California farmers have 15 days to formally comment on a proposed Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) rule that will further restrict their use of pesticides within a quarter-mile of public schools and daycare centers.
Public comment on the proposal must be submitted by April 4.
The proposed regulation could affect about 3,500 public K-12 schools and licensed child day care facilities and involve approximately 2,500 growers in California. While many counties in California currently have varying requirements for notification of certain pesticide applications near schools, the proposed regulation would be the first statewide standard.
According to DPR, the revised draft reflects “extensive public input” from last year, including comments at three formal hearings.
Under the proposal:
- Growers would be restricted from using many pesticides within a quarter-mile of public schools and daycare facilities from Monday thru Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. This applies to applications by aircraft, sprinklers, air-blast sprayers, and all fumigant applications. In addition, most dust and powder pesticide applications, including sulfur, would be prohibited during this time.
- Growers will still be required to provide annual notifications of pesticides expected to be applied within a quarter mile of these facilities. This differs from an earlier proposal that would have required 48-hour notice to schools and daycares; and,
- Changes also clarified definitions of “school site” and other more technical issues. For instance, school buses or bus stops are not included in this regulation.
- Each annual notification, PDF (846 kb) must list the pesticides expected to be used during the upcoming July through June period. This list must be provided to the school principal or child day care facility administrator by April 30 each year. The notice must include among other things:
- The name of pesticide products (and the main active ingredient) to be used
- A map showing the location of the field to be treated
- Contact information for the grower/operator and the local county agricultural commissioner’s office.
A summary of the highlights of the revised school regulation is available here.
Anyone can submit written comments on the proposed revisions to the regulation between March 20 and April 4 by 5 p.m. to [email protected]. Comments may also be faxed or mailed to Linda Irokawa-Otani of the Department of Pesticide Regulation, 1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015, Sacramento, Calif. 95812-4015. FAX - (916) 324-1491.