Daily News Archives
From March 1, 2005

Pesticide Use on Massachusetts Lake Appealed
(Beyond Pesticides, March 1, 2005)
Pesticide activists in Massachusetts are appealing a two-year old state plan to use herbicides for invasive weeds in Lake Cochituate, according to the MetroWest Daily News. In 2002, Eurasian milfoil was discovered in the lake, raising concerns of the impact of the plant of the ecosystem. The state plan calls for the use of Reward, containing the herbicide diquat dibromide, and Aquathol-K, which contains the chemical endothall, in South and Middle ponds in Natick to combat the weeds.

A group of two-dozen area residents, represented by attorney Martin Levin, approached the state Division of Administrative Law Appeals last week in opposition to the state Department of Environmental Protection IDEP) and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. MetroWest Daily News reports that after the plan was approved by the state and the Natick Conservation Commission in 2003, Mr. Levin's clients appealed to the DEP. When the DEP denied the appeal last year, the residents appealed the DEP's decision -- bringing them to where they are now.

Mr. Levin's clients argue that the herbicides used will contaminate the groundwater and disrupt the fragile ecosystem of the lake and surrounding habitats. The group is citing the Wetlands Protection Act in its appeal against the herbicide use plan.

"I think everybody is worried about risking the town's drinking water because if in fact the risk becomes reality, that's going to be an extremely difficult problem and an expensive problem to address," Mr. Levin said. He cited evidence that the herbicides would kill lake plants that compete with the milfoil, making it easier for the milfoil to grow back and throwing the lake into a cycle of milfoil reinfestation and herbicide reapplication.

TAKE ACTION: Promote safe and effective alternatives to toxic chemical use in your community. Pesticides used in public lakes, parks, schools, office buildings and other public areas are a threat to public health. Learn how to take action by reading Beyond Pesticides' Community Organizing "How-to" fact sheets.