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Infestation Cutting to Begin in Dartmouth
(Friday, July 14, 2000)-- The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and the Halifax Regional Water Commission (HRWC) have agreed to a federal request to temporarily operate a portable burner on watershed lands in the Topsail Lake area of Dartmouth, near the Highway 107 bypass.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says the portable burner will be required to dispose of trees infested with the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle that have been discovered in the Woodlawn/Westphal area of Dartmouth.
Crews under contract to the federal government will begin removing the infested trees next week from private property and on the watershed lands. The infested materials will be incinerated at the portable burner at the Topsail Lake site. Although a fairly small number of confirmed beetle-infested trees have been found in Woodlawn and Westphal, a total of at least 100 suspect trees are now undergoing confirmation in the area.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the CFIA and the Water Commission will ensure appropriate safety measures are in place and that the site will be restored to its original condition following the burn effort. The HRWC's watershed manager will be monitoring the site for the duration of the operation.
Mayor Walter Fitzgerald said "We are pleased to be able to cooperate with the federal and provincial departments and agencies involved in this effort to help eradicate this very serious infestation. These latest finds are proof that the beetle is not just confined to Point Pleasant Park, and we want to ensure that we control the spread, and eventually eradicate, any infestation on any piece of property within HRM and the Province ,in general."
Carl Yates, General Manager of HRWC, "Measures will be put in place to ensure that the integrity of the Topsail Lake watershed is maintained as a back-up supply of clean and safe potable water for the residents of Dartmouth. I believe that the Water Commission can learn from this experience, and be able to apply it to other watersheds should further beetle infestations be discovered."
Paul Farrell, CFIA Regional Director, said " I would like to commend Mayor Fitzgerald, Westphal and Woodlawn area District Councillors (Jack) Greenough and (Condo) Sarto and the Halifax Regional Water Commission for their quick response to our request.
Their continuing commitment of cooperation in the effort to eradicate this very serious infestation is very much appreciated."
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Mr. Paul Farrell
Regional Manager, CFIA
Mayor Walter Fitzgerald
Mr. Carl Yates
General Manager, HRWC