Senator Mark April Office Hours

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BOSTON — State Senator Paul W. Mark announced that his staff will host office hours at five locations in Berkshire County in April. 
 
Residents of any of the 57 municipalities in the Senator's Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin, and Hampshire District are encouraged to share ideas on current or potential state legislation, or to ask for assistance with issues involving any state agency.
 
Appointments are not required.
  • Adams: Tuesday, April 2, and Tuesday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to noon. Town Hall, 8 Park St., Adams.
  • Dalton: Monday, April 1, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. Senior Center, 40 Field St., Dalton.
  • Great Barrington: Monday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to noon. Town Hall, 334 Main St., Great Barrington.
  • North Adams: Tuesday, April 2, and Tuesday, April 23, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. MCLA Alumni Relations Building, 228 E. Main St., North Adams.
  • Pittsfield: Wednesday, April 3, Thursday, April 4, Wednesday, April 24, and Thursday, April 25, 9 a.m. to noon. District Office. 773 Tyler St., Pittsfield.
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Pittsfield ConCom OKs Zebra Mussel Treatment

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Conservation Commission has OKed a zebra mussel pesticide treatment in Onota Lake if the invasive species are confirmed.

On Thursday, the panel approved a notice of intent application for the use of EarthTec QZ within a specified treatment area of the lake.  

"We're not entirely 100 percent sure that there is an infestation of zebra mussels at Onota Lake. Last September, a water sample was taken and the DNA of zebra mussel was detected in that water sample. This was a water sample taken near the boat ramp at Burbank Park. Subsequent water samples were taken later in the fall and very early this spring, there were still non-detects in those water samples for DNA showing the presence of zebra mussels," Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

"We continue to, most recently as this Tuesday, we are sampling for zebra mussel EDNA and we should know the results of those samples certainly by early next week."

McGrath addressed the commission with a sense of urgency, as the lake is currently around 52 degrees Fahrenheit and the zebra mussels begin to activate around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  He described it as "an opportunity to take what could be a potential massively serious ecological issue at Onota Lake and nip it in the bud."

"What we're proposing here is a collaborative approach where there are many stakeholders involved," he said. "This is not Jim McGrath proposing the use of EarthTec QZ at the lake. This is something we have been very deliberative about."

The application was continued from the previous meeting so that it could be filed as a state Ecological Restoration Limited Project.

"Really what it means is that it's eligible, which I think this project meets the eligibility requirements, it affords the right to not have to comply with general performance standards for the resource area that's being impacted," Conservation Agent Robert Van Der Kar said.

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