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2015 News

Pennsylvania DEP Officials to Conduct Black Fly Helicopter Spraying May 15 in Delaware River Basin

May 13, 2015

On Friday, May 15, 2015, 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).

The spray targets larvae growing in waterways before hatching as black flies (biting gnats), leaving their aquatic habitat to affect both animals and people alike. The black fly suppression program reduces the population, providing relief for outdoor recreation in spring and summer months.

Work will begin at approximately 8:00 a.m. from the Braden Airport in Tatamy and continue south along the Delaware River throughout the day.

Typical operations involve the application of Vectobac 12AS (a brown, viscous, liquid material that smells like fish oil and has a chocolate milk appearance) 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.

Applicators, Inc. of Gettysburg, PA is the scheduled contractor and will be using a black Bell 206-L3 helicopter with tail number N651HA. For additional information about black fly suppression, please visit the website: http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/blackfly.