Massachusetts Officials Reviewing Opt-Out Requests From Mosquito Spraying
Some communities in Massachusetts are trying to opt out of the state's mosquito spraying program. That's after a change in state law provided for a process to do so.
Communities had until late May to request to not participate in spraying.
In order to leave the program, cities and towns need the approval of state officials. They have to present an alternative mosquito control plan, which also includes public outreach and education. The state will also consider a community's past risk for disease from the insects.
Jeanne Galloway chairs the Pioneer Valley Mosquito Control District, which is separate from the state program. She said cities and towns looking to opt out are concerned about the impact of spraying on the environment.
"They don't want it to harm bees or birds, or wildlife of any kind," Galloway said. "Some people think it's a harm to water animals."
Galloway said it's been rare the state has had to conduct spraying in western Massachusetts.
Her agency provides support and mosquito testing to 15 member communities. It was founded in 2017, and Galloway said she hopes it will be able to provide more in the way of mosquito abatement services once it is able to generate more funding.