We Need Your Help to Halt Herbicide Spraying in Massachusetts

Your Calls are needed to halt herbicide spraying on private and town lands.

The NSTAR public electric utility published their plans for herbicide spraying under their easements in Acushnet, Ashland, Bourne, Bridgewater, Burlington, Canton, Carver, Chatham, Dartmouth, Dennis, Dover, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Edgartown, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Framingham, Freetown, Hanson, Harwich, Hopkinton, Kingston, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleborough, Natick, Oak Bluffs, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Sandwich, Sherborn, Sudbury, Tisbury, Truro, Yarmouth, Wareham, Wayland, Wellfleet, Whitman, Woburn, Worcester. This list includes 9 Cape towns and 3 Vineyard towns — in case you were planning to vacation.

According to the required public notice, Krenite S or Accord or Rodeo Concentrate mixed with Escort XP and one of the following herbicides: Arsenal, Arsenal Powerline, or Polaris will be applied selectively to the foliage of target vegetation using hand-held equipment (Foliar Application). Accord or Rodeo Concentrate and possibly one of the following herbicides Arsenal, Arsenal Powerline, or Polaris will be applied directly to the surface of stumps immediately after target vegetation is cut (Cut Surface Treatments). Garlon 4 or Garlon 4 Ultra will be applied selectively to the stems of target vegetation using hand-held equipment (Basal Application). Rodeo or Garlon 4 Ultra and Escort XP will be applied selectively to poison ivy, vines, noxious and invasive species of target vegetation using hand-held equipment (Foliar Application). No application shall commence more than ten days before nor conclude more than ten days after the treatment period August 18 to December 31, 2014. The spraying is not targeted, and there has been no oversight in the past when violations have occurred. Frequently there are no notices to the property owner prior to spraying.

Spraying of the power line easements that run through our back yards, town lands, businesses, and above the water supply can resume as early today. There is precious little time left to stop this perpetration of pesticides on our communities. It’s still possible, but it needs your attention today!

In defiance of common sense and the regulations, NSTAR won’t reveal where they will spray. Therefore, please let the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition know where you see the NSTAR spray contractors as soon as you see them. They usually aren’t in NSTAR trucks. Look for VCS Vegetation Control Services, Lewis Tree, or Lucas Tree Service. If you see something, say something. Take pictures or video with date and time if you can do so without exposing yourself to the spray. We stopped NSTAR before and we can do it again! Cape Cod is one of the few sole-source aquifers in New England. An immediate exception must be made for their unique circumstance — a water supply barely protected by a layer of sand. A cocktail of herbicides and endocrine disruptors in the air, soil, and aquifer isn’t a good mix for anyone’s health. Your phone calls could stop this.

Halt the Spraying and Support Sustainable Rights-of-Way Management:
  • Call Governor Deval Patrick at 617-725-4005 and tell him you object to the application of herbicides on private/public land under NSTAR power lines over the drinking water supply. Remind him that all 15 towns on Cape Cod passed resolutions opposing NSTAR’s spraying. MDAR regulations — when they’re enforced — are based on old science and aren’t protective of public health.
  • Call your State Representatives and Senators, and urge them to do all they can to stop the spraying immediately. Remind them that every single town on Cape Cod passed a resolution opposing NSTAR’s herbicide spraying.
  • Send an email or call:
    • Director of Rights-of-Way Program of the MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Michael McLean617-626-1781
    • Commissioner Greg Watson: 617-626-17013
    • The editor of your local paper
  • Call NSTAR and tell them you object to the use of herbicides along ROWs (rights-of-way) and that you would like to see a more long-term, sustainable approach to vegetative management. Ask NSTAR to maintain the power line easements the way they have for many years-selective cutting and mowing and consider the services of a professional goat herder. Contact:


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