Californians get no notice of nearby hazardous pesticide use:
We demand the right to know so we can protect ourselves!
Communities want to know what pesticides are being sprayed nearby.
Since many pesticides cause severe health harms and often drift far from where they are applied, it is essential to notify people nearby so that they can take precautions to protect themselves, such as closing the windows, taking the laundry off the clothesline, or keeping their children indoors. These measures are especially critical for those with asthma or other breathing difficulties.
But many people don’t realize we don’t have that right in California.
And conventional agriculture is determined to keep it that way. They fear that once people know in advance what’s being sprayed in their neighborhood, they will start to demand change. And powerful, profitable interests don’t give up anything without a fight.
Together, we can demand an end to the secrecy. We can insist that growers operate with full transparency.
Thanks to tireless pressure from the CPR coalition, the Department of Pesticide Regulation has committed to developing a statewide pesticide notification regulation, with $10m in state budget funding. Beginning in 2021, DPR has been holding focus groups, webinars and workshops to gather public input, and the regulation is expected to be finalized in 2024. Meanwhile, DPR should require county agricultural commissioners to start posting advance notice for some of the most hazardous pesticides right now – this can happen without a regulation, since it imposes no new burden on pesticide applicators.
On behalf of all Californians, we are calling on the Department of Pesticide Regulation to require County Agricultural Commissioners to publicly post online all Notices of Intent to use pesticides that are classified as Restricted Materials: the most hazardous and drift-prone pesticides which can only be applied by licensed professionals with a permit.
Notification alone won’t reduce hazardous pesticide use. But it’s a necessary step toward a healthier and safer California.
More details of the coalition’s notification demands are here.