September 18, 2002



Office of Public Health
Environmental Health Services
520 Old Spanish Trail
Slidell, LA 70458

Attention: Carletta Ducre

RE: Mosquitoes Can Kill, Fight The Bite!

Dear Environmental Health Services:

This is to confirm our telephone conversation on September 13, 2002, concerning the complaint that I made to your office, a state agency, the previous day pertaining to the above program.

It is my understanding from our conversation that your office cannot, or will not, take any action regarding the "Registry of Pesticide Hypersensitive Individuals" program that I'm listed on, or the deplorable mosquito breeding conditions on Howze Beach Road near or fronting my home. The deplorable conditions are caused by inadequate drainage, clogged drainage ditch, standing water due to poor road conditions, and trash or litter in the area. These conditions, along with other facts, have been documented online at Nightmare in Oak Harbor's PUD, http://www.wtv-zone.com/infchoice/nightmare.html.

Furthermore, your office made no attempt to contact any parish office or state agency for the purpose of seeking assistance for removing these water hazards to control mosquitoes and prevent the spread of the life-threatening disease of encephalitis. The referenced area needing cleanup is owned by St. Tammany Parish, or its subdivisions, with subject services the responsibility of Parish Government. The Parish is abusing public resources and blatantly neglectful about its obligations affecting the public's health, safety, and welfare, contrary to Louisiana's West Nile Virus Surveillance Program.

In speaking with your employee Rose Lizell, she asked if I had ever placed bleach in my private water well after a low bacteria level had been detected, more than 10 years ago, during construction of the Oak Harbor PUD. However, a followup test taken from my well resulted in detecting no bacteria level and "without" using bleach.

Of more concern to your office, in my opinion, would be the test result taken from my well detecting the pesticide Bromacil at 315 ppb, which is over EPA's safe lifetime drinking level of 90 ppb. Perhaps your office might consider notifying, or cause to be notified, the individuals in the community on private water wells whose drinking water might be contaminated. This can be accomplished through Governor Foster's Environmental Contamination Notification Order, Executive Order MJF 01-46, http://www.state.la.us/osr/other/mjf01-46.htm. Apparently, these are not the only secrets the state is keeping from the public.

Sincerely,




Nancy Hirschfeld
1301 Howze Beach Road
Slidell, LA 70458-8503

Enclosure:
Groups threaten suit over state water regulation, The Advocate, 9/18/02

cc:
  • Gary Balsamo, DVM, MPH, Louisiana Arboviral Coordinator
  • State Senator Tom Schedler, Chairman Health & Welfare
  • Tulane Environmental Law Clinic