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Clarifies stance on lake treatment.

To the editor:

As the incumbent for the Sterling Board of Health, once again, as with my re-election three years ago, it's my understanding that my position -- on recurrent seasonal chemical treatments of East Lake Waushacum (ELW) to counter excess eutrophication affects of, among other things, storm water runoff and lake shore septic issues -- is a "hot-button'' issue with some residents.

To be clear, my position is: ELW is a valuable town resource. The East Lake Waushacum Association (ELWA) has done an admirable job in working to protect this resource. However, we (apparently) differ as to the risk-benefit considerations of recurrent chemical treatments with such algaecides as Copper Sulfate, toward this protection.

My research, which started when I was appointed by selectmen to look into the best long-term protection avenues in 2009 -- indicates that any beneficial effects of such chemical addition are very short lived and, in the long run, will only make matters worse. As recently as March 25, a Mass DEP PhD limnologist, who authored the state's "Generic Environmental Impact Report on Eutrophication and Lake Management,'' said: "I see copper as a more toxic metal that just kills the algae, but it may come back in as little as a month, and it has long-term negative effects.''

On native species in the lake: "I don't see much of a problem, just a few small, dense beds of native plant species. In my opinion, it looks pretty natural so just leave it be.''

We live in a chemically-treated world. We should do our best to wean ourselves off this dependency because of the long-term deleterious effects that they present. The latest research shows that chemical contamination of our environment, and ultimately our bodies, is believed to be a main cause of cancer Co that insidious disease that concerns all of us. I find it ironic that I have to defend this position as the office of contention is, after all, the Board of Health.

To close, please note I do not have an issue spending tax dollars toward ultimate protection of the lake. My issue is they should be used toward resolution of the root cause, not just the symptoms.

Gary C. Menin Sr.


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Title Annotation:Coulter
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 17, 2015
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