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County Ag Commissioners launch pilot program for statewide pesticide application notification system

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On Feb. 3, 2022, four County Agricultural Commissioners including Ventura County announced a voluntary partnership with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to launch a pilot program designed to support the development of a statewide pesticide application notification system. 

The pilot projects will launch between February and July 2022 and will help inform the design and implementation of the state’s statewide notification system which will provide more transparent and equitable access to inform in advice of pesticide application. 

“The statewide notification system will complement existing pesticide laws and regulations that protect public health and the environment,” said California Department of Pesticide Regulation Director Julie Henderson. “The purpose of the notification system is to provide transparent and equitable access to information to enable the public to make informed decisions about actions they may take to protect their health. This voluntary partnership between County Agricultural Commissioners and the Department of Pesticide Regulation on pilot projects is an important step in the development of a statewide system. We look forward to feedback from community members, growers and commissioners on the pilots to inform the statewide system and improve community access to information.” 

The pilots will be conducted in communities located within Riverside, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Ventura counties. Community members and growers will have the opportunity to share feedback on the pilots’ implementation with their Ag Commissioners to help inform the design of the statewide system the Department is in the process of developing. 

The Ventura Notification System Pilot will provide notifications and updates to the Nyeland Acres Community. The project is expected to launch in April and community members can reach out to the county’s Camarillo-based Pesticide Use Division at 805-388-4222 or by contacting the Ag Commissioner’s Office online at: https://www.ventura.org/agricultural-commissioner/contact-us/.

“We look forward to conducting a pilot pesticide notification project in Ventura County to help develop a workable statewide program that will meet the needs of the community and build a stronger communication network among community members, farmers and the regulatory agencies that serve these sectors,” said Edmund E. Williams, Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner. “Ventura County looks forward to working with our state partners at the Department of Pesticide Regulation on this pilot.”

The 2021-2022 state budget allocated $10 million to the Department of Pesticide Regulation to begin the development of a statewide notification system. The Department anticipated implementing the statewide system in 2024. In addition to supporting county-led pilot projects, the Department is planning public workshops this spring to collect input on the statewide notification system design.

The department is additionally in the process of developing the technology for a statewide system and will draft the regulation to establish consistent, statewide requirements for their system’s implementation in 2024. To learn more about the statewide notification system, visit the Department’s website at: https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/.

The Department and the state’s 55 County Agricultural Commissioners work together to enforce California’s comprehensive pesticide-use laws and regulations. The Department evaluates all pesticide products prior to registration for sales and use in California; creates regulations to mitigate any potential risk to human health and the environment; regularly re-evaluates pesticides based on scientific studies; monitors the air, water, and soil for pesticides; and tracks workers health and safety to inform mitigation efforts. 

The County Agricultural Commissioners and their staff of more than 400 scientists and staff inspect pesticide application sites across all 58 counties; promote compliance with and enforce pesticide laws and regulations as guided by the Department and state regulations; and take action against violators. Commissioners’ local, on-the-ground enforcement efforts are critical to the implementation of pesticide laws and regulations to keep people and the environment safe. 

 

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