By Laura Kelley
Oct. 9, 2013
“As you know, there is much opposition to herbicidal spraying on Cape Cod.
Within the last month I personally went to every Cape BOS (Board of Selectmen) meeting and requested that selectmen create a document stating why they don’t want NSTAR to use herbicides for vegetation management. (See documents below from twelve Cape towns.) On Thursday POCCA (Protect Our Cape Cod Aquifer) will receive documents from Orleans and Mashpee, and in Falmouth we are on the agenda November 21, 2013. At this point fourteen out of fifteen towns have asked NSTAR to not spray Cape Cod’s power lines. Please read documents written by Brewster, Dennis, Yarmouth, Eastham and Barnstable. It is impressive to read these strong words on why Cape BOS don’t want NSTAR to spray herbicides.
Obviously Cape residents and visitors are concerned about NSTAR’s VMP, vegetation management plan, in place for the next five years. How can we stop it?
Almost every Cape Selectmen has voiced concern. Awareness is growing Cape-wide. Can you create a bill that states Cape Cod is exempt from all herbicidal applications because we rely on drinking water from our sole-source aquifer? Can you create a bylaw that excludes Cape Cod from this potentially harmful method of maintaining vegetation? Please see the Cape’s Selectmen’s Letters at http://poccacapecod.org/selectmens-documents/
Cape Cod is a unique environment and should be treated as such. The Cape should not fall under the same rules as the rest of the state. We must protect our greatest asset.
Time is of the essence. On November 1 NSTAR’s comment period will end. Spraying is to begin on November 4, 2013. Considering it is late in the season, NSTAR arborists may wait until spring, but the weather has been amazingly warm, so who knows if climate will stop them at this point. Regardless, another season will happen and this issue will arise again.
There are many other successful ways to maintain vegetation. Canada uses Radiant Heat Weeders. In using heat to kill back plants from above, this method adds beneficial ash to soil that feeds microorganisms. There is no harmful flame, only propane in a backpack sprayer targeting selective plants. (NSTAR plans to use backpack sprayers for herbicidal applications.)
What concerns me the most is the combination of herbicides. No testing has been done on our sandy soil and no testing has been done with herbicides mixed together. A science lab in France has proven a cocktail of toxic chemicals is the most harmful choice. www.gmoseralini.org (Please visit this site for valuable information. Note: never mix Glyphosate with any other herbicide or it will kill not only plant cells but animal and human cells.)
POCCA is currently focusing on stopping NSTAR but will also educate residents because they too are impacting drinking water. (See Solutions page and click on Alternatives.) Visit www.poccacapecod.org for daily updates.
Thousands of Cape Codders are concerned and many folks have moved off of Cape Cod because of the uncertainty of their drinking water.
Thank you for all you are doing for Cape Cod. We appreciate your efforts to protect the land we all love. We are the stewards here and should advocate the Precautionary Principal.
Here’s to our health and drinking water!”