Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mosquito permit attendance welcomed

Whoa! What a great turnout for the public hearing in Moses Lake on the update to the Aquatic Mosquito Control General Permit. We count this large attendance as a sign of a successful public process. At the same time, we hope no one was uncomfortable as we tried to accommodate the unexpected number of people.

A big thank you goes out to all the people who cared enough to attend the hearing and for their patience as we tried to make do with the space we had. Ecology will try to make sure this doesn’t happen again by planning for larger venues.

The feedback we received at the hearing was very useful to us and will be considered as we develop the new permit. Comments received are very valuable as this permit is not yet a done deal. The bottom line is that we need to ensure the permit protects the environment while at the same time protecting people.

We expect to have the permit finished and ready to go in June to be ready for this mosquito season. It will allow the use of insecticides to control adult mosquitoes that carry diseases such as West Nile virus.

For more information see our Aquatic Mosquito Control NPDES General Permit website.


Ron said...

Based on the turnout and the fact that this was the only public hearing scheduled in the entire state, would it not be reasonable to schedule more hearing in several regions of the state?

Jani Gilbert said...

Thanks for your comment, Ron. Because we are on a relatively fast track to issue this new permit before mosquito season begins, we chose to have one public workshop/hearing in Moses Lake. This is a relatively central location for much of the mosquito spraying that occurs in our state. We also extended our public comment period one week to run through 5 p.m., March 17.