The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs was tasked in 2020 with creating a process by which municipalities can opt out of mosquito control spraying by the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board (SRMCB). On March 19, 2021, the EOEEA issued its process. The Select Board or City Council must vote to opt out of spraying. It then must submit a copy of the certified vote with the municipality’s alternative mosquito control plan to EOEEA for approval of the request to opt out. The submission to the EOEEA must be made electronically by May 15.
Both the vote to opt out and the adoption of an alternative plan must be made after a public hearing at which comments from the local board of health and the public should be solicited. While the process states that comments “should” be solicited, the request to opt out may be denied if the municipality does not solicit public and board of health input. The alternative plan must include an educational/public outreach plan.
Note that this opt-out process does not apply to spraying by any mosquito control program conducted by a district or program other than the SRMCB. The optout is effective only for calendar year 2021.