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Health department must approve rat extermination plan

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 7:39 p.m.

With complaints from the state Game Commission and bald eagle watchers on the use of poison to exterminate rats near the eagle nest in Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Health Department will need to first approve a “safe” extermination plan, according to Guillermo Cole, health department spokesman.

GGMJS LLC, which bought a bankrupt and rat-infested recycling center in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh less than one air-mile from a bald eagle nest, will need to produce an extermination plan that is effective, environmentally safe and not harmful to humans and animals, according to Cole.

The cleanup of the site cannot begin until the county approves the extermination plan.

“We will balance all of the concerns and take the best approach to address the health and safety concerns of all stakeholders,” wrote Kirk Burkley, an attorney representing GGMJS.

Eagle watchers who fear that an eagle could die from eating a poisoned rat have mounted a public campaign, including a petition on the website, to stop the use of poison at the recycling site.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff wither with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-226-4691.

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