Cape and Islands legislators object to defoliant use by Eversource

Herbacide spraying under power lines is under protest. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

State legislators representing the Cape and Islands have objected in a letter to regulators to plans by electricity provider Eversource to use herbicides, especially glyphosate, to manage foliage around its wires and poles in the towns they represent.

Sen. Julian Cyr, Rep. Dylan Fernandes, and Rep. Sarah Peake wrote to John Lebeaux, commissioner of the Department of Agricultural Resources, and Clayton Edwards, director of right-of-way programs for the state Pesticide Bureau, to remind the regulators that Cape and Islands towns have for years asked Eversource to agree not to use possibly harmful defoliants, with no success.

The legislators pointed to possible dangers to the sole-source aquifers from which Cape and Island residents get their drinking water, and to other kinds of health dangers that may be associated with Monsanto’s use of glyphosate. They urged the regulators to reject Eversource’s annual operational plan, now under consideration by the state.