Environmentalists filed a complaint Wednesday with state’s inspector general over aerial spraying of insecticide to control mosquitoes carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

The disease is rare, but can be deadly. There were 12 human cases in Massachusetts last year, six of which were fatal. Mosquitoes have already tested positive for EEE in two Massachusetts towns this year, officials said Tuesday.

The complaint, filed by the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), says the spraying is both ineffective and harmful to human health and wildlife. The Jones River Watershed Association and the group LEAD for Pollinators also co-signed the complaint.

“We recently got the efficacy data from the state showing that the 2019 aerial spraying really didn’t do anything,” said Kyla Bennett, Science Policy Director for PEER. “And it was at a great cost, both monetarily and environmentally.”

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