Environmental

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Tobacco Control

The Health Department enforces state and local regulations pertaining to Tobacco and Nicotine Delivery Product Sales to minors; and Regulations Prohibiting Smoking in Workplaces and Public Places.The Department also conducts tobacco compliance checks with persons under the applicable age (20 as of July 1, 2014; 21 as of July 1, 2015) who, under staff supervision, attempt to purchase tobacco or nicotine delivery products. Establishments that are found in violation are subject to fines, permit suspension and possible revocation of their permit to sell in Town.To file a complaint please use the Request/Answer Center or contact the Health Department at 781-316-3170.

Trash & Dumpsters

The Health Department enforces the Town’s Bylaw pertaining to the placement of Rubbish for Removal on Public or Private Ways, as well as, Regulations pertaining to Dumpsters for the Removal and Transportation of Garbage, Rubbish, Offal, or Other Offensive Substances.

The Bylaw states that trash or other refuse cannot be placed out for pick up before 6:00PM (Residential properties) the day before the scheduled pick up or before 6:00AM (Commercial or Industrial Properties) on the day of pick up. Any uncollected rubbish or recyclable material must be removed by 9:00PM of first day after the scheduled day of pick up. Violations of the Bylaw may result in the issuance of a fine.

In accordance with the Town Dumpster Regulations, dumpsters must be of sufficient size and capacity to eliminate overflowing trash and shall be equipped with lids and kept closed at all times when not in use. Furthermore, the dumpster area must be maintained free of odors, scattered debris, and other nuisances. This Regulation also requires that any contractor, firm or person that supplies a dumpster for the purpose of storage, removal, or transporting of garbage, rubbish, offal or other offensive substances obtain a permit to Haul Waste from the Health Department.

Only waste hauling companies permitted by the Arlington Health Department may provide waste hauling services in the Town of Arlington. View a current list of permitted waste haulers.

To file a complaint please use the Request/Answer Center or contact the Health Department at 781-316-3170.

Nuisance

The health department investigates complaints that create a public health nuisance, including but not limited to continuous sources of noise, dust (exterior power sanding, construction site demolition, etc), and odor . To file a complaint please use the Request/Answer Center or contact the Health Department at 781-316-3170.

Logan Airport Noise

View information about noise complaints specific to air traffic from Logan Airport. Additionally, the Arlington Representative to the Logan Community Advisory Committee is Frank Ciano.

Wildlife (Animals, pests, etc.)

The Health Department works in conjunction with the Town’s Animal Control Officer to address complaints or concerns about problematic wildlife and rabies control. Please visit the Animal Control Officer’s website for more information.

The Department also works with contractors, business owners, property owners, tenants and town agencies to mitigate insect, rodent and other pest activity throughout the town.

File a complaint regarding pest activity via the Request/Answer Center or contact the Health Department at 781-316-3170.

Mosquito Control

The Town of Arlington, through its member in the Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control, applies mosquito larvicide to all sewers and other standing bodies of water seasonally or as needed. Please click on any of the links below for more information about and protection from mosquitos.

Check out the following Massachusetts Department of Public Health fact sheets:

West Nile Virus
Mosquito Repellent
Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system that is almost always fatal. Rabies in humans is very rare in the U.S. but rabies in ground animals- especially wildlife- is common in some parts of the country. The rabies virus lives in the saliva (spit) and other body fluids of infected animals and is spread when they bite or scratch. The virus can also be spread if one of these body fluids touches broken skin or a mucous membrane (in the mouth, nose or eyes).

The rabies virus can infect any animal (if it has hair or fur, it's a mammal), but it is only common among certain ones like bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons. Cats, dogs and livestock can also get rabies and spread it to their owners - if they do not have special shots to protect them. Rabies is very rare among rodents like squirrels, rats, mice and chipmunks, Birds, fish, lizards, turtles and insects (bugs) cannot spread rabies.

Rabid animals often behave strangely after the virus attacks their brains. Rabid animals may attack people or other animals for no real reason, or they may lose their fear of people and seem to be unnaturally friendly. Not all rabid animals act this way, however, so you should avoid all wild animals, especially bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons. Also, you should not feed or touch stray cats and dogs.

Mercury

Mercury in the environment poses a severe health risk. Pursuant to Chapter 111 of the Massachusetts General Laws, Section 3,to prevent Mercury from used thermostats from entering the environment, used thermostats shall be disposed of only through an approved Board of Health recycling program. Mercury thermostats shall not be disposed of in dumpsters, trash bags or receptacles that will be incinerated or go to a landfill. Any violation of this regulation shall be punished by a fine of $200.00. Each mercury-containing thermostat improperly disposed of shall constitute a separate violation. shall become effective on July 9, 2003.

Thermometers and thermostats can be dropped off at Wannamaker Hardware (Mass Ave, Arlington Heights) or at the DPW Administration Office located at 51 Grove Street, during business hours.

Spy Pond

Spy Pond is a shallow body of water situated near the center of Arlington. The pond is fed by a combination of ground water and surface runoff from the surrounding area. Swimming in the pond is prohibited because it does not meet the Minimum Standards for Bathing Beaches (State Sanitary Code, Chapter II), however, it is used in some cases for recreational purposes (canoeing, kayaking, etc). The Town of Arlington does not test the water quality at the pond. In recent years the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) was awarded grant funds by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct research on harmful algae blooms (HABs). Spy Pond is one of five bodies of water in the Commonwealth that was chosen as a weekly testing site by MDPH. For the past 3 years MDPH has been testing the water to monitor the presence of cyanobacteria (blue green algae).

Cyanobacteria are bacteria that grow naturally beneath or on the surface of many water bodies. Under certain conditions (warm weather and an abundance of nutrients in the water) the algae may undergo an explosive type of growth that results in dense, floating mats of algae. This is commonly referred to as an “algae bloom”. During an algae bloom, the amount of algae and toxin in the water can become elevated and exposure can be potentially harmful to people and animals.

During an algae bloom, the amount of algae and toxin in the water can become elevated and exposure can be potentially harmful to people and animals.

Contact with high levels of the cyanobacteria algae has been found to contribute to eye, ear, and skin irritation. Microcysstis is one type of cayobacteria that is capable of producing a toxin, microcystin, in the water. Ingestion of this toxin can cause more serious issues such as liver damage. While cyanobacteria can produce a number of other toxins, microcystin is the one that is most commonly found and tested for. It should be noted that high levels of cyanobacteria may indicate the presence of other cyanobacteria toxins. Therefore, contact with the water should be avoided during a bloom.

MDPH developed a protocol with guidelines for issuing advisories in response to HABs. Advisories are recommended when either a visible cyanobacteria scum or mat is present or the analyses of water samples for algae cells or toxin levels exceed guideline levels:
a. A cell count exceeds 70,000 cells/mL
b. A microcystin toxin level exceeds 14 ppb

Additional algae information from Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)



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