Hopkinton Commission Debates Lake Maspenock Weed Control Methods

In the most recent Hopkinton Conservation Commission meeting, a portion of the discussion centered on the management of Lake Maspenock’s weed problem, specifically addressing the potential use of herbicides. The Hopkinton Department of Public Works (DPW) presented a plan to tackle the persistent weed growth in the lake, which has proven resistant to previous management efforts. The plan included a proposal for the use of herbicides, which prompted extensive deliberation and public commentary on environmental concerns and alternative solutions.

The DPW Director, who presented the Lake Maspenock weed management plan, provided a detailed account of the lake’s history, the formation of the Lake Maspenock Weed Management Citizen Advisory Group, and past initiatives to control the weeds. Despite the implementation of various methods, including drawdowns and mechanical harvesting, the weed problem has persisted, leading to the consideration of herbicide treatment. The DPW’s request to include herbicides in the management strategy was a focal point of the meeting, as it raised questions regarding the effectiveness and environmental impact of such treatments.

Commissioners sought clarification on the different methods’ efficacy and voiced concerns about the potential ecological ramifications of herbicides. Through a dialogue with technical experts and members of the citizen advisory group, the commission explored the complexities of managing the lake’s weed issue. The presentation of the plan for herbicide treatment in the Northern Basin of Lake Maspenock was met with both support and opposition. The proposed herbicides, tribune and aquathol K, are intended for application in early June, with careful pre-survey sampling to target the treatment. Precautionary measures, such as posting signage and restricting recreational use and water consumption during treatment, were also discussed.

Public engagement during the meeting revealed a strong sense of urgency in resolving the weed issue, but also highlighted the community’s divided opinion on the use of herbicides. One member of the citizen advisory group expressed support for the plan, citing the ineffectiveness of previous methods. Conversely, the chair of the environmental working group at the Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee, Don Southerland, opposed the herbicide use, referencing the Department of Health’s data on the negative impact of diquat on wildlife and human health. Southerland pointed out that diquat has been banned in Europe due to these harmful effects.

The public comments section included concerns about the presence of potentially harmful chemicals like PFAS in herbicides and pesticides. Some attendees called for third-party testing, similar to that mandated for the Fruit Street fields, to ensure safety. One commission member referred to an EPA document stating that PFAS products were no longer approved for use as an inert ingredient in such treatments. A member of the public advocated for non-toxic methods like hydro raking and urged the commission to consider all viewpoints before deciding on herbicide application.

Aside from the lake weed management discussion, the commission also dealt with various property-related issues. An amended notice of intent for a second driveway at Nine Montana Road was reviewed, leading to an agreement to expand the buffer zone restoration area and to label the conservation enhancement area as “permanent.” The meeting covered other property management topics, including minor documentation corrections for a property on Front Street and plan changes for the Hopkinton Stone and Garden project on Lumber Street.

The commission’s agenda also included the design approval of two prototype barrier medallions, which would be used to mark conservation areas. After a discussion on specifications, such as size and the inclusion of a contact phone number, the commission approved the design of the medallions.

The meeting concluded with the commission setting a continuation date for the Hopkinton Stone and Garden project to March 26th, allowing time for the presentation of revised materials. The commission also decided to table the discussion on the extension permit for Fox Hollow Road due to erosion control concerns, while approving the extension for the Stony Brook property.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Town Administrator:
Norman Khumalo
Environmental Commission Officials:

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes