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2014 News

Pennsylvania DEP Officials to Conduct Black Fly Helicopter Spraying June 20 in Delaware River Basin

June 19, 2014

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will conduct aerial black fly suppression operations along the Delaware River in Bucks and Northampton Counties (as well as Mercer, Hunterdon and Warren Counties in New Jersey).

Work will begin at the Pottstown Airport at 8:00 a.m. focusing primarily on the Schuylkill River. Operations along the Delaware River will commence after work along the Schuylkill River is completed and will continue throughout the day. Work will be conducted on the Delaware in Northampton and Bucks counties in Pennsylvania and Warren, Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey from the Slateford Railroad Bridge downriver to near the Trenton (N.J.) City border.

Typical operations involve the application of Vectobac 12AS (a brown, viscous, liquid material that smells like fish oil) from a helicopter.  The helicopter will apply the Vectobac perpendicular to the river flow in designated areas by flying back and forth across the river and discharging the material from a boom arm. The material is then carried downriver. The active ingredient in Vectobac is Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (B.t.i.), a naturally occurring soil bacterium.

AgAir, LLC of Thomasville, PA is the scheduled contractor and will be using a Bell Jet Ranger with tail number N16979. For additional information about black fly suppression, please visit the website http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/blackfly.