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Council Member Graham Introduces Bill to “Control Rats in Restaurant Areas”, Council Candidate Nadeau Questions its Timing and Effectiveness

by Prince Of Petworth January 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm 15 Comments

rat_legislation_dc
Photo by PoPville flickr user [email protected]

From CM Graham:

“I introduced the Rat Prevention Control Act of 2014 and a super majority of my colleagues—nine plus myself–joined as co-sponsors of the legislation.

This bill results from what I heard from residents and business owners at the Ward 1 Rat Summit on November 9, 2013, an event I co-hosted with the Department of Health. Renowned experts in this field were present and provided information.

The bill requires new food establishments to submit a detailed rat prevention plan with their business license application. This plan will include details on how the business will handle food storage and debris removal.

Rat populations thrive on discarded food. We can set traps and take all manner of steps to kill rats. But the experts agree that, most important, we must reduce the food supply.

While many businesses in our neighborhoods have made a responsible effort to reduce this food supply for rats, some businesses have been irresponsible in their lack of efforts to remove debris and dispose of trash properly. The Department of Health’s Rodent and Vector Control is to be commended for its excellent work, but it is time to establish a greater degree of cooperation and collaboration between business owners and District agencies.

What I have proposed today is a solid step in attacking this public nuisance.”

From Ward 1 Council candidate Brianne Nadeau:

“After leading a community initiative on sustainability for the past several years, Ward 1 Council candidate Brianne Nadeau has called into question both the timing and effectiveness of legislation introduced today by Councilmember Jim Graham intended to address the rat problem in the ward.

“I’ve been working with both residents and business owners since my time on the ANC and now as the founder of Sustainable U to identify collaborative ways of addressing the rat problem facing the ward,” said Nadeau. “If after 15 years, Graham is finally going to step up to address this problem, we’d like him to join in the community effort and support business leaders who are looking for resources that help create long-term solutions such as overall waste reduction and compacting. And we must also be offering solutions for residential waste.”

Business leaders are concerned that Graham’s legislation adds a burden, without addressing the issue.

“This legislation adds an extra burden to the process of opening a new business that is largely unnecessary, because it duplicates processes already in place through the Department of Health to address rats,” said Sheldon Scott, manager of ESL Management group, which operates Marvin, the Brixton, et al. “This bill does nothing to support cooperative efforts on behalf of public and private entities to effectively address these issues.”

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