Call to Growers: Join Postcard Campaign to Stop Additional Pesticide Regulations Near Schools before Friday, Dec. 9
By Brian German, Associate Broadcaster
Proposed DPR Regulations
“The proposed California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) further restricting growers from applying crop protection products near schools is unnecessary,” noted Kelly Covello, president of the Almond Alliance of California, which advocates and lobbies for the almond industry.
“Basically, this proposed rule is going to add a layer of unnecessary regulation. It proposes restricting pesticide applications within a quarter mile of schools and daycare centers between Mondays and Fridays, 6am to 6pm,” said Covello. She noted there are already regulations in place to protect both the community and the applicator.
Likewise, Colleen Cecil, executive director, Butte County Farm Bureau, said, “We’re very confident in the regulation that currently exists and the responsibility that landowners take when it comes to spraying anywhere. There are rules in place and these rules work.”
“The environmental community has done a bang-em-up job at fear-mongering, period. They believe they can take pictures of kids next to fields and make the farmer the bad guy. Nothing can be further from the truth,” Cecil said.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of people,” noted Ceil. “As stewards of the land, farmers already do everything in their power to mitigate risks involved in agriculture and the application of pesticide is no exception.” Cecil added, “The puzzling part of the proposed regulation is that DPR have stated themselves that they were ‘unable to quantify the benefits’ and that ‘any health benefits of the prohibitions are unknown.'”
Call for Growers to Take Action
“We have joined California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) and other organizations that are working on this issue,” said Covello. “One of the main calls to action for grower engagement with DPR is CFBF’s postcard campaign. If you would like postcards to share with your grower network, please email email@example.com or simply print from the Postcard PDF document and mail directly to DPR (contact information is on the last page of the PDF document). A high volume of input will be critical.
Growers can also sign and share CFBF’s petition. Farm Bureau will deliver the petitions to DPR before the comment period closes on December 9.
“This [proposed regulation] really is unnecessary,” said Covello. “There is no science. There is no injury or illness that has sparked the need for new regulations. We are really hoping we can get our growers engaged by sending in a postcard or sending in comments. Again, growers can contact the Almond Alliance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at (209) 300-7140.
“We would be happy to get you a postcard,” Covello said. “We can also email it to anyone. So please help us in this fight to stop unnecessary regulation.”