Today the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released their new draft regulations regarding pesticide use near school sites.  Towards the end of 2016 DPR released their first draft of the proposed regulations which brought a flurry of comments from both the activist community and the agricultural community.  DPR could not and still has not justified why there is a need for the regulations given the absence of incidents with pesticides near schools.  CCM and others maintained that an agency such as DPR must create policy based on science, not the court of public opinion.  After three listening sessions and a comment period that closed in the beginning of December, DPR has today released their new draft regulations.

Changes to the draft regulations include:

  • The definition of a school site no longer includes family day care homes, post-secondary schools, private schools or bus stops
  • Although annual notification of any predictable pesticides a grower may use remains in the language, they have deleted the requirement to additionally notify the school within 48 hours of an application
  • However, if a material was not listed, the grower should notify the school 48 hours prior to use
  • Similarly, if the land comes within new ownership, the new management should notify the school of pesticides they plan to use
  • The school principal is now the single recipient of the pesticide information

Our concerns regarding the draft regulations remain regarding:

  • The hard restriction on applications made Monday-Friday during the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with no emergency clause
  • The arbitrary ¼ mile distance from the school
  • The liability that a school and/or principal has for distribution of pesticide related information
  • Undermining the good faith efforts of growers and County Agricultural Commissioners who apply pesticides in a safe manner under the strictest requirements in the nation

DPR will accept written comments relevant to the modifications between March 20, 2017 and April 4, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Written comments relevant to the modifications may be sent via e-mail; or may be directed to Ms. Linda Irokawa-Otani, Regulations Coordinator, Department of Pesticide Regulation, 1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015, Sacramento, California 95812-4015. FAX: (916) 324-1491