Local couple concerned over herbicide spray in Mantua

- A local couple is worried after noticing something odd in their backyard. They say sections of their garden are brown and dying. Now, they want answers.

Jenny Chen remembers the third week of August when she noticed there was something wrong with the plants in her raised bed gardens.

"We started seeing on all our plants in the back half of the yard brown spots on everything," Jenny Chen told FOX 29.

The brown spots quickly became a full-out, die-off.

"We had a really tall towering plant here. It's crumbling almost dusty feeling now," Chen explained.

The plants in the back half of her Mantua Avenue yard shriveled up.

"Their spray extended 16 feet into our property and killed out plants," she said.

They say it's Amtrak's spray. Train tracks run behind Chen's property. She eventually spoke with the Pa. Department of Agriculture which she says told her on August 16 Amtrak contractors sprayed 4 herbicides in the area along its tracks to cut vegetation.

Chen and her fiancé alerted their neighbors and hired an environmental lawyer who is looking for others impacted.

"The spraying has exposed my clients and other residents to harmful chemicals. That's what they've done wrong. You are not allowed to spray in a fashion that goes on other people's property and causes harm," attorney Noah Axler said.

In an emailed statement, Amtrak wrote it's a safety and visibility issue arguing: "This program is required by federal regulations and includes the application of herbicides to control the growth of invasive weeds, brushes and other vegetation. The herbicides we use, which meet federal standards and are approved by the state, are proven to be not harmful to people or pets."





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