Assemblyman Dinowitz Criticizes Lack of Notice by NYC Department of Health for Spraying Against West Nile Virus

November 3, 2010
The community was surprised to learn that the New York City Department of Health sprayed pesticides to fight against the West Nile Virus throughout the Riverdale area earlier this week.

On the evening of Monday September 20th, NYC Department of Health trucks were spotted on the streets of Riverdale spraying the pesticides from nine to midnight. Residents of the area, and constituents of Assemblyman Dinowitz, had no idea that this was occurring. Several people called the Assemblyman’s district office to complain that they were not given notice of the spraying.

Representatives at the Department of Health said they notified the public of this occurrence by posting the schedule of spraying on their website.

Assemblyman Dinowitz criticized the lack of communication. “Posting the schedule online is not a sufficient way to inform the public since not everyone has access to the internet,” he said. The Assemblyman added, “Even those who do have such access do not make it a habit to check the website daily for this information.”

While the community and Assemblyman Dinowitz were not happy with the lack of notification, the Assemblyman hopes that a better method can be used in the future. “While I strongly believe it is important to combat the West Nile Virus, it is also necessary to properly inform the public when spraying will occur. The Department should post notices in the neighborhoods to be sprayed, and certainly send information out to local and daily newspapers. I hope a better method can be implemented in the future,” he said.