPC to test the course after it's sprayed. A device would be placed along the course to trap air and allow a lab to test it checking if curfew was applied correctly.
TSA sprays May 9.
"Curfew, a registered product approved for use throughout the State of Florida by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA). It will be applied by a FDACS’ licensed applicator at Babe Zaharias Golf Course on May 9, 2017. According to the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission presention Thursday at Tampa City Council, FDACS states that when Curfew is applied in accordance with the label, by an FDACS’ licensed applicator, it should not “pose any unreasonable risks to human safety or the environment.” The Tampa Sports Authority has managed Babe Zaharias Golf Course since 1974 and has always strived to make it one of the top courses in the Tampa Bay area. As has always been our practice, we will continue to communicate with the Neighborhood Association, as we proudly manage this community asset."