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Tension before environment panel over larvacide in Suffolk

Suffolk Legis. Jay Schneiderman's proposal to put limits on using the mosquito larvacide methoprene ran into major roadblock at the Council on Environmental Quality last week where the measure would require a new environmental impact statement.

The lawmakwer said he was proposing not to ban methoprene, but to simply not* make it the first choice in combatting mosquitoes in salt marsh areas. He noted the county has two other bacterial agents that can be used and his proposal includes a exemption in cases where West Nile virus is found. He added his measure also lets the county health commissioner to authorize waivers.

Schneiderman said he proposed the limits because methoprene is considered toxic to marine invertebrates like crabs and lobster and that Connecticut and Rhode Island have recently put restrictions in place. “This would reduce toxins,” he said.

Public works officials opposed the measure becauseit would limit their effectivness in combatting mosquitoes. Michael Kaufman, CEQ board member, said that Schneiderman was trying circumvent the State Environmental Quality Review Act with his proposal and lacked a scientific basis.

Schneiderman said he thought the council went too far and asked them to table the measure so he could make changes. He added that County Attorney Dennis Brown is reviewing their action to see if they improperly classified the action to require an EIS.
 

*corrected from earlier version.

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