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UNDERSTANDING WHO REGULATES PESTICIDES

Regulators implement new laws that elected officials make and also have authority to make some rules and decisions themselves. Regulators are not elected; they apply for jobs in a particular agency. The head of an agency sometimes changes after an election, but most of the staff of the agency remain the same.

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PESTICIDE REGULATION (DPR):  Brian Leahy, Director

The DPR is the state administrative body charged with creating regulations and enforcing laws related to pesticide use.  The Director of the DPR is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. DPR’s official duties include:

  • Evaluating and registering pesticide products
  • Creating specific rules about how pesticides are used in California
  • Licensing commercial applicators, dealers, and consultants
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Residue testing of fresh produce
  • Investigating pesticide poisonings and issuing fines for violations of pesticide laws

COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONERS: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/exec/county/countymap/

Every county in California has a County Ag Commissioner.  Under the supervision of DPR, Ag commissioners are responsible for the on-the-ground enforcement of state pesticide laws and regulations.  County Ag Commissioners are appointed by the County Board of Supervisors.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

You can impact decisions made by DPR:

  • Attend a hearing and speak about your desire to be protected from pesticide exposure
  • Write a letter or collect petitions when a dangerous pesticide is proposed for registration
  • Report pesticide poisonings

You can impact decisions made by County Ag Commissioners:

  • Run a campaign asking for increased buffer zones for pesticide use
  • Report pesticide poisonings
  • Petition the County Board of Supervisors to appoint an Ag Commissioner that will ensure communities are protected from pesticide exposure
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