Environmental Awareness

Time for Action is NOW!

Eversource plans to spray herbicides in 10 Cape Towns in 2017.

Eversource’s Yearly Operational Plan (YOP) is out for 2017.  Now is the time to comment to the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) against their approval of this application of toxic herbicides to control vegetation along power lines in 10 Cape Cod towns this year.

We have a month to actThe 2017 YOP COMMENT PERIOD ENDS AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS on Monday, March 27, 2017.

The Eversource 2017 YOP lists the following ten Cape towns identified for spraying:

Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Falmouth, Harwich, Orleans, Sandwich, and Yarmouth.

(http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/agr/pesticides/rightofway/yop/2017-eversource-energy-yop-off-cape.pdf)

To bring you up to date . . .
Last year, the towns of Brewster, Dennis, Eastham, and Orleans initiated a legal challenge of MDAR’s approval of herbicide spraying by Eversource, with partially successful results.  Eversource did not spray in those four towns, but it was able to stall the court proceedings while it sprayed in other towns.  The matter finally made it to a hearing before a judge, and the ruling is still pending.  However the four towns did establish a precedent, and this may increase the chances of success for a similar challenge this year.

Success this year would be more likely if other towns join in this effort If you live in a town other than those four, call your Selectmen and ask them to contact MDAR before March 27th.  Tell them you’d like your town to join the four other Cape towns (Brewster, Dennis, Eastham and Orleans) as an “aggrieved party” (important language!) in a hearing before MDAR for discussions about Eversource spraying herbicides for vegetation management along power lines in your town.  Just a few calls can make a real difference! 

It is important to make your voice heard at this time by contacting these people:

Maura Healey, Attorney General
617-727-2200
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108 -1518
ago@state.ma.us

Contact the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), but keep in mind that only fact-based comments will be considered by MDAR. (* See examples of fact-based comments below.)

Commissioner John Lebeaux/MDAR
617-626-1733
251 Causeway St., Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114
john.lebeaux@state.ma.us

Rights-of-Way Program Field Coordinator/Inspector/Enforcement Mike McClean:
617-626-1781
251 Causeway St., Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114
Michael.mcclean@state.ma.us

 PLEASE NOTE:  Any property owner who has a private well along the electrical rights-of-way and has not yet notified Eversource Energy, please contact Eversource and ask to be exempt from herbicide applications this year.

Abutters:  Call William Hayes at Eversource (781) 441-3932 before March 27.

For complete listings visit our “Send A Letter” page HERE and scroll down past the sample letters for the listings, and a link to the latest contact listings for more information.

* Examples of fact-based comments about herbicides Eversource plans to use:

  1. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is designated a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
  2. Glyphosate can cause acute poisoning, kidney and liver damage, endocrine disruption, genotoxicity, neurological damage, immune system dysfunction.
  3. Glyphosate residues are widespread in the environment, including in rainwater, surface and ground waters and the marine environment.
  4. Glyphosate has many documented adverse effects on the ecosystem, including effects on honey bees and other pollinators, effects on amphibians and butterflies, effects on soil fertility, biological controls and crop health.  It disrupts the entire ecosystem and the entire food chain.
  5. Garlon 4 and triclopyr are toxic to fish.
  6. Fosamine ammonium is hazardous to  humans domestic animals.
  7. Metsulfuron affects plants in extremely low doses and is affected by drift from wind.
  8. Imazapyr persists in soil and is not supposed to be used near or around water.
  9. If they reach our aquifer, these toxins are difficult or impossible to remove.

Our mission at POCCA is to educate residents, businesses, and public agencies of Cape Cod about how to keep our drinking water safe by eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals in our environment.

Thank you for acting on this important matter at this time.

Please cc your email comments to poccacapecod@gmail.com.

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