Mill Assessment Study
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The Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) mission is to protect human health and the environment by regulating pesticide sales and use, and by fostering reduced-risk pest management. The Department receives a majority of its resources through the DPR Fund—80% of which is derived from the mill assessment that is levied on the sale of registered pesticides at the point of first sale into the state. However, this fee has not changed in over 17 years. To determine an appropriate mill assessment structure, funding source(s), and level(s) to support and sustain the department's long-term programmatic goals and responsibilities, DPR is initiating a study that will systematically approach this evaluation. The 2021-2022 state budget allocated $1 million over two years to DPR to fund a study on the mill assessment that examines:
- The existing structure and rate of the mill assessment;
- Current and future funding needs for DPR, including strategies for linking how revenues are collected to DPR’s broader mission objectives;
- Existing County Agricultural Commissioners’ funding associated with mill-related responsibilities and future needs;
- Detailed options that incentivize the use of safer sustainable pest management practices across the state of California; and
- Current and future revenues produced by proposed structures and rates to provide long-term sustainable funding that allows DPR to continue to fulfill its mission.
In February 2022, DPR entered into contract with Crowe LLP to conduct this study on DPR’s mill assessment, engage and consult with DPR stakeholders throughout various stages of the study, and issue a report outlining proposed mill options.
To receive updates on the progress and findings of the mill assessment study, please sign up to our email distribution list. Questions, feedback or comments can be submitted to DPR in writing via email at ProjectMillStudy@cdpr.ca.gov. For more information about the mill assessment in general, please visit the Mill Assessment page.
What are the latest updates on the Mill Assessment Study?
Crowe LLP released a Preliminary Recommendations and Implementation Plan, PDF on April 27, 2023, to provide their draft recommendations for DPR’s mill assessment. The preliminary recommendations and proposed implementation plan detailed in this report reflect extensive research, analysis, and stakeholder consultation conducted over the course of the last year.
Crowe LLP conducted a webinar on May 4, 2023, to share their preliminary mill assessment recommendations (including key assumptions, findings, and rationale) and their proposed implementation plan. A recording of this webinar is available on DPR’s YouTube page. Crowe also conducted three Q&A sessions in early May 2023 for stakeholders who had questions about the recommendations and implementation plan.
Crowe requests written feedback on the Preliminary Recommendations and Implementation Plan be sent via email to ProjectMillStudy@cdpr.ca.gov by June 2, 2023 at 5 pm. Comments received will inform the development of Crowe’s Final Recommendations and Implementation Plan.
In December 2022 and January 2023, Crowe LLP conducted a total of five focus groups to obtain stakeholder feedback on the Mill Alternatives Concept Paper, in addition to collecting written feedback through January 13, 2023. Stakeholder and public input will be used to inform the development of Crowe’s Mill Assessment Study draft recommendations.
Crowe LLP released a Mill Study Workload Analysis Report, PDF on February 15, 2023, to provide their independent research and analysis results regarding DPR’s existing workload needs, anticipated future programmatic needs (including needs to implement the Sustainable Pest Management (SPM) Roadmap), and potential funding implications of those needs. This should be considered a preliminary analysis of anticipated DPR staffing needs for SPM, as DPR conducted a comment period on implementation of the Roadmap through March 13, 2023. The Workload Analysis Report should be read along with the Mill Alternatives Concept Paper, and both documents will serve as supporting documents for Crowe LLP’s upcoming draft mill assessment recommendations.
For a brief summary of Mill Assessment Study activities over the Winter of 2022-23, including the Mill Alternatives Concept Paper, corresponding stakeholder feedback, and the Workload Analysis Report, please review the February study update.
Crowe LLP released a Mill Alternatives Concept Paper, PDF on December 2, 2022, to provide their initial proposals for DPR’s mill assessment. The primary goals of this Concept Paper are to:
- Outline mill design, usage, and implementation considerations for review and feedback by DPR and interested stakeholders that will support the refinement of Crowe’s mill assessment recommendations;
- Offer potential mill assessment funding models for review and feedback by DPR and interested stakeholders; and
- Communicate the remaining Mill Assessment Study milestones through the end of the contract period (June 2023).
Crowe conducted a webinar on December 6, 2022, to provide an update on the study and discuss their approach to identifying potential mill assessment alternatives, as detailed in their Concept Paper.
Crowe LLP has been conducting a detailed fiscal analysis of DPR’s current and future funding needs as well as stakeholder consultation sessions over the Summer of 2022. For more details on the stakeholder consultation sessions, please review the October study update.
Crowe LLP conducted initial interviews with DPR Subject Matter Experts and stakeholders over the Spring of 2022 to complement their program research. For more details, please review the July study update.
DPR conducted a webinar on March 30, 2022, to introduce the Crowe LLP team, a timeline of project milestones, and details on how stakeholders can get involved. A copy of the presentation slides is available. A recording of this webinar is also available on DPR’s YouTube page.
Why is DPR considering updating the Mill Assessment now?
The mill assessment supports DPR’s work of regulating pesticide sales and use, fostering reduced-risk pest management, conducting enforcement and compliance activities, health and human assessments, environmental monitoring, and worker safety protection in alignment with the Department’s mission. However, the pesticide mill assessment has remained the same since 2004. The DPR Fund’s structural imbalance is a result of the continued expansion of programs and priorities, growth in employee compensation, and DPR’s supplemental pension payment obligations under Chapter 50, Statutes of 2017 (SB 84). As the fund balance has been depleted over time, DPR has faced greater challenges in managing the structural imbalance.
To better protect public health and the environment and support the state’s agricultural economy, DPR is launching a study of the mill assessment to identify sustainable long-term funding for DPR while accelerating the transition to safer, sustainable pest management practices across California. As pest management practices evolve, so must DPR and its funding structure to reflect the transition to safer, sustainable practices. To help promote a smooth transition, DPR and Crowe LLP will be engaging and consulting with DPR stakeholders throughout various stages of the mill assessment study.
What will the mill study cover?
In February 2022, DPR entered into contract with Crowe LLP to conduct a study on DPR’s mill assessment. Over the course of the study, Crowe LLP will also:
- Engage and consult with DPR stakeholders throughout various stages of the study;
- Facilitate presentations and proposed recommendations to obtain feedback from stakeholders;
- Issue reports outlining the strengths and weaknesses of their proposed options for the structure of DPR’s mill assessment; and
- Provide DPR a detailed plan to implement the options recommended as a result of the study.
How can I provide feedback for the Mill Study?
Questions, feedback or comments can be submitted to DPR in writing via email at ProjectMillStudy@cdpr.ca.gov.
- Mill Study Scope of Work, PDF
- March 2022 Webinar Slides, PDF
- March 2022 Webinar Recording
- July 2022 Study Updates, PDF
- October 2022 Study Update, PDF
- Mill Alternatives Concept Paper, PDF
- Mill Study Workload Analysis Report, PDF
- February 2023 Study Update, PDF
- Preliminary Recommendations and Implementation Plan, PDF
- May 2023 Webinar Recording