Grape Growers Oppose New Pesticide Rules

toxic PD Article below……We know according to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation that the top 2 forms of glyphosate (Round Up), now regulated as a probable carcinogen with mandatory warning labels in our state, has been used extensively in Sonoma and other counties as a way to control weeds. According to the state database 84,606 pounds of the top 2 forms of this toxin were used just in Sonoma County vineyards in the latest database of 2013. The use of this chemical has risen dramatically since the introduction fostering super weeds and now super bugs. The USGS did a study and found that the chemical stays in the soil for several years and in the water for 6 months.

The State of California passed AB289 in 2010 to protect our most vulnerable from pesticide spraying next to schools, on a voluntary basis. So far only a handful of counties have adopted the rules and Napa and Sonoma are not one of them. The Watertrough Children’s’ Alliance has tried to repeatedly get this on the county’s books to no avail. Their children go to one of the five schools next to a chemical intensive vineyard operation.  They continue to litigate in hopes they can protect their children.  Santa Barbara adopted and expanded the legislation to include day care, intensive care and hospital zones.

There is still time to voice your concerns. According to CDPR: “Due to the volume of comments and general workload with this issue, DPR believes it will be able to issue a proposed regulation in February 2016, not December 2015 as anticipated.”

From: “Segawa, Randy@CDPR” <Randy.Segawa@cdpr.ca.gov>

Dear Interested Party,
This is just to update you about our upcoming proposed regulation about pesticide use around schools.
As you know, many schools have been built on prime agricultural land next to farm operations and increasingly, teachers, parents and the general public want to know what chemicals are being applied around them.
DPR is preparing a regulation that will take effect when agricultural pesticides are applied close to schools.  The regulation is intended to give an additional level of protection to children in schools from potential exposure to pesticides used in surrounding agricultural fields.
As you may be aware, earlier this year, DPR held a series of statewide public workshops on this issue. We received more than 2,000 comments that we are analyzing and addressing.  We have placed a summary of them on our website.
In addition DPR must also follow normal state rules in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and prepare a number of mandatory elements (initial statement of reasons, economic analysis, proposed regulation text etc).
Due to the volume of comments and general workload with this issue, DPR believes it will be able to issue a proposed regulation in February 2016, not December 2015 as anticipated.
 
Once the regulation is issued, there will be plenty of opportunity for the public to weigh in on this important issue.  This includes a 45-day public comment period where people can submit comments in writing by mail, e-mail, or fax, on all or any part of the proposed regulations.
In addition DPR is planning to hold at least one public hearing on the issue. At the hearing, anyone who is interested in speaking may testify, and may also present written comments. The 2016 date and location of the hearing(s) has not yet been determined, but will be provided in the future.
As I’m sure you are aware this is a complex but important regulation and so administrative delays are not unexpected. Despite this, DPR’s overall goal, of making this regulation effective in 2017 remains unchanged.
 You can find more info here:

Bill Swindell, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The California Association of Winegrape Growers has joined with more than 45 other agricultural groups to oppose new rules on the use of pesticides around schools.

The Department of Pesticide Regulation is gathering input on new requirements for pesticide use near school campuses, specifically looking at how to improve notification to schools and reduce the exposure risk by placing new restrictions on applications.

“When the facts are considered it is evident that clear, significant protections are in place to assure pesticides registered in California are used safely and effectively. DPR has historically deployed the best science to develop regulations governing pesticides in California,” the groups wrote in a July 31 letter. “It is also clear from follow up monitoring and evaluation performed by DPR that regulations are successful in protecting public health and the environment.”

The department in its notice said it was undergoing the rulemaking based on feedback from many stakeholder groups.

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