Friday, November 05, 2010

My Letter to the Editor Published by the Banner

"Rise Up Against Spraying!" is the title the editors gave my most recent letter, published in yesterday's Provincetown Banner. I have abbreviated the name of our utility company in the copy presented here. I know a lot of you count on this blog for the latest on this topic, which is sometimes not covered in local papers, and I know you know which utility company we are referring to ... Here you go:

"On August 30th a resolution was passed and signed by the Eastham Board of Selectmen to request that N. abandon its current plan to use herbicides along the rights-of-way on Cape Cod and commit to a no-spray pesticide-free policy of vegetation management under the power lines on Cape Cod and the Islands. Last week the Wellfleet Board of Selectmen signed a similar document.

Despite a March 26, 2010 letter signed by legislators, opposition from all towns involved, thousands of signatures on petitions, and a one-year moratorium obtained by the Cape Cod Commission, N. is still moving forward with its spraying program, which will commence 1/1/11. In the past, the utility company controlled vegetation, as required by Federal law, by mowing. You may have noticed N. is cordoning off the power lines with fences and iron gates. Their citadel attitude must be challenged.

New research shows that the absorption of even minute amounts of toxic chemicals can disrupt hormone systems, affect reproductive behavior, and increase cancer-risk.

We need to protect our water supply. I, for one, do not want to drink well water laced with herbicides. The EPA New England-Web-site’s sole-source-aquifer page states, 'Local residents and businesses may be more willing to protect an aquifer through local action if they learn their drinking water originates from a vulnerable underground supply.' We know about the vulnerability of the water supply on the Outer Cape. Once contaminated, that’s it. No recourse, no second chance.

I salute the Eastham Town Administrator Sheila Vanderhoef and Wellfleet Town Administrator Paul Sieloff, as well as the Selectmen of Wellfleet and Eastham, for having taken a stand against the spraying of herbicides under the power lines.

If you live in Eastham, Wellfleet, or Truro and drink well water, you need to be concerned about this issue. I urge Outer Cape citizens to mobilize in support of these resolutions. Please spread the word. Do not allow N. to contaminate our drinking water!”