Did you know that California state law prevents towns, cities and counties from regulating pesticide use, sale or transport? There’s a growing statewide movement of residents concerned about public health and democracy to change this law to allow local communities to create local pesticide restrictions. To kick off the campaign, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma has introduced legislation -- AB977 -- that would reclaim local control. The legislation is about to be heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
Take Action Now! Urge Senate Committee members to support AB977 to overturn the California law that prohibits local control of pesticides.
After Mendocino County sought to ban aerial spraying of herbicides in 1979, the chemical industry lobbied to change California’s Food and Agriculture Code to prohibit such local regulations. This “preemption” law, adopted in 1984, says that “no ordinance or regulation of local government… may prohibit or in any way attempt to regulate any matter relating to the registration, sale, transportation, or use of pesticides.”
This means towns and counties can’t pass pesticide laws such as requiring neighbor notification about pesticide use or deciding that certain pesticides are too dangerous to be used locally -- chemicals known to cause poisonings, cancer, reproductive harms, developmental defects and other health problems. After enacting preemption in California, industry proceeded to win similar laws in all but ten states. But last year a pesticide preemption law was defeated in Maine. Now Californians want local control too.
Act Today! to ensure that AB977 stays in the Environmental Quality Committee and moves forward.
Thank you for helping to protect public health by taking back the right of local governments to control pesticide use.