2000 Accomplishments and Priorities
Department of Pesticide Regulation
The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) regulates the use of pesticides to protect human health and the environment.Accomplishments During the Second Half of 2000
- Toxic Air Contaminants. DPR adopted regulations to add methyl parathion to the toxic air contaminant list on September 29, 2000. DPR released and received comments on the draft risk assessment for molinate and also released the draft risk assessment for chlorpyrifos. The risk assessment for azinphos-methyl was forwarded to the Scientific Review Panel for their consideration. The Scientific Review Panel and DPR sponsored a workshop on toxicological issues for organophosphate pesticides.
- Pesticide Risk Characterization/Exposure Assessments Under the Birth Defect Prevention Act of 1984 (SB 950). DPR released three risk assessments (atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and thiabendazole) for peer review and completed risk assessments for three active ingredients (methyl bromide, metam sodium, and methylisothiocyanate).
- Exposure Guidance Document. Staff continued to revise the document, Guidance for the Preparation of Human Pesticide Exposure Assessment Documents (HS-1612). This document contains, among other things, default physiological factors as well as protective factors for clothing, personal protective equipment, engineering controls and activity patterns.
- California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Data Enhancement Project. Staff neared completion of this project and expect to finalize it in the first half of 2001. The project involves collecting information from past records of poison control, hospitalizations and death certificates, and comparing that information to the data collected by PISP during the same period (1994-1996). This comparison is intended to identify any absences or omissions in the data collected under PISP.
- Study of Dislodgeable Foliar Residue: Comparison of Reduced-Volume and Conventional Applications. This study compares residue dissipation and decay following applications by reduced-volume and conventional application equipment. The concentrations of pesticides in spray mixes are higher using reduced-volume application techniques, possibly affecting field worker exposure. The study was completed and the report is under final internal review. The final report is expected to be release in the first half of 2001.
- A Profile of Dislodgeable Pesticide Residues on Crop Foliage at Field Re-entry, 1995-1999. DPR continues to develop its report on the residues found at the time of legal re-entry, which it expects to complete in the first half of 2001. The data represent an index of the potential for field worker exposure.
- Methyl Bromide. DPR completed work on two important uses of methyl bromide:
- Field Fumigation Regulations. DPR
adopted many of the methyl bromide "suggested permit
conditions" into regulation. The final regulations includes new
- Submission of a worksite plan to the county agricultural commissioner prior to fumigation
- Notification to neighboring property operators
- Extra protection for children in schools
- Establishment of minimum buffer zones
- New limits on work hours for fumigation employees.
In response to comments received, a second modification to the proposed regulations was released for public comment on August 10, 2000. DPR filed the final rulemaking package with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on October 31, 2000.
- Structure Fumigation Regulations. DPR adopted regulations, effective on September 14, 2000, that imposed restrictions of methyl bromide fumigations for structures. The regulations include more stringent requirements for tarpaulin use and for the aeration of fumigated structures, and require the maintenance of a buffer area between fumigated structures and the public.
- Drift Control Mitigation and Enforcement. In September 2000, DPR issued a revision of its Pesticide Drift Enforcement Policy.
- Metam Sodium and Potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate Restrictions. DPR distributed recommendations to county agricultural commissioners to use as a reference when issuing pesticide use permits for metam sodium and potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate to mitigate off-site movement of methyl isothiocyanate(MITC). Recommendations for irrigation equipment, field monitoring, post-application field monitoring, buffer zones, and minimum specifications for application equipment are included.
- County Program Oversight. Beginning in July 2000, DPR began to negotiate work plans with county agricultural commissioners to establish a system of better county accountability for state and local priorities and to more closely link state and local pesticide regulatory activities. DPR and county agricultural commissioners are pursuing this new relationship based on the results of a joint quality improvement initiative.
- Pesticide Use Reporting. DPR released a preliminary draft of the 1999 Pesticide Use Report (PUR) in September 2000. The Summary of Pesticide Use Report Data 1999 summarizes the total reported use of each pesticide active ingredient on each crop or site in California in 1999. This report also provides an overview of the trends in use from 1991 to 1999 for pesticides in several categories, including reproductive toxins, carcinogens, cholinesterase inhibitors, ground water contaminant, toxic air contaminants, oils, reduced-risk pesticides, and biopesticides. DPR also created a new program that loads and error-checks the PUR data it receives. This program improves error checking and automates data loading and processing.
- Volatile Organic Compound Emission Inventory. DPR substituted measured values of volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions for many pesticides that were previously assigned default emission values. The use of actual measurements will improve the accuracy of the estimation of pesticide VOC emissions and will help in analyzing VOC emissions from agricultural and commercial structural pesticides for the years 1990 through 1999.
- Groundwater Regulations. Currently, DPR imposes pesticide restrictions if pesticides are detected in groundwater. DPR has developed regulations designed to prevent contamination by identifying sensitive areas (based on weather and soils data) and regulating pesticide use in those areas. DPR received comments at workshops and stakeholder meetings, and will continue to modify and propose regulations for public review in the first half of 2001.
- Total Maximum Daily Load Requirements. DPR continued to work with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards to define monitoring priorities. In addition:
- Mitigation Measures. DPR worked with growers and grower groups to document the validity of mitigation measures for the control of pesticides after application.
- Pesticide Source Identification. DPR established contract work aimed at identifying pesticide sources in urban creeks and quantifying loading in key waterways.
- Rice Pesticide Monitoring Program. DPR completed the Rice Pesticide Monitoring Program’s Triennial Report for Rice in November 2000.
- Surface Water Database. The surface water database was released to the public on both CD-ROM and on the Internet. This database presents the results of pesticide-related surface water sampling studies performed throughout the State.
- Sacramento River Watershed Program. In 1998, the Sacramento River Watershed Program stakeholders agreed that the presence of organophosphate pesticides in the Sacramento and Feather Rivers should be reduced in order to protect aquatic resources, and recommended the development of an organophosphate pesticide management plan. In progress toward this goal and recommendation, DPR developed a monitoring plan for the Sacramento and Feather Rivers for the winter of 2000-2001.
- Lompoc Air Monitoring. DPR completed pesticide air monitoring activities in Lompoc. Preliminary results are to be presented to the Lompoc Interagency Workgroup on January 18, 2001.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
- Innovator Awards. Eight IPM Innovator awards were presented in November 2000, out of 30 nominations received. The IPM Innovator Program has identified 63 groups and organizations that are providing leadership in the development of economical reduced-risk pest management systems in California. The Program helps these groups to network and increase the number of growers adopting reduced-risk practices.
- School IPM Programs.
DPR is charged with carrying out the mandates of AB 2260, the Healthy
Schools Act of 2000. DPR has begun a variety of activities to implement AB
- DPR has identified persons responsible for pest management decisions for each of the 1,046 school districts in California to participate in a survey of current IPM practices at schools.
- DPR is actively participating with other California Environmental Protection Agency departments, boards, and offices and with the California Department of Education to integrate the school IPM effort into related efforts.
- A customized guidebook for IPM in California Schools is in development, as is an “IPM in Schools” Web site.
- Internet-Based Pesticide Resource Directory Project. DPR unveiled its internet-based centralized pesticide resource directory that provides 24/7 access to pesticide information. This directory improves access to pesticide resources and provides pesticide data and registration action information that is not otherwise available.
- E-Government and Business Function Initiative.
- Enforcement and Compliance Web Page. DPR's Pesticide Enforcement Branch rolled out the first phase of its new Enforcement and Compliance Web Page. The Web Page provides basic information to the counties and the public, including current laws and regulations, policies, procedural documents, state/county programs, resources, and other reports. This Web Page will continue to evolve over the next year.
- Business Process Group. In July of 2000, the Pesticide Registration Branch created the “Business Process Group,” composed of industry representatives and Pesticide Registration Branch staff. This group will develop changes in pesticide registration processes to produce faster decisions on licensing new and amended pesticide products.
- Information Technology. DPR’s Information Technology Branch has enabled over 100 DPR staff to access department information resources remotely. This new technology solution takes advantage of state-of-the-art security measures and makes optimal use of information technology resources.
- California/Mexico Border Project.
- Pesticide Integrated Environmental Border Project. In October, DPR submitted a report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) on tracking produce from Mexico found to contain residues of illegal pesticides. This completed an amendment to the Pesticide Integrated Environmental Border Project granted by U.S. EPA. The study provides recommendations for locating customs information and for developing a communication protocol with Sanidad Vegetal, a division of Secretaria de Agricultura Ganaderia y Desarrollo Rural (SAGAR).
- California-Baja California Strategic Environmental Plan. DPR cooperated with Cal/EPA’s Border Affairs Unit in the development of the California-Baja California Strategic Environmental Plan. The plan includes a program for pesticide episode response in the border area as well as goals; such as developing mitigation measures to reduce contamination of surface water and enhancing integrated pest management (IPM) grants in the border area.
- Border Information Exchange. In August 2000, the Border Information Exchange implemented an inspector exchange between the U.S. member states and SAGAR. Eight Mexican inspectors visited the border states (two per state) for a one-week period. The inspectors participated in numerous inspections and visits to aerial and ground applicators, pesticide dealers, field workers, county agricultural commissioners, and packing sheds. This was followed in October 2000 by a visit of U.S. inspectors to Central Mexico to observe similar sites and the Mexican inspection process. A planning meeting was held in McAllen, Texas, on November 9, 2000, for the Border Exchange Project. U.S. and Mexican members met to identify and prioritize projects for the coming year.
- Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Insecticide Monitoring. DPR’s Environmental Monitoring Branch completed monitoring carbaryl applications targeting the glassy-winged sharpshooter in urban areas. Monitoring was conducted in Tulare, Fresno, Sacramento, Contra Costa, and Butte Counties. Matrices monitored included tank mixture, air, foliage, surface water (ponds, creeks, and runoff water), fish tissues, and backyard fruits. Monitoring results indicate that applications were generally being conducted safely, with no adverse environmental impact.
- Business Process Reengineering. The Department is under contract with NewPoint Group, a consulting firm assisting with business process reengineering and E-Government strategy engagement. By May 2001, DPR will have an action plan and will have implemented some "early wins" on E-Government -- moving the Department's transactions with its various customers to the Internet. This project will be the first step in meeting the provisions of Governor Gray Davis' Executive Order D-00-17 relative to E-Government and the improvement of business processes and moving selected business processes to the Internet.
- E-Government. In keeping with Governor Gray Davis' strategy for an E-Business Portal, DPR is launching a project in concert with the Department of General Service's Enterprise Business Office. This project will create a web-based "Intent to Operate" system to help licensees prepare for county registration through a single transaction.
- Pesticide Use Report Program Review. DPR will convene an External PUR Work Group as a means to obtain stakeholder input into business and procedural issues and technology design proposals. The work groups will focus on the pesticide use reporting and related systems (i.e., restricted material permit, operator identification, county registrations, data sharing across government and industry, etc.).
- Toxic Air Contaminants. This year DPR will bring three risk assessment documents before the Scientific Review Panel: molinate, azinphos methyl, and chlorpyrifos. DPR will receive findings from the Scientific Review Panel on the metam sodium/MITC document. The receipt of these findings will initiate rulemaking to add MITC to the toxic air contaminant list.
- Pesticide Risk Characterization/Exposure Assessments under the Birth Defect Prevention Act of 1984 (SB 950). DPR will complete risk characterization documents for acephate, carbaryl, carbofuran, diazinon, endosulfan, mancozeb, and maneb.
- Lompoc Air Monitoring. In 2001, DPR will release the preliminary monitoring results. DPR will continue method-development work to sample and analyze for five to ten additional pesticides.
- Designation Dazomet and Potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate as Restricted Materials. DPR filed a finding of emergency to amend Title 3 California Code of Regulations (3 CCR) sections 6400 to designate dazomet and potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate as restricted materials. Dazomet and potassium N-methyldithiocarbamate degrade to form MITC, recently designated a toxic air contaminant. These products are necessary due to the impending phase-out of methyl bromide. DPR anticipates formally adopting these regulations in 2001.
- Bioassessment. DPR will initiate a program for the bioassessment of pesticide residues in the San Joaquin River and the Sacramento-San Francisco Bay Delta. This program will be coordinated with similar programs in other State and local agencies.
- Ground Water Regulations. DPR will formally notice new ground water protection regulations in early 2001 and will develop a companion implementation plan for the proposed regulations. The regulations are intended to transform the program into a preventative one, while the implementation plan will serve as a training guide for both pesticide users and regulatory staff.
- Farm Worker’s Right to Know. DPR is evaluating the adequacy of the current system for notifying farm workers of pesticide applications and hazards in the workplace. DPR met with worker advocates to discuss worker notification of pesticide applications, posting warning signs around crops that were treated with pesticides, and hazard communication requirements to determine whether changes should be made. DPR will prepare recommendations on program changes, if needed, after input is received from all stakeholders.
- Pest Management Grants and Alliances. DPR will award grants to proposals submitted in 2000 to promote increased adoption of reduced-risk practices in agricultural and urban settings. Staff will also prepare Requests For Proposals for pest management grants and alliances for the 2001/02 fiscal year.
- School Integrated Pest Management (IPM). DPR staff will develop a “School IPM” Web site and basic fact sheets on program and technical materials for inclusion in the IPM guidebook. Staff will develop criteria to identify least-hazardous pest control practices and survey school districts for baseline pest management practices. In addition, development will begin on a reporting form for licensed pest control businesses, and the PUR will be modified to accommodate school IPM data.
- Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Insecticide Monitoring. DPR’s Environmental Monitoring Branch will continue to monitor insecticide applications to new glassy-winged sharpshooter infestations in urban areas. DPR will also monitor for carbaryl and imidacloprid residues in various environmental matrices at the proposed second application in Brentwood.
- Indian Basketweavers Herbicide Monitoring Project. DPR’s Environmental Monitoring Branch will compile and publish findings on this three-year collaborative study with California tribes and the U.S. Forest Service. The study is designed to address concerns of the tribal people regarding herbicide applications in the Lassen, El Dorado, Sierra, and Stanislaus National Forests.
- Red Imported Fire Ant Insecticide Monitoring Project. DPR’s Environmental Monitoring Branch will monitor ground water and continue monthly surface water sampling in Orange County. Emphasis will be placed on implementing and evaluating insecticide runoff mitigation measures in collaboration with the University of California Cooperative Extension, ornamental nursery industry, and Regional Water Quality Control Board.
- Bee Protection. DPR proposes to amend regulations pertaining to bee protection to remove outdated information and requirements. This will allow for consistency with new federal pesticide labeling requirements regarding residual toxicity data for those pesticide applications near areas where bees may forage.
- Fumigants. Additional restrictions will be proposed for long-term (subchronic and chronic) exposure to methyl bromide. Permit guidance will be issued to county agricultural commissioners to ensure people are not exposed to unsafe levels of metam sodium. A formal risk assessment will begin for chloropicrin.