Who grants permits to spray mosquito pesticides?

According to a new article by Vermont Digger, The BLSG Insect Control District does its work under the auspices of two different Vermont agencies. The Agency of Agriculture and Food Markets grants permits to both of Vermont’s insect control districts to apply larvicides on standing water to kill mosquito larvae. Although the Agency of Agriculture and Food Markets grants permits to apply many types of agricultural chemicals, it does not regulate the spraying of pesticides like malathion and permethrin to kill adult mosquitoes. It does train and license operators who spray these pesticides, but no permit is required. Instead, a Vermont insect control district must be approved by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to spray pesticides to control adult mosquitoes. In order to spray pesticides, an insect control district must obtain a Pesticide General Permit (PGP), a type of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, and comply with the provisions outlined in the PGP.

The Agency of Agriculture’s agrichemical management chief, Cary Giguere, said the Agency is likely to begin drawing up adulticide regulations this summer. Until new regulations are implemented, how the BLSG district sprays adulticides will be determined by the imminent decision of the DEC.

In advance of the DEC decision, a meeting is planned for March 27 to discuss these jurisdictional issues. Officials from DEC, Agency of Agriculture, and Vermont Law School’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic will be present at the meeting.

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