On Thursday, November 8, 2018, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) held a public hearing regarding the designation of chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant.  It turned out to be a very lively hearing rather than the usual quiet affair.  After several rounds of commenters, folks attending from environmental justice groups began protesting and marching around the room.  CCM was the only ag group present who gave public comments.

CCM also submitted written comments to DPR November 9, 2018, regarding the flawed science and unrealistic use scenarios used for the basis of the toxic air contaminant report and justification for chlorpyrifos being classified as a toxic air contaminant.

Additionally, on November 15th, DPR announced the new interim restrictions on the use of chlorpyrifos. DPR states that the new measures will provide increased protections from potential exposure to the pesticide while it completes a formal regulatory process to list chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant and develops permanent restrictions on its use.  DPR is recommending that county ag commissioners begin implementing the interim measures on January 1, 2019, including:

  • Banning all aerial applications of chlorpyrifos.
  • Discontinuing its use on most crops.  Chlorpyrifos will be restricted to “critical uses” on crops for which there are few if any alternative pesticides, as determined by the University of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Requiring a quarter-mile buffer zone during all allowed applications of the pesticide and for 24 hours afterward.
  • Requiring a 150-foot setback from houses, businesses, schools and other sensitive sites at all times, regardless of whether the site is occupied at the time of application.

The complete recommended interim restrictions are available here: https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/enforce/compend/vol_3/append_o.pdf.

CCM is continuing its fight for allowing our growers to use this crop protection tool and will keep you updated on this issue.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Lori Apodaca, Director of Regulatory Affairs.