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Lake County Forest Preserves Settles in Herbicide Damage Suit

A DuPont chemical damaged 20 trees at the Brae Loch Golf Course in Grayslake, and an additional 135 trees will have to undergo a tree-care program. It also damaged trees at the Countryside Golf Course in Mundelein.

The Lake County Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners today approved a settlement with DuPont as compensation for damages the District incurred at two of the District’s golf courses through the use of the herbicide Imprelis.

The Forest Preserve District applied Imprelis, an herbicide produced by DuPont, in the spring of 2011 to the bluegrass fairways and rough areas of two of its golf courses, Countryside in Mundelein and Brae Loch in Grayslake.

Imprelis was not applied at the District’s other golf course, ThunderHawk in Beach Park, according to a release. Imprelis had been introduced to the market the previous fall as an EPA-approved herbicide. At that time, testing showed the herbicide as highly effective in controlling common broadleaf weeds, such as dandelion and clover.

Within a few weeks, District staff noticed unusual curling of new seasonal growth on trees at Countryside and . These symptoms also appeared on trees at other golf courses throughout the nation where Imprelis was used. In fall 2011, DuPont released a letter acknowledging issues with the chemical and offered a claims process. The District submitted a claim for the affected trees at the two courses.

As part of the claims process, DuPont sent a team to each site to take an inventory of the affected trees. In addition, the District hired an independent tree arborist to confirm and verify the DuPont inventories. Based on the inventories, 113 trees will need to be removed - 93 at Countryside and 20 at Brae Loch. 

An additional 325 trees, 190 at Countryside and 135 at Brae Loch, will undergo a tree-care program, the Lake County Forest Preserves said in a statement.

In the approved settlement, DuPont will compensate the District for the cost of tree removal, the value of trees removed, maintenance for new trees, a tree-care program for remaining trees, and additional compensation for other related costs.  The total value of the settlement is $835,987.90.

The Lake County Forest Preserves currently manages over 29,400 acres of land and offers innovative educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for all ages. Visitors enjoy over 150 miles of trail for a variety of outdoor recreation uses, fishing ponds and lakes, public access to the Fox River, award-winning nature and history education programs and events, and three public golf courses.

They also maintain the Independence Grove near Libertyville, Ryerson Conservation Area near Deerfield, Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda, Greenbelt Cultural Center near Waukegan and ThunderHawk Golf Club near Beach Park.

For a program calendar or additional information about the Lake County Forest Preserves, call 847-367-6640 and request a free copy of the Horizons quarterly newsletter or visit www.LCFPD.org.

 

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