Tisbury health officials explain herbicde rules


To the Editor:

The following is the board of health response to Gordon Massingham’s letter, “Questions for the utility company,” published in the June 3 Times.

Thank you for your letter regarding the application of herbicides along the NSTAR right-of-way in Tisbury.

In accordance with Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Rights-of-Way Management Regulations, NSTAR submits a yearly operational plan, approved by the DAR, to the boards of health, boards of selectmen and conservation commissions of the affected municipalities. These plans, that outline the herbicides to be used, are on file at the board of health office and available for review at any time.

The NSTAR right-of-way in Tisbury was last treated with herbicides in the summer of 2009 by applicators licensed and certified by the state. NSTAR publishes public notification in a paper of general circulation 48 hours prior to applying herbicides. We have contacted Paul Sellers of NSTAR, who is looking into when the public notification was published for the 2009 application and will provide this information to you as soon as it is available. For your review, we have enclosed a copy of the 2009 yearly operational plan. Herbicide fact sheets and labels are available for review at the board of health office.

Although, according Paul Sellers, NSTAR has no plans to apply herbicides in Tisbury this year, our town has been included in the 2010 yearly operational plan, in the event that touch-up treatments at scattered locations are required. In the event touch-up treatments are required, public notification will again be published in a paper of general circulation.

We hope that the information we are providing directly to you, as well as the information available for review in our office, answers most of the questions you have raised. You may wish to contact William Hayes, senior arborist for NSTAR, at (781) 441-3932, for information on any questions we were unable to answer for you.

Please feel free to contact our office with any additional questions you may have or if you wish to further discuss this issue with the board of health commissioners.

Herbert F. Custer


Tisbury Board of Health