SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California is one step closer to prohibiting most uses of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) after the California Legislature passed AB 1788, “The California Ecosystems Protection Act,” on Aug. 31. The bill was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has 30 days to sign it into law.
If signed into law by the Governor, AB 1788 would prohibit most uses of pesticides containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum or difethialone to reduce the poisoning of non-target wildlife until the re-evaluation by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is completed; the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) will also play a consultation role in the re-evaluation.
The bill was in response to studies that showed the detectable levels of SGARs in wildlife had not declined despite a consumer ban of the products in 2014.
Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) and other groups have been working in opposition to AB 1788. Chris Reardon, executive vice president of PCOC, told PCT that up until last week he was optimistic the bill would not make it out of the Senate (being placed in a suspense file). However, Reardon said the bill’s author, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, made a final push on Friday, including amending the bill to expand the exemption for agricultural activities, removing potential blockers.
“As we speak today, PCOC and our related supporters are recommending an ‘opposed veto’ to the Governor,” Reardon said.
If Gov. Newsom does sign AB 1788 into law, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021, but Reardon says the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CDPR) typically institutes a phase-out period for such matters. Reardon said the implementation of this ban could be challenging for CDPR because of the numerous exemptions/exceptions.
“I told our members as recently as yesterday to sort of hold on tight and let us work through this. As we speak today, it's just not clear how this is going to be laid out for us,” Reardon said. “We're concerned about it. And we clearly want a better understanding of what this is going to look like if, and when, the Governor signs it. There are a lot of questions to be answered.”
Reardon added that is important for PCOs to note the numerous exemptions in the bill, such as wineries, breweries, warehouses, factories, ag sites, medical facilities and drug and medical equipment manufacturing facilities, etc.
"I know people across the country are going to look very closely at the California bill, and one of the things they are going to learn is that it's not really a ban. If [lawmakers] are going to do this right they are to appease, or put in exceptions in there, to garner enough support to get a bill."
|Related: California Rodenticide Update, PCT, August 2020 |
PCT reported on California’s efforts to ban SGARs in our August.
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