Tisbury protests NSTAR dates for herbicide use


In a follow-up to NSTAR’s notification to the Tisbury selectmen of the utility’s fall herbicide-spraying program under power lines on Martha’s Vineyard, Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande and board of health (BOH) agent Tom Pachico last week sent a strongly worded letter to NSTAR senior arborist William Hayes.

In their letter dated Sept. 8, the town officials took the utility to task for once again failing to provide sufficient advance notice or confirmed dates for the spraying. Last November, NSTAR completed a limited herbicide application on the rights-of-way in Tisbury, with some extending into Oak Bluffs, that caught town officials and the public by surprise.

Mr. Grande and Mr. Pachico reminded NSTAR of its promise to provide better notification. They also outlined requirements the town set to ensure that NSTAR conforms with the state-approved integrated vegetation-management plan and laws governing herbicide application.

Those include at least 72 hours’ advance notice of the application date and time to the Tisbury selectmen, BOH and Island newspapers; restrictions relative to wind velocity and height of spraying, monitored by the BOH; and the provision of a complete list of herbicides to Mr. Pachico, along with precautions for property owners who live near the areas sprayed and a date and time at which they may safely return to their property after the spraying.