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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.

Semi Happy Resident July 10, 2013 at 09:06 AM
I am confused. If they don't want to use Roundup due its high levels of toxicity but the main active ingredient is Glyphosate http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/13/active-ingredient-glyphosate-in-roundup-herbicides-found-in-peoples-urine.aspx and also http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/lethality-rounup-weedkiller-may-extend-beyond-plants-humans-study-shows then why is Glyphosate being allowed to be sprayed since that is what is toxic in the first place? Please explain why its toxic in Roundup but OK by itself - to me it doesn't make sense since its toxic by nature.
Serene Skeptic July 10, 2013 at 10:11 AM
Seriously? This is rather disappointing.
Diane St John July 10, 2013 at 12:15 PM
The last sentence in the article says it all "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." Everyone around this lake should be notified this is happening. It does not matter they are only doing a "small" area of 2 acres. If I had children in this lake or dogs taking a drink after this happened I would be livid. This WILL harm the wildlife as stated above. Just please google glyphosate and frogs and a ton of research comes up.
Matt July 10, 2013 at 01:04 PM
A change.org petition has been started, please sign and show your support: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-herbicide-treatment-using-glyphosate-on-the-lower-moodus-reservoir-stop-the-scheduled-treatment-on-july-18th-2013-and-use-alternate-methods
Joene Hendry July 10, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Matt: I could not access the petition through your link.
Matt July 10, 2013 at 01:28 PM
https://www.change.org/petitions/the-herbicide-treatment-using-glyphosate-on-the-lower-moodus-reservoir-stop-the-scheduled-treatment-on-july-18th-2013-and-use-alternate-methods Try that one, it won't let me post an actual link so you will need to copy and paste it.
Joene Hendry July 10, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I just posted the petition link on Facebook. Everyone who agrees that this should not occur should do the same.
Barbi B. July 10, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Hi Matt...Thank you for starting this petition! I just signed, but we need 92 more signatures! And thank you Joene, for posting it on Facebook. To anyone who cannot access it, try going to https://www.change.org/petitions ...then click on "Environment" in the menu on the right-hand side of the page. Once you're on that page, you can type "Moodus Reservoir" into the search box on the upper right. That should bring up the petition. Thanks Everyone....>(((*>....>(((*>....>(((*> .
Semi Happy Resident July 10, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I can't get to the link nor do I have a Facebook account. Are you going to have people by Nathan Hale Pharmacy or Shagbark this weekend to get others to sign since this article has been dropped off the front page already? Please list hours that you'll be there so others know when to come by if you are going that route.
Observor July 10, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Uh, Matt, the lake belongs to the state. A town meeting can do nothing. This discussion would be a lot more useful if each poster stated the name of the university that awarded them their degree is science and the particular field of science their degree covers.
Diane St John July 10, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Observor, the town CAN do something as was just shown in Middlefield, CT at Lake Beseck. Lake Beseck is also owned by the state and the residents there stopped an herbicide treatment to eradicate weeds in the swim area. Then all the residents got into boats and used a 12' weed rake and worked together to pull the weeds. No herbicides and now they swim in clean SAFE water. And where did you graduate from? Something in chemical science? Usually those are the people who argue all the chemicals we use today are harmless and safe. I would choose to err on the side of being CAUTIOUS and not use a highly toxic product that could harm me and the wildlife who live there.
Joene Hendry July 10, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Observor: True ... the lake is under state oversight but what goes into it impacts town residents and wildlife. The petition is to State Rep. Melissa Ziobron. That the state has oversight of lower Moodus Reservoir does not mean that locals cannot voice an opinion and ... one does not need a degree in science to read and understand the numerous studies that question the safety of glyphosate.
Wendy Vincent July 10, 2013 at 09:31 PM
I posted the petition on the Patch Speak Out Board, which is visible on the front page even though this article dropped down. I also shared it on Patch's FB page as well as my personal page and the EH Green Committee FB page.
David Cassenti July 10, 2013 at 10:25 PM
As someone with an MS in Geological Science from UConn and finishing up a MEd from USJ in West Hartford, I looked at the article from Pitt, as well as some other resources. It turns out that the article from Pitt in which the American Toad (Bufo americanus) and Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens) suffered from Glyphosate applications were in an enclosure where the herbicide was at a concentration of 3.8 mg/L of water. The experiment "represented" spraying the herbicide directly onto a marshy wetland, and the researchers used the suggested concentrations of chemical application ON DRY LAND, not on a body of water. This concentration is more than FIVE TIMES the acceptable concentration according to the EPA. Secondly, as a herbicide, it works on plants. If ingested by animals, according to everything I can find (ESPECIALLY the Technical Factsheet - http://www.epa.gov/safewater/pdfs/factsheets/soc/tech/glyphosa.pdf ) it is eliminated intact by being filtered out through the kidneys and ends up in the urine. Hence, as with other waste products, our bodies effectively filter it and eliminate it. Now, as much as I don't trust the DEEP, I don't believe that they would approve this permit without looking into the acceptable levels. Secondly, even though someone suggested that the residents of East Haddam could stop this by eliminating the plants themselves, the property where the herbicide is to be sprayed is PRIVATELY owned (I checked the town tax records, which are public information). I doubt that they would allow strangers tramping on their property to rake the weeds out of their private swimming area.
Barbi B. July 10, 2013 at 10:54 PM
...Would anyone feel comfortable swimming anywhere in an area where Glyphosate or ANY chemical for that matter, had been applied...recently or in the past? And how does it sit, to wonder (if you lived in the area and on the lake, of course) that your well could possibly be contaminated with any of these weed-reduction chemicals? The water levels rise and fall throughout the year, depending on the weather...and yes, some of these waters do make it into area wells. I'm VERY concerned....and cannot actually believe that DEEP would allow this...!!!!
Semi Happy Resident July 10, 2013 at 11:21 PM
As a side note I did receive information that the person wanting to release the chemicals owns one of those hydro-raking boats. If what I was told is correct, and I apologize if its not, he has the perfect non-chemical solution which would make his neighbors feel a lot happier and safer about what is going on at his place.
Serene Skeptic July 11, 2013 at 08:52 AM
I finally found the link on Change.org and posted it on our FB page. Thank you Wendy for posting it on the various Patch pages too! I only wish the new guy Linares was included in the petition. He sure has been eager to get his name in the press!
Semi Happy Resident July 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM
David Cassenti, I did a general search on your name to see if you lived in CT and the one that came up was in CT but taught paranormal sciences and was finishing a course on autism. Could you please advise if this is you and what either subject has to do with your background on knowing about Glyphosate and its affects on water, people and wildlife.
David Cassenti July 11, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Hello East Haddam Resident. I really don't feel that I need to qualify myself to you, but I here's my background: I have a BS in applied Math (Uconn, 1995) and an MS in Geological Science (UConn, 1997 which included classes in Hydrogeology). I had 2+ years on the East Haddam Inland Wetlands and Waterways Commission and 12 years experience teaching Science, Math, Technology and, yes, Scientific Paranormal Research. I am completing my MEd in Special Education, concentrating in Autism and am currently a Math and Science Teacher/Learning Specialist at a school in Hartford, including working with students on "Effective Research Skills." And, you are right, my Scientific Paranormal Research class and MEd in Special Education really does not make me an "expert" in Glyphosate, but my degrees have taught me to effectively "vet" my resources and eliminate those that cannot be verified, a skill that I teach my students. Also, I don't think ANYONE here knows your qualifications either, nor can we research them since you are simply an "East Haddam Resident," like I am... As to my knowledge about Glyphosate, I did research it online. Despite the multitude of hits I got, MOST of them were not peer-reviewed and, because of this, the information in them could NOT be verified. However, the article that I posted the link to, as well as the EPA Technical Fact Sheet (see links above) listed more than enough information that WAS verifiable to show that Glyphosate was, in the concentrations that are to be used, not dangerous. Second, Melissa Ziobron posted this morning on facebook. She is looking into the matter and, according to her post, "It is also my understanding that this has been used for years at Bashan and I plan on speaking to their lake association as well." Third, if you have any questions as to my identity, trustworthiness or background, you can contact either Melissa Ziobron or Wendy Vincent. I know them well and they can personally vouch for me. No one really knows who you are. Before you personally go after someone, look further into your information. I was trying to bring information out that, unlike much of the information available on the internet, which is meant to scare people, could help them to understand a little more about what is going on and how to more effectively stop it. I don't necessarily agree with the way the property owner is going about DOING this, and I feel there are BETTER ways to get rid of their nuisance lily pads, but at least they are doing it according to the laws and regulations set out in the CT State Statutes.
Matt July 11, 2013 at 04:52 PM
David glad to see Melissa Ziobron is checking into it, but just because it has been used for years does not mean it is a good thing. I have spoken to someone who lives on Bashan and confirmed that the state/town has used herbicides in the past, although it was not the preffered solution. Chemicals have been used for years, as cancers, illnesses, allegeries, etc have been getting worse for years as well. Not saying that this is a direct cause but it is smart to be cautious about it and to avoid chemicals whenever necessary.
Matt July 11, 2013 at 05:48 PM
The thing to be most concerned about is that chemicals are accumulating from multiple sources in our lives every day. Each individual exposure on its own might not pose as a major threat but when all of these compound together is when we have to worry. For example glyphosate is in all of the heavily sprayed GMO corn and soy crops that dominate our food supply. These crops are engineered specifically to withstand the heavy application of Roundup, which contains glyphosate as a main ingredient. So while the exposure to glyphosate in the reservoir may seem insignificant on the surface, it is adding to our exposure in our food and in other areas of our lives. You really must look at the big picture and take the steps to remove the exposure to things that are not absolutely necessary, and I would argue that spraying the reservoir is not absolutely necessary.
Semi Happy Resident July 11, 2013 at 06:22 PM
David, I did not ask about your background as a means to insult you. You came on stating your degrees and since I had never heard of you before, I wanted to see if you were from the area or not as I stated. I also felt I had every reason to ask about your background and how it related to your comments since you came onto the Patch stating that "as much as I don't trust the DEEP, I don't believe that they would approve this permit without looking into the acceptable levels." With the corruption that has taken place in our government over the years including today's society the last thing we should do is become complacent. If the residents want a better option for the area whether its peer-reviewed or not then it should be our choice. As far as my credentials I am in the medical field so I do know how chemicals can affect a person's body over the long term. I choose to write under an assumed name to prevent nuts from contacting my practice because they may not agree with my postings the way you obviously did. Every reader has the right to either post their real name or not. When I saw your website I still wasn't sure if it was really you and the only way I could verify my information was to ask you. I also don't feel a need to talk to the people you mentioned since you gave me a good indication of the type of person you are since you automatically thought I was attacking you when all I asked was if the website I found was actually yours and what your posted background had to do with your statements since they didn't match up with how you first presented yourself. Plus, since I never heard of you before how was I supposed to know who to verify you with? The only thing I could do was to look on line and ask you if it was you and if yes what your background had to do with your comments since they were seemingly in favor of the Glyphosate being approved. If you feel that my doing research into you was an attack then I apologize but if you are going to make statements then people will look into who is making the comments and what their background is.
Matt July 12, 2013 at 12:26 PM
"The peer-reviewed report, published last week in the scientific journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of "glyphosate," the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food. Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists." -Taken from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/roundup-herbicide-health-issues-disease_n_3156575.html
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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