The Department of Environmental Protection announced today it will end comprehensive mosquito spraying operations to suppress the West Nile encephalitis, a sometimes fatal disease, on September 1 due to Gov. Rendell's action zeroing out the appropriation as part of the selective veto of the Senate Bill 850 bridge budget.
DEP also said it would end grant funding for West Nile Virus county programs as well in 36 counties, but will continue funding in 31 counties through the end of 2009.
DEP will provide limited monitoring in the areas where grant funding has been eliminated that have historically been associated with West Nile transmission. If mosquitoes in these areas are found to carry the virus, the department will take necessary measures to reduce the mosquito population through either larval or adult mosquito control.
In the meantime, DEP urged Pennsylvanians to take precautions to reduce the threat of West Nile virus. (See full announcement)
Gov. Rendell requested $4.25 million in funding for the West Nile Virus Program and Senate Bill 850 included $5.1 million. (Click here for a list of all environmental line items vetoed by Gov. Rendell)