Parts of the pesticide program violate California law


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A state-run pest prevention program partially violates California environmental protection law with its approach to pesticide spraying, an appeals court has ruled. State.

The decision centers on a pest prevention and management program run by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The court found the program violated the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to conduct site-specific environmental reviews and by notifying the public before spraying. The decision also revealed that the program does not adequately address contamination of water bodies or mitigate damage to bees and that the ministry has underestimated current pesticide use.

California’s 3rd District Court of Appeals released its ruling on Friday. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is reviewing the decision, spokesman Steve Lyle said in an email on Monday. He did not provide any further comments.

Several environmental groups and the city of Berkeley have filed a lawsuit and lost some grounds on appeal. The court, for example, said the groups had failed to demonstrate that the pest control program’s analysis of human health effects was misleading or inadequate.

“We think this move is a real signal that the California Department of Food and Agriculture needs to move away from a ‘spray first, ask questions later’ approach,” said Jonathan Evans, legal director of environmental health at the Center for Biological Diversity. On Monday.

The Department of Food and Agriculture is responsible for preventing the spread of insects and pests, plant diseases and noxious weeds on public and private property. The California Environmental Quality Act, known as CEQA, requires environmental impact reports for all major projects, including pesticide spraying.

The ministry adopted in 2014 a single environmental review process for all pest prevention and management projects designed for “effective and proactive” management, according to its website. The conformity of individual projects is checked against it. The lawsuit of environmental groups challenges this approach, arguing that it failed to take into account local conditions and possible effects on water, bees and other pollinators and human health.

Pesticide spraying is not the only tool used by the state for pest control, but it was the subject of the lawsuit.

The trial will now return to the lower court. It is not yet clear whether the entire program will be phased out or whether the state will be allowed to change certain aspects.

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