July 15, 2009
Pennsylvania DEP Officials to Conduct July 16 Black Fly Spraying In Delaware Valley River Basin
Helicopters to Be Visible between Portland, PA and Trenton, NJ
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as a public safety measure of its routine environmental treatment program, will conduct a black fly suppression operation on Thursday, July 16, 2009, beginning at 10 a.m. It will continue throughout the day. Aerial spraying will be conducted in Northampton and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania and Warren, Hunterdon, and Mercer Counties in New Jersey.
Helicopter Applicators of Gettysburg, PA is the scheduled contractor. A green-and-white Bell 206-L1 helicopter with tail number N98KR will be used to distribute the chemical. The chemical VECTOBAC 12AS, to be applied to the waterways, is intended to reduce the numbers of adult black flies that hatch from the rivers and streams. This product is a brown, slightly sticky liquid with an odor resembling fish oil. The active ingredient in Vectobac is Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) which is a naturally occurring soil bacterium and not a synthetic pesticide. A product label and MSDS are available upon request. Vectobac is applied perpendicular to the stream flow in multiple locations along the aforementioned rivers or streams by a low flying helicopter. The discharge comes from a boom arm attached to a large tank mounted underneath the helicopter.
Residents should be advised that several landing sites may be used during this operation. These sites may include: Reliant Energy Portland, Upper Mt. Bethel Twp., Northampton Co.; Berry Hollow Road Farm, Lower Mt. Bethel Twp. Northampton Co.; Braden Airpark (Easton Airport) Forks Twp., Northampton Co.; Riegelsville Borough Park, Riegelsville Borough, Bucks Co.; Erwinna/Delaware Valley Fire Co. Tinicum Twp., Bucks Co.; and Slack Road Farm, Upper Makefield Twp., Bucks Co. The Delaware River will be treated between Slateford, PA (Columbia, NJ) and Yardley, PA (Trenton, NJ). If progress is sufficient on Thursday, the Tohickon Creek may be treated between Rt. 611 and Point Pleasant, PA.
If weather conditions do not permit this work to be completed July 16, the operation will resume on Friday, July 17. For additional information about black fly suppression, please visit the Web site http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/blackfly.