UPDATE: September 29:
Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department is confirming that there will be no aerial treatment spraying of insecticide this evening, September 29, 2019, in Kalamazoo County. County residents may see a plane flying over their properties due to neighboring counties being treated this evening.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) notified Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department that the number of resident opt-out notifications received by MDHHS comprises a large enough geographic distribution in which aerial spraying would no longer be an effective
measure to reduce adult mosquito populations in the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage. Therefore, aerial spraying will not be performed in the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage as part of the regional and state response to the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) outbreak.
Aerial spraying may proceed in other parts of Kalamazoo County based on the distribution of known human and animal cases and where the resident opt-out frequency does not reduce effectiveness of the spraying.
MDHHS will update Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department, along with other county health departments, daily with the aerial treatment schedule for the evening. Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department will continue to communicate to residents that schedule.
The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department has authorized the spraying of pesticide for the treatment of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This spraying is slated to begin at approximately 8 pm Sunday evening. Information that has been provided by the State of Michigan and Kalamazoo County is provided below.
For more info regarding these plans and their potential effects on health and safety, please contact MDHHS at (517) 373-4740 and the Kalamazoo County Health Department at (269) 373-5200.
Statement from Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell:
Today the City of Kalamazoo learned that the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department has authorized the spraying of pesticide from airplanes for the treatment of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This spraying is slated to begin at approximately 8 pm Sunday evening.
The recent cases of mosquito-borne EEE in Michigan are a cause for concern, and I and city staff have encouraged city residents to take the necessary precautions to prevent EEE as recommended by the State of Michigan and the Kalamazoo County Health & Human Services Department.
However, the spraying of pesticides by airplane over the entire city raises too many unanswered questions and concerns for me to support this action at this time. I support efforts to eliminate mosquito-borne illnesses, but in a densely populate areas such as the city of Kalamazoo a more targeted approach is appropriate.
While County and State officials have stated the pesticide is safe, thoughtful consideration of where treatment is applied will help to protect the public while also protecting natural areas and sensitive utility infrastructure.
City of Kalamazoo staff will take necessary steps to ensure drinking water infrastructure is protected while spraying is underway. We are also continuing to work with officials with the State of Michigan and Kalamazoo County to exempt as many natural areas as possible.
I have asked the City Manager to assist the State of Michigan and Kalamazoo County in communications efforts so that Kalamazoo residents can be as informed as possible.
In Kalamazoo we are committed to protecting both the health and safety of our citizens as well as protecting the natural environment. I encourage the State and County to expand their public education campaign for the prevention of EEE and consider a more targeted approach to spraying in urban areas (such as truck-mounted sprayers targeting mosquito breeding grounds), one informed by the input and consent of the community officials.
You can find more information about EEE and the proposed spraying at www.kalamazoocity.org/eee or at www.michigan.gov/eee.
Supporting the journey,
Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell
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