The Honorable Joanne Comerford, Senate Chair
The Honorable John J. Mahoney, House Chair
Joint Committee on Public Health
State House, Boston

Dear Senator Comerford, Representative Mahoney, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association is writing to express our concerns with H. 4650, An Act to Mitigate Arbovirus in the Commonwealth.

While we appreciate and share the Governor’s concern regarding the public health risks of mosquito-transmitted diseases, we believe the framework laid out in this bill is overly broad and would grant unchecked authority to the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board, enabling that agency to preempt local management plans and private opt-out agreements.

Further, this bill does not allow for the sharing of information between the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board and local governments or any notification process prior to spraying to help minimize public exposure. H. 4650 would allow for indiscriminate spraying of unknown pesticides without transparency or information-sharing, leaving communities unable to properly weigh public health risks.

We believe any mosquito control plan should involve proper local control, notification, and transparency. As written, H. 4650 does not contain any of these key elements. Due to these concerns, we respectfully ask you to issue an unfavorable report to H. 4650. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Senior Legislative Analyst Brittney Franklin at 617-426-7272 at any time.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey C. Beckwith
MMA Executive Director & CEO