Wellfleet Bylaw Amendment

ARTICLE 41:To see if the Town will vote to amend General Bylaws by adding the following bylaw, or do or act anything thereon:
 
Restriction on Use of Pesticides in Certain Areas.
 
Whereas the porosity and hydraulic conductivity of the earth in the Town generally facilitates the redistribution and infiltration of water within the soil;

And whereas the ground water beneath the Town exists in a number of vulnerable aquifers and whereas the Town includes many ponds, vernal pools, streams marshes and a river;

And whereas traditional methods of harvesting from the wild, the cultivation of edible plants, animal husbandry and outdoor recreation in public places are undertaken both professionally and recreationally in specific areas throughout the Town;

And whereas the initially stated safety of many approved pesticides and other such substances has later been discredited:
Once a property has been registered with the Town’s Department of Health and Conservation, the application of pesticides used to inhibit or kill plants, animals or insects shall not be allowed in any manner on or in the ground, or on surface water, or into the air above either, within the zones of protection for water wells of any size, as such areas are defined by the Department of Environmental Protection in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations ( 310 CMR 22.00) when any other method of pest management is possible.

Such a ban may also be declared on registered properties that include but are not limited to those used for public recreation, agricultural land used for the cultivation, provision or harvesting of sustenance for animals, wetlands, school yards, parks, farms, apiaries or areas from which shellfish may be gathered and other vulnerable sites, as defined by the State Pesticide Board (333 CMR) when any other method of pest management is possible.

The only exception to this ban is the use of the biological control agents and oil applied to standing water, used by the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project to inhibit the growth of mosquito larvae.

To identify a property that should be exempt from any application of such pesticides, the property owner(s) must register the specific area with the Wellfleet Conservation and Health Department and notify the Massachusetts Pesticide Board and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
 
Board of Selectmen: Recommends 5-0.
Bylaw Committee: Recommends 2-0.
Board of Water Commissioners: Recommends 3-1.
Conservation Commission: Recommends 5-0.
 
SUMMARY:  This bylaw would establish specific areas which, if registered with the Town’s Health and Conservation Departments, would declare a ban on the use of pesticides on the property, at the owner’s discretion.  An outright ban is stricter than the restrictions placed on the application of such substances in sensitive areas by the State Pesticide Board. It would allow the owner to establish a formal record of the need for such additional protection in locations where greater precautions should be taken.