California Agency Revises Proposed Rules for Pesticide Applications Near School Sites

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has released a revised proposal for regulating the use of agricultural pesticides near school sites and licensed child day care facilities. The department is inviting the public to comment on the revisions through April 4, 2017.

The key revisions to the proposed regulation include:

  • Growers will not be required to notify school sites/licensed child day care facilities and the county agricultural commissioners (CACs) of pesticide applications made within a quarter mile of these facilities 48 hours before they occur. However, growers will still be required to provide annual notification of the pesticides expected to be applied within a quarter mile of these facilities. See example.
  • The revision also clarifies the definition of “school site” and other terms: For example, it makes clear that the regulations do not apply to school buses or vehicles not on school property, and that CACs may identify an adjacent park used regularly by schools on the weekdays as part of a school site.
  • The regulation is anticipated to become effective January 1, 2018.

Read a summary of the revised school regulation.

Any interested person can submit written comments on the proposed revisions to the regulation through 5:00 p.m. on April 4, 2017 to dpr16004@cdpr.ca.gov.

Comments may also be faxed or mailed to Linda Irokawa-Otani, Regulations Coordinator, Department of Pesticide Regulation, 1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015, Sacramento, California 95812-4015, or faxed to (916) 324-1491.

Background

CCOF previously posted a blog entry on the original proposed regulation, which would:

  • Prohibit many pesticide applications within a quarter mile of public K-12 schools and child day care facilities from Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. These include all applications by aircraft, sprinklers, air-blast sprayers, and all fumigant applications. In addition, most dust and powder pesticide applications, such as sulfur, would be prohibited during this time.
  • Require California growers to annually notify public K-12 schools and licensed child day care facilities and the CAC about the pesticides expected to be used within a quarter mile of school sites and licensed child day care facilities.

Each annual notification 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 CAC
  • The website address for the National Pesticide Information Center where additional information on pesticides may be obtained

The regulation also includes a provision that allows flexibility to accommodate extracurricular activities and other factors. Public K-12 schools and licensed child day care facilities and growers may develop alternative arrangements that provide equal or more protection than the regulation, but it must be in writing and approved by the CAC.

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This article was adapted from a news release issued by California Department of Pesticide Regulation on March 16, 2017.

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