Monday, November 23, 2009

Should Concern for Wildlife Trump Concern for People and the Environment?

I finally got around to writing a response to the letter I received last week from the head of EPA New England. It will go into the mail this afternoon. Blog readers get a first look:

Thank you for your response, dated November 13, regarding my letter to Lisa P. Jackson, head of the EPA. I am glad to hear you plan to request that the pesticide regulatory program conduct pesticide use inspections for rights-of-way applications on Cape Cod. However, this measure is not enough. These applications by NStar need to be halted and permission rescinded. Over 2000 Cape residents have signed a Green Cape petition against herbicidal spraying beneath the power lines. Barnstable County already has a high rate of breast cancer. People are concerned that traces of these toxic chemicals will end up in drinking water. The sandy soil here is porous. Chemicals leach through into the sole source aquifer. Most of us have private wells. We do not want the Cape treated by chemicals when mechanical cutting is an option. Surely you are aware that 30 years after the application of DDT, it’s still present in dust here, according to Julia Brody, principal investigator of the Cape Cod Breast Cancer Environmental Study?

The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife may have determined a chemical approach to vegetation management as less disruptive to wildlife and state-listed species habitat than the mechanical removal of brush, but what about long-term effects on people’s health, not to mention honeybees, which pollinate our crops and flowers? Please do your utmost to ensure our welfare and protect the environment here on Cape Cod. Thank you.