Reporting Stephanie Lucero
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - City leaders in Dallas County will decide Wednesday whether or not to allow the aerial spraying of mosquitos in the fight against the West Nile virus. There is a big debate over the safety and effectiveness of such spraying. Officials in Carrollton and Farmers Branch are scheduled to vote on the issue Wednesday afternoon. Dallas approved aerial spraying early Wednesday morning.
The aerial spraying plan has already been approved in Addison, Garland, Highland Park, Mesquite, Richardson and University Park. The plan was rejected by officials in Sachse, while Coppell had been waiting to see what Dallas decided.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings supports the aerial spraying plan and will be urged the City Council to do the same. “This is a safe insecticide,” he told CBS 11 News on Wednesday morning. “The CDC has given its clearance. The EPA has given its clearance. So, we’ve got all the science behind us, but we want to do it the right way.”
Judge Clay Jenkins has asked to hear from all Dallas County cities north of Interstate-30 about their stance on aerial spraying. He has set a deadline of 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, so that the county can move forward with its plans. Aerial spraying could begin as soon as Thursday evening.
“We’ve got a really serious issue. The State of Texas has declared this an emergency. Dallas County has declared it an emergency,” Rawlings said on Wednesday morning. “We have 25 percent of all the West Nile virus cases in the United States. We’ve got 10 people who’ve died in Dallas County, 15 in North Texas. This is a serious issue, and that’s why we’re taking this up, and we’re going to deal with this issue.”
Rawlings has also been personally impacted by the West Nile virus. “I know two people that have been in the hospital with West Nile virus. I’ve got my mother-in-law, my mother living with us over 80, and you don’t want anything to happen to them. I think we’re in the downhill slide of this, but to have another couple of deaths is not acceptable for me.”
This will be the first use of aerial spraying in Dallas since 1966.
- West Nile Virus Guide
- Is Aerial Spraying Safe?
- Addison Agrees To Aerial Spraying
- Garland Approves Aerial Spraying
- City of Dallas West Nile Info
Meanwhile, ground spraying for mosquitos will begin in Fort Worth for the first time in 20 years, possibly starting as soon as Wednesday night. City leaders learned Tuesday about hot spots with multiple human cases of West Nile. The city will hold an information meeting about the spraying plan at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Botanic Gardens Lecture Hall, on University Drive, west of downtown. “There is ground spraying, which is what Fort Worth would deploy, which is the fogging from a truck,” explained Brandon Bennett from Fort Worth Code Compliance. “It would drive the same neighborhood three nights in a row.”
Several other North Texas cities are set to do more ground spraying on Wednesday night including Dallas, Denton and Bedford.
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