To the Editor,

It’s the time of year for rapid hydrilla growth. Lake Anna Advisory Committee has irresponsibly determined to control hydrilla with deadly chemicals during the summer months while we are enjoying water activities, rather than the biologically safe solution of triploid sterile grass carp. 

The Central Virginian conducted a poll from May 6–15 which asked, “Are you concerned about herbicides in Lake Anna to control hydrilla growth?” 

There were well over 200 responses to this question: Yes, 47 percent; No, 38 percent; and 15 percent Undecided.  

The results of the poll indicate that a significant majority don’t have confidence in LAAC’s decision to continuously treat acres of hydrilla with massive quantities of poisonous chemicals.

The “undecided” and “no” votes may have been influenced by what I consider to be LAAC’s disinformation effort. Do your own research on the hazardous warnings about diquat dibromide, which contains ethylene dibromide, a well-known carcinogen. 

As I learned about these poisonous chemicals and LAAC’s hydrilla bureaucracy, I realized it’s more about cronyism and less about avoiding any public health risks. 

Governmental organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Pesticide Regulations, have issued warnings about diquat dibromide’s dangerous health risks. Diquat dibromide’s product label warns about acute and chronic illnesses, and even death after a one-time or repeated exposure.

Smith Mountain Lake and Swift Creek Reservoir, both in Virginia, and Lake Norman, in North Carolina, are just some examples of successfully controlling hydrilla with triploid sterile grass carp. The carp is the biologically safe solution without poisonous chemicals while maintaining robust fishing activities. 

For 15 years, triploid sterile grass carp controlled hydrilla in Lake Anna without poisonous chemicals, which were rejected then by a Virginia Electric and Power Company biologist due to public and ecological health risks.

Monsanto Roundup, a weed killer, contains glyphosate, which has been linked to lung cancer and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Recently, a California jury awarded $2 billion to a couple who developed cancer as a result of exposure to the weed killer. 

This follows several other successful lawsuits in connection with the poisonous chemical, and more than 13,000 lawsuits are pending. The point is that the courts have set a precedent for lawsuits against herbicides that contain carcinogens.

Once you have done your own research, read LAAC’s Lake Anna Hydrilla Management plan from Nov. 7, 2015, which provides their rationale to use poisonous chemicals to control hydrilla. Did they consider the scientific facts against using diquat dibromide to include the potential harmful effects on Lake Anna residents, businesses, recreational users and the ecology or the potential for liability?

Contact the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to stop the use of poisonous chemicals in the lake: Troy Wade, Louisa, (434) 466-8349; Toni Williams, Jackson, (540) 894-7590; Duane Adams, Mineral, (540) 894-3149; Robert Babyok, Green Springs, (301) 351-9910; Tommy Barlow, Mountain Road, (804) 310-4130; Fitzgerald Barnes, Patrick Henry, (434) 996-8534; and Willie Gentry, Cuckoo, (540) 894-6437.

Carmine Largo