In January, EAC has joined with eleven groups, including the City of Berkeley, Environmental Working Group, and Pesticide Action Network, to sue the California Department of Food and Agriculture over the agency’s approval of a statewide “pest management” plan that allows pesticide spraying on schools, organic farms and residential yards, including aerial spraying over homes in rural areas. California approved the program despite tens of thousands of public comment letters calling for a less toxic approach that would protect the vitality and resilience of the state’s food system and the economic interests of organic farmers.
In May, EAC and co-plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction in state court to force the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to publicly disclose and analyze any pesticide spraying it conducts that poses risks to people, wildlife and the environment. The groups filed the motion last week as CDFA began spraying residential neighborhoods in Sacramento with three pesticides (carbaryl, cyfluthrin and imidacloprid) that are linked to cancer, birth defects, miscarriages and are extremely toxic to bees. The spraying, aimed at killing Japanese beetles, has been conducted numerous times in same area since the 1980s. The state agency has refused to use alternative non-toxic treatments for the beetle recommended by the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture, claiming that the ongoing use of hazardous pesticides is necessary to “eradicate” the insect. “The state’s spraying of toxic chemicals in our neighborhoods, over our waterways, and on our organic farms without opportunity for affected communities to have a voice in or stop state pesticide treatments is an egregious violation of environmental protection laws. We are seeking this injunction to stop this outrageous practice,” said Amy Trainer, executive director of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin.
Pesticides Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint
January 22, 2015
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
May 18, 2015
News and Media:
EAC files lawsuit to stop massive pesticide spraying proposal
Press Release, Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, January 22, 2015
Groups Seek to Force Public Disclosure of California Pesticide Spray Risks
Press Release, May 28, 2015
Court Order Sought to Force Disclosure of California Pesticide Spraying
Press Release, July 23, 2015