BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                           SENATE COMMITTEE on AGRICULTURE
                          Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Chair

          BILL NO:    SB 1411                   HEARING:  04/24/14
          AUTHOR:   Jackson                     FISCAL:  Yes
          VERSION:  02/21/14                    CONSULTANT:  Anne Megaro
          

                           Pesticides: application safety.

           SUMMARY  :

          This bill would authorize county agricultural commissioners to  
          adopt regulations to prohibit the use of any pesticide within  
          one-quarter mile of a school.  This bill would require that  
          schools and other specified sites within one-quarter mile of  
          planned pesticide application be notified in writing.  This bill  
          would require that signs posted in fields include the name of  
          the pesticide, date and time of the restricted entry interval,  
          the telephone numbers of the commissioner and pesticide  
          applicator, and would require that the pesticide applicator  
          telephone be answered at all times.
          

           BACKGROUND AND EXISTING LAW  :

          The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is  
          responsible for the regulation of pesticides to protect human  
          health and the environment.  DPR is authorized to evaluate the  
          health impacts of pesticides, register pesticide products, and  
          continually monitor the air, water, and soil for pesticide  
          contamination.  At the local level, county agricultural  
          commissioners (CAC) enforce pesticide laws and regulations and  
          are additionally authorized to adopt local regulations and  
          conditions governing the use of pesticides within  mile of a  
          school with respect to timing, notification, and method of  
          pesticide application (Food and Agricultural Codes 11401 et  
          seq.).

          On the federal level, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and  
          Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires that all pesticides be  
          registered and licensed by the US Environmental Protection  
          Agency (EPA).  Through the registration process, pesticides are  
          scientifically evaluated for environmental, health, and safety  
          impacts, which, if registered, are reflected on the pesticide  
          label and use restrictions.  FIFRA does not fully preempt state  
          law and allows for individual states to further regulate  
          pesticide use.  According to DPR, California's pesticide laws  
          and regulations are typically more rigorous.




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          Pesticide use may be restricted by the EPA, DPR, and by CACs,  
          and if there are several regulations regarding a pesticide, the  
          most restrictive must be followed.   Restricted pesticides can  
          only be applied by or under the direct supervision of a  
          certified pesticide applicator, and, if the pesticide is on the  
          California-specific restricted materials list, a permit for  
          application is also required.  Before issuing the permit, the  
          CAC shall consider local conditions including pesticide use in  
          the vicinity of schools, residences, and other sensitive sites.   
          If the pesticide is not a restricted pesticide but the CAC  
          determines that its use will present an undue hazard under local  
          conditions, the CAC may require a permit (Food and Agricultural  
          Code 14006.5, 14006.6).

          Pesticide labels regulated by EPA and DPR contain information  
          such as, but not limited to, the active ingredient(s), warning  
          signs and statements, user safety directions, application  
          restrictions, buffer zones, restricted entry intervals (REI),  
          and notification, monitoring, and/or posting requirements.

          Current law and regulations provide for pesticide use, including  
          worker safety requirements and specifications for notification  
          of pesticide application and posting of field signs signifying  
          prohibited entry.  When required, the notice of pesticide  
          application shall be given orally or in writing.  Field signs  
          shall include a skull and crossbones and the words "DANGER,"  
          "PESTICIDES," and "KEEP OUT" in both Spanish and English (Food  
          and Agricultural Code 12751 et seq.; CCR 6700 et seq.).

          The federal Environmental Protection Agency categorizes  
          pesticides by toxicity.  Six acute toxicological studies are  
          conducted to determine the appropriate category, corresponding  
          "signal word," and label instructions.  Category I pesticides  
          are the most toxic and highly corrosive pesticides; whereas,  
          Category IV pesticides are the least toxic and cause slight or  
          mild irritation (40 C.F.R. 156.62).  Toxicity Category I  
          pesticides require a 48 hour restricted entry interval and are  
          labeled with the signal word "DANGER"; whereas Category II  
          pesticides require a 24-hour restricted entry interval and are  
          labeled "WARNING" (40 C.F.R 156.208).  

           
          PROPOSED LAW  :

           This bill:
           





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             1.   States findings and declarations.

             2.   Clarifies that county agricultural commissioners may  
               adopt regulations to prohibit the agricultural use of any  
               pesticide within a quarter-mile of a school.

             3.   Requires written notification to schools, residences,  
               hospitals, onsite employee housing, or other similar sites  
               located within 1,200 feet of the buffer zone or application  
               perimeter one week prior to planned soil fumigation or  
               aerial or airblast applications of category I and II  
               pesticides. 

             4.   Requires that notification be in both English and  
               Spanish and include:
                  a.        The name of the pesticide products and other  
                    chemicals to be applied.
                  b.        The name, business address, and business  
                    telephone number of the operator applying pesticide to  
                    the property.
                  c.        The name, business address, and business  
                    telephone number of the county agricultural  
                    commissioner.
                  d.        The date that the application will start.

             5.   Requires that the notice be reissued should the  
               application date change and be provided no later than 24  
               hours in advance of the application.

             6.   Requires that the above notice requirements be in  
               addition to existing field posting requirements.

             7.   Requires that field posting signs include:
                  a.        Name of the pesticide product to be applied
                  b.        Date and time that the restricted entry  
                    interval expires
                  c.        Telephone number of the county agricultural  
                    commissioner
                  d.        Telephone number of the pesticide applicator

             8.   Requires that the pesticide applicator's phone number be  
               answered at all times.

             9.   Makes technical amendments.


           COMMENTS  :





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          Purpose of Bill:   According to the author, this bill would  
          prevent pesticide exposure and its adverse effects among  
          agricultural workers, children and vulnerable populations,  
          including minority and low-income communities.  By authorizing  
          CACs to enact buffer zones for entire classes of pesticides near  
          schools, by requiring notification of impending pesticide  
          applications, and by requiring field posting signs to include  
          the date and time when workers can safely reenter fields, this  
          bill would assist in prevention and prompt recognition of  
          illness from pesticide drift.

          The author and those in support reference data from the DPR  
          CalPIQ website database that reports 265 separate incidences of  
          agricultural pesticide drift exposure from 2003 to 2010.   
          Specifically, the author cites one significant incidence in 2003  
          in Kern County where 40 residents near a field undergoing  
          fumigation became ill.  Emergency responders were not able to  
          identify the source of the illness, and an additional 150 people  
          became ill the next day.  The author argues that advance notice  
          of the fumigation would have allowed for resident precautions  
          and would have facilitated early determination of the source of  
          illness and the appropriate medical treatment.

          In regards to field posting, current signs lack the restricted  
          entry interval that notifies field workers and managers when it  
          is safe to enter a recently treated field.  Concerns are raised  
          that signs may not be properly used, and without knowing whether  
          the entry interval has expired, field workers may enter the  
          field and be exposed to pesticides.  Those in support argue that  
          including the date and time of reentry would better prevent  
          exposure and acute and chronic health risks to field workers.
           
          Arguments in Opposition:    Those in opposition state several  
          concerns related to the additional notification and posting  
          requirements that would be a "tremendous burden, impractical to  
          implement and work against the principle of Integrated Pesticide  
          Management."  Concerns are raised as to the timing of the  
          notice, stating that changing weather conditions (wind, rain)  
          would make it impossible to predict pesticide application a week  
          in advance, and multiple notices may be required as the  
          application dates change.  County agricultural commissioners are  
          specifically concerned with the cost of enforcement where  
          limited resources would be diverted from other inspection and  
          enforcement activities.  Furthermore, those in opposition state  
          that there are new posting requirements from EPA and several  
          coming from DPR which will provide additional protections for  





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          schools and those living near application sites.

           EPA Updates:    In 2012, the EPA issued updated safety measures  
          for soil fumigants, requiring site-specific fumigant management  
          plans, post-application summaries, and new buffer zones and  
          posting requirements.  Additionally, applicators can choose to  
          either conduct fumigant site monitoring or provide one-week  
          advance notice of fumigant application to neighboring residences  
          and businesses.  Given that these measures are relatively new,  
          the impact of these new requirements have not been fully  
          realized or assessed.

           Local Ordinance:   CACs can prohibit the use of all pesticides,  
          restricted and non-restricted, locally through county  
          ordinances.  In San Bernardino County, an ordinance (#4079)  
          passed in 2009 requires that 24-hour advance notification to be  
          given to CACs for all pesticide applications adjacent to  
          schools.  This ordinance also places restrictions on application  
          method and timing, banning the application of any pesticide by  
          aircraft and other specified methods when school is in session.   
          CACs can also enforce local regulations, such as in Monterey  
          County where field posting is required for every pesticide with  
          a restricted entry interval of 24 hours or longer, with  
          exceptions.

           Science-based regulation:   EPA and DPR thoroughly evaluate  
          individual pesticides for environmental, health, and safety  
          impacts, and locally, CACs evaluate site-specific considerations  
          and may set conditions through the permitting process.  Each  
          pesticide's restricted use and requirements are scientifically  
          supported and specific to the method of application, total  
          volume applied, total acreage to which it is applied, the crop  
          to which it is applied, weather conditions, and other variable  
          factors that would affect how the pesticide could impact health  
          and safety.  By requiring categories or groups of pesticides to  
          adhere to the same requirements regardless of their individual  
          properties, the scientific process would be violated.   
          Additionally, in response to a 2009 petition regarding pesticide  
          drift that requested, in part, that interim prohibitions be  
          placed on certain pesticides, the EPA stated that a  
          case-by-case, chemical-specific risk assessment is a sound,  
          science-based approach that yields a more realistic  
          representation of actual risks and facilitates the  
          identification of mitigation measures (Agency Response to  
          "Pesticides in the Air-Kids at Risk: Petition to EPA to Protect  
          Children from Pesticide Drift (2009)"; March 31, 2014).






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           Need for this bill :  Pesticide application notification and  
          posting requirements are currently regulated by EPA and DPR and  
          may be further regulated by county agricultural commissioners on  
          a local and site-specific level.  The committee may wish to  
          consider the necessity for this bill when the proposed changes  
          to pesticide application notification and posting can be  
          addressed through the public regulatory process.  

           Double referral:  The Senate Rules Committee has double referred  
          this bill to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee as the  
          second committee of referral.  Therefore, if this measure is  
          approved by this committee, the motion should include an action  
          to re-refer the bill to the Senate Committee on Environmental  
          Quality.


           RELATED LEGISLATION  :

          AB 947 (Jackson), Chapter 457, Statutes of 2002.  Permits county  
          agricultural commissioners to regulate the timing, notification  
          of use, and method of application of agricultural pesticides in  
          areas within a one-quarter mile perimeter of a school.  Requires  
          that the disaster procedures addressed in school safety plans  
          must include provisions for responding to the release of a  
          pesticide or other toxic substance from properties located  
          within a one-quarter mile perimeter of the school.  


           SUPPORT  :
          
          California Rural Legal Assistance (Sponsor)
          California Teamsters Public Affairs Council (Sponsor)
          Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County
          California Environmental Health Initiative
          California Institute for Rural Studies
          Californians for Pesticide Reform
          Center for Environmental Health
          City of Patterson
          Clean Water Action
          Coalition for Clean Air
          Committee for a Better Shafter
          Communities for a New California 
          Community Action to Fight Asthma
          Delano Guardians
          Farmworker Justice
          Friends of the Earth
          Global Community Monitor





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          Guam Communications Network
          Having Our Say Coalition
          LabelGMOs.org
          Madera Coalition for Community Justice
          Merced/Mariposa County Asthma Coalition
          Pesticide Action Network North America
          Pesticide Free Zone, Inc.
          Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sacramento Chapter
          Physicians for Social Responsibility, San Francisco Bay Area
          Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura & San Luis Obispo  
          Counties, Inc.
          Regional Asthma Management and Prevention
          Rural Communities Resource Center
          Sierra Club California
          Teens Turning Green
          United Farm Workers
          United for Change in Tooleville
          Worksafe
          1 Individual

           OPPOSITION  :
          
          Agricultural Council of California 
          Almond Hullers & Processors Association 
          American Pistachio Growers
          California Agricultural Aircraft Association 
          California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association
          California Association of Wheat Growers
          California Association of Winegrape Growers
          California Bean Shippers Association 
          California Citrus Mutual
          California Cotton Ginners Association 
          California Cotton Growers Association 
          California Farm Bureau Federation
          California Feed and Grain Association 
          California Grape and Treefruit League
          California Pear Growers Association 
          California Seed Association 
          California Tomato Growers Association 
          California Women for Agriculture 
          Family Winemakers
          Nisei Farmers League
          Ventura County Agricultural Association
          Western Agricultural Processors Association 
          Western Growers Association 
          Western Plant Health Association 






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