Californians for Pesticide Reform 
October 2015   
Pesticide Reform News and Action

Recent News from the CPR Coalition 

In This Issue
CPR Briefs Decisionmakers on How Pesticides Impact Children's Health
Attend a Regional Workshop On Pesticide Use Near Public Schools
Fumigant Notification Workshop Update
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Remembering Teresa DeAnda: 
Passionate advocate for San Joaquin Valley's farming communities

March 4, 1959 - October 27, 2014

Today marks one year since the passing of CPR's Central Valley Coordinator Teresa DeAnda. Teresa was a force to be reckoned with, fighting fearlessly and passionately for California's farmer workers and rural families threatened by pesticide exposure. More about Teresa's remarkable life and work is here.

Teresa's legacy lives on in her family and especially her daughter Valerie Gorospe, who continues her mother's work as an advocate and organizer with the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment in Kern County.

Teresa continues to inspire us all by the example of her courage, tenacity, energy and wit. She is deeply missed.

Make your voice heard: Call for an end to Telone 'banking'

Please join CPR in demanding that the California Environmental Protection Agency rein in the Department of Pesticide Regulation's lax oversight of the carcinogenic fumigant 1,3-Dichloropropene (Telone).  Thanks to CPR steering committee member PANNA for taking the lead on this important issue.

Not since methyl iodide have we seen such a harmful pesticide so egregiously handled by DPR. In 1990 DPR actually banned Telone from California due to its known carcinogenicity. Five years later DPR allowed the Prop 65 carcinogen back on the market for agricultural use, on the condition that farmers collectively cap their use at no more than 90,250 pounds per township (36 square mile area) each year.  This township "cap" is entirely unique to Telone.

Within 7 years, and in defiance of its own scientists, DPR began violating its own cap system through a practice called Telone "banking." Under the banking system, DPR allows applicators to "rollover" any unused Telone from one year to the next, allowing for use as high as 180,500 pounds per year per township. DPR adopted this banking system with no regulatory process or basis in science, and in complete contradiction to recommendations from the department's own scientists.

As if this were not enough, within a year of creating the "banking" loophole, DPR began granting "waivers" allowing growers to essentially use as much Telone as they wished - even if they had used up their bank, and well beyond the 180,500 pound cap. 

Read more on one community's efforts to hold DPR accountable here.

TAKE ACTION: Join CPR in telling CalEPA to end Telone banking. Take Action Here!

Poisoned at school? Why we need a one-mile buffer zone

On the morning of October 1st, twenty Coachella Valley High School students and eight staff members were sickened by drift blown from an herbicide application across the street from the school. At the time of the exposure, the students and teachers suffered from stomachaches, nausea, headaches and sore throats - longer-lasting effects are unknown. 

This latest incident underscores the urgency for the Department of Pesticide Regulation to act immediately to protect children at school by requiring and enforcing a one-mile, pesticide-free buffer zone around schools.

In its April 2014 report "Agricultural Pesticide Use Near Public Schools in California," the California Department of Public Health gave notice of the risks of nearby agricultural pesticide applications, documenting significant quantities of agricultural pesticides of public health concern used in close proximity to hundreds of schools - with Latino children far more likely than white children to attend such schools. 

Under pressure from these findings, DPR is preparing for the December release of new draft regulations aimed at protecting schools from pesticide drift. In a series of five "listening sessions" held by DPR in May and June - including one in Coachella on June 9 - hundreds of local parents and farmworkers showed up to urge officials to require a one-mile, pesticide-free buffer zone around schools. 

Following the workshops, DPR received thousands of comments from individuals and organizations, 99% of them repeating the call for a one mile buffer zone.

CPR member organizations are working hard to keep the pressure on DPR to create strong new statewide regulations that ensure no more children are poisoned  at school. Look for an update in December.


CPR Core Staff Update


CPR is delighted to welcome Jane Sellen to our core staff as our new Grants and Communications Manager. Jane comes to us from Sierra Streams Institute, a watershed science organization based in Nevada City, CA, where she worked for seven years developing proposals for state, federal and foundation funders. A native of England, Jane has a BA in English and Law from Cambridge University.


Our search for a new executive director continues, led by our hiring committee. Meanwhile, former co-director Sarah Aird has graciously stepped up as Acting Executive Director, and our Monterey community organizer Mark Weller has accepted the full-time position of Acting Program Director.