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DEEP OKs Herbicide Treatment in Lower Moodus Reservoir

An East Haddam lakeside homeowner has been granted a permit to have a professional treatment of the herbicide Glyphosate applied to their aquatic property area in the Lower Moodus reservoir to eliminate lily pads. The treatment is set for July 18.

On June 3, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection  granted a permit to spray 1.4 gallons of Glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide, across approximately 2 acres on the Lower Moodus Resevoir. The herbicide will be sprayed directly onto lily pads on the water, with the purpose of killing the lily pads.

According to the DEEP application, the permit has been issued to Lycott Environmental, Inc. of Spencer, Mass., to authorize the application of the chemicals at 39 Stocking Lot Road, in East Haddam. The permit expires at the end of this year. The application would take place 3 times according to the permit. 

The permit also states that: 

The permittee shall, prior to any chemical application authorized by this permit, publish notice of such application and post signs in accordance with Section 22a-66a(h) of the Connecticut General Statutes and regulations adopted thereunder.

In the CT DEEP (2005) publication entitled “Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation Management: A Guidebook," they provide the following description of Glyphosate: 

Glyphosate (Rodeo) has been used successfully on land for several years. It is only to be used on emergent or floating vegetation such as cattails or spatterdock. It is a potent herbicide so great care must be taken not to let it contact valuable plants. 

This material has a reasonably short breakdown time in water, is not likely to leach through soils, and has a fairly low order of toxicity. It is systemic, killing the roots as well as the tops of plants. In order to do so effectively, it should be applied after flowers have formed, usually after midsummer. Occasionally, effects are not seen on the plant the year it is applied, but the plants do not appear the next season. Glyphosate may be permitted for use in a public water supply watershed subject to certain conditions. 

According to Bradford Robinson, the Pesticide Program Supervisor at Connecticut's DEEP, Glysophate contains almost the exact ingredients of Round-Up, but he states that the application is safe.

"We are not talking about a large section of the reservoir," Robinson told Patch. "We are only talking about a small 2 acre area, and per the permit, Lycott is only contracted to spread a certain, designated amount. This is a common treatment for nuisance water lilies."

"Glyphosate persists in surface water for a bit more than a week," Robinson said later in an email. "When applied, the expected concentration in the treated area immediately after treatment is below the drinking water standard, so we really do not have concerns about human (or domestic animal) health, especially outside of the treated area."

Robinson clarified that in addition to glyphosate, which according to some literature has little to no toxicity, the glyphosate that will be sprayed in the reservior will also include a surfactant, which does impact the toxicity of the product.

"They have to put a surfactant in the product so it spreads," Robinson stated. "The surfactant prevents the herbicide from simply beading up and falling off the plants. But there is a very small concentration of it in the glyphosate. Surfactants can be found in things like laundry detergents and other household products." 

One East Haddam resident isn't as convinced about the safety of the herbicide particularly since it includes a surfactant. The resident cited the research of Rick A. Relyea, of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, who found that "many common surfactants are lethal to fish and frogs."

The resident also asked why other options aren't being explored.

"There is hydro-raking, (big boat with shovel removal) suction-harvest, hand &  razor-rake  (with special tools) or ways to do this via boat," they said in an email to Patch. "These are expensive as well, but it won't wipe out the Leopard Frog and American Toad population like this herbicide has been studied and proven to do."

In a 2012 study of the Upper and Lower Moodus Resevoir by Department of Environmental Sciences Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, several suggestions were made when considering the controlling of aquatic nuisance vegitation including deepening the lake by dredging, water level drawdown, harvesting, biological controls, bottom barriers and lastly, herbicides. They also stated about an herbicide treatment plan:

Both Lower and Upper Moodus Reservoirs are inhabited by state listed species and this could affect the use of aquatic herbicides. Aquatic herbicides can be expensive and often have associated water use restrictions (Table 4). Annual treatments are common.

In a recent Patch Opinion piece that discussed the use of Round-Up on lawns, several readers raised concerns about the use. One said: 

... I would never, ever use Round Up. Sure, it is easy but way too toxic. The more research you do the more you learn it is NOT harmless and it does NOT dissipate the way Monsanto said it does. To the man who said the scientific research proves Round Up goes away, those studies were all done by Monsanto or organizations tied to Monsanto.

Currently, according to the Public Notice (see attached), the treatment, or the aquatic plant management program, is set to take place on Thursday, July 18, with a rain date of Friday, July 19. The notice states that there will be no restrictions on the use of the water as far as swimming, fishing, boating, direct drinking, livestock watering and irrigation.

For additional information, you can contact Lycott Environmental, Inc. at 508-855-0101.

Jet July 12, 2013 at 03:27 PM
If any chemical that is used in the herbicide is in Roundup, however small the amount, I don't want it used in the lakes. You are probably exposed to Roundup weed killer every day in the food you eat. Agra business depends on it to get those nice potatoes to McDonalds for your fries, or your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.

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