Updates on the Development of a Statewide Pesticide Application Notification System
The 2021-2022 state budget allocated $10 million to Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to begin the development of a statewide system that provides information to the public about pesticides used around them.
The tool will advance environmental justice and further protect public health by providing transparent and equitable access to information in advance of pesticide applications occurring near where people live, work or play. That information will provide the public with the opportunity to make their own decisions about any additional precautions they may want to take to protect their health.
DPR, in partnership with County Agricultural Commissioners (CACs), is in the initial development phase of the statewide system and is incorporating critical input from community members, farmers and other stakeholders. DPR is launching a process for broad participation across California to collect input from the public to help inform the structure and design of the tool. More information on how to participate is included in the "How to Participate" section of this website.
Questions, feedback or comments can be submitted to DPR in writing via email at ProjectNotify@cdpr.ca.gov.
Last updated: July 14, 2022
A statewide notification system in development by the Department of Pesticide Regulation will provide communities with transparent and equitable access to information about pesticides applied around them, and provide an opportunity for people to make their own decisions about any additional precautions they may want to take to protect their health.
Communities where the most pesticides are used are more vulnerable and are more susceptible to health problems resulting from various sources of pollution. A statewide system to provide pesticide notification will advance environmental justice and further protect public health by providing transparent and equitable access to information in advance of pesticide applications occurring near where people live, work or play. That information will provide the public with the opportunity to make their own decisions about any additional precautions they may want to take to protect their health. Examples of additional precautions may include shutting windows, avoiding areas around the fields, keeping children inside or bringing in toys and laundry.
The development of the statewide notification project is funded by $10 million allocated to DPR in the 2021-2022 state budget. The Governor, CalEPA and DPR are taking bold steps to accelerate a transition to safer and more sustainable pest management practices and to provide transparent and equitable access to information that will advance DPR's mission to protect human health and the environment. This shift is critical to improving the health of all Californians and protecting our environment. With an additional $36.5 million allocated in the 2021-22 state budget, DPR is positioned to bolster existing scientific research and grant programs that promote safer, more sustainable pest management practices, enhance environmental monitoring activities, and continue to strengthen its enforcement and community engagement activities.
DPR has a robust pesticide regulatory system focused on the protection of public health and the environment. DPR's current regulatory structure provides for safe application of pesticides to ensure food supply stability and to address urban pest management issues. DPR and County Agricultural Commissioners work together to ensure compliance with pesticide laws and regulations, including operating strict enforcement programs, monitoring the use of restricted materials and fumigants, and penalizing illegal pesticide use.
DPR's current regulatory structure does not have a system in place that provides transparent, accessible, real-time information to the public in advance about pesticide applications occurring around them. A statewide system to provide notification in advance of pesticide applications will complement regulations that govern the safe application of pesticides.
DPR is launching a public process for broad participation across California to collect input on DPR's development of the statewide system to provide advance notice of pesticide applications as the department moves forward in developing the tool. The input gathered will inform the design of the system. DPR will use this input to write a regulation that requires advance notification of pesticide applications.
As part of the process to develop a statewide pesticide notification system, DPR is conducting a series of public webinars and workshops. The input gathered will inform the design of the system. DPR will use this input to write a regulation that requires advance notification of pesticide applications.
Please use the information below to participate in the public webinars and workshops or provide comments by email.
Public Notification Workshops: June 27, 28 and 29, 2022
DPR held three identical virtual public workshops in June 2022 to collect feedback to inform the next phase of design and development for the state’s pesticide application notification system. During the workshops, DPR provided an overview of the proposed design for the statewide notification system and an opportunity for the public to share input through facilitated breakout sessions. Resources and materials used during the public notification workshops may be accessed in the links below.
- List of Guiding Principles for Statewide Pesticide Application Notification System, PDF
- Proposed Design Elements for Statewide Pesticide Application Notification System, PDF
- Public Notification Workshop PowerPoint Slides, PDF
- Presentation of Proposed Design Elements for the Statewide Notification System, Video
Public Webinars: November 2 and 3, 2021
DPR conducted virtual webinars on November 2 and 3 and asked for input from the public on Guiding Principles, PDF and Practical Considerations, PDF developed by DPR to inform the next steps in the design of a notification system. DPR collected feedback on these principles and practical considerations at the webinars and during a public comment period following the webinars.
Focus Group Feedback: August 2021
DPR hosted a series of focus groups in August 2021 for community residents and groups, regulatory agencies, growers, and regulated industries with the purpose of gathering insight for the development of the notification network. The meetings were designed as listening sessions for DPR to hear stakeholders’ thoughts and concerns about the benefits and challenges of a statewide pesticide notification system and to provide input on the design parameters. The focus groups were facilitated by neutral facilitators from the California State University, Sacramento Consensus and Collaboration Program (CCP).
What is the purpose of the state’s statewide pesticide application notification system?
The purpose of the notification system is to provide transparent and equitable access to information in advance of pesticide applications to enable the public to make informed decisions about actions they may take to protect their health. The statewide notification system will complement existing pesticide laws and regulations that protect public health and the environment.
When will the state’s notification system be implemented?
DPR is in the process of developing a statewide pesticide application notification system which includes providing opportunities for the public to provide input on the statewide system design and implementation, supporting voluntary pilot projects with County Agricultural Commissioners, determining and designing the technology that will provide accessible, real-time information to the public, and developing the regulation to ensure consistent statewide implementation of the system. DPR anticipates implementation for the system to occur in 2024.
What pesticides will be included in the statewide notification system?
The design of the state’s statewide notification system is still in development, with opportunities for community members, growers, and other stakeholders to provide input on the design and implementation of the statewide system.
One of the proposed design elements for the statewide system is to prioritize notification for pesticides that have greater potential for health impacts.
How will the statewide notification system be enforced?
The state regulation DPR is developing will establish statewide requirements for the system’s implementation.
What funding has been provided to implement the statewide notification system?
The 2021-2022 California state budget allocated an initial $10 million for the development of the statewide notification system. Long-term costs will be evaluated as a part of the regulation development in consultation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis.
How will information be populated into the statewide notification system?
The design of the state’s statewide notification system is still in development, with opportunities for community members, growers, stakeholders and the public to provide input on the design and implementation of the statewide system.
One of the draft Practical Considerations for the development of the system (LINK) is to minimize redundancies in reporting requirements and to complement existing regulations.
Will the notification system be available in language(s) other than English?
DPR is fully committed to providing the system in Spanish and English at the time of implementation and will continue to prioritize providing equal access to all DPR programs and services to persons who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) in accordance with the Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act (Gov. Code, § 7290 et seq.).
How can the public learn what pesticides were applied in their region?
DPR provides a full report of agricultural pesticide use across the state. Under the department’s Pesticide Use Reporting program, all agricultural pesticide use must be reported monthly to county agricultural commissioners, who in turn, report the data to DPR. Reports can be found at Pesticide Use Reporting (ca.gov) on the DPR website.
Where are the notification system pilot programs located?
County Agricultural Commissioners in Riverside, Stanislaus, Santa Cruz and Ventura volunteered for pilot programs to test system design elements, help collect feedback from community members and inform the design and implementation of the statewide notification system.
How are pesticides currently evaluated prior to sales or use in California?
DPR evaluates all pesticide products for potential human health and environmental risks before they can be registered for legal sale and use in California. This process follows evaluation and registration conducted by U.S. EPA.
DPR’s registration process includes the review of extensive scientific studies on human health and environmental effects, safety and efficacy. DPR also carries out a continuous evaluation process for products following registration to take into account evolving scientific understanding.
During evaluation and reevaluation, the department classifies certain pesticide active ingredients that pose relatively greater risk to human health or the environment as restricted materials. Restricted material pesticides have more limits on use and are subject to greater oversight than other registered pesticides. They may be applied only by specially licensed applicators, require locally issued permits through the County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC), and are subject to additional label conditions (for example, a larger buffer zone, notification for a set period of time after application, or additional restrictions such as the use of total impermeable film (TIF) tarps during and after application). The CAC permitting process (which includes the filing of a Notice of Intent to apply or NOI) allows the county to evaluate the site and surrounding areas and apply additional permit conditions that mitigate potential adverse effects (e.g., use buffer zones larger than required by label) and other restrictions. More information on restricted materials regulated by DPR can be found at Restricted Materials Use Requirements (ca.gov).
As part of DPR’s mandate to regulate the sale and use of pesticides in California, and the state’s overall goal to accelerate a transition to safer, more sustainable pest management, the department continuously reevaluates pesticides based on the most recent and available science and data and uses this science and data to mitigate impacts on worker and public health and the environment.
County Agricultural Commissioners and their nearly 400 staff visit and inspect pesticide application sites across California’s 58 counties, enforcing pesticide laws and regulations as guided by DPR and state regulations and taking enforcement action against violators. Their local, on-the-ground enforcement efforts are critical to the implementation of pesticide regulations that keep people and the environment safe.
Are there any pesticide application notification requirements currently in place at a statewide level?
There are several types of notification currently required in California.
Some pesticide labels, particularly for fumigants, require pesticide or field workers to be notified of the application prior to the application occurring.
State regulations also include a notification program that requires information sharing and specific restrictions on pesticide use within a quarter mile of a school or childcare center. More information on Addressing Pesticide Applications Near Schools and Child Care Facilities available on DPR’s website.
Are there specific regulations in place that currently protect agricultural communities and farm workers from potential pesticide exposure?
State Regulations 3 CCR 6700 are in place to protect farm workers and ensure health and safety for those working in the fields where pesticide applications occur. DPR’s Worker Health and Safety Branch Programs (ca.gov) oversees compliance with these regulations. The program provides training and outreach to increase education and awareness around safety for workers and fieldworkers, staff monitor human health risks and develop mitigation measures to address any identified risks. Staff also monitor and track all reported illnesses associated with pesticide exposure to help inform future mitigation efforts.
Notification Pilot Projects
County Agricultural Commissioners in Riverside, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus and Ventura counties volunteered to partner with DPR to launch pilot projects to support the development of a statewide pesticide application notification system. The pilot projects are planned to begin implementation between February and July 2022 and will help inform the design and implementation of the state’s statewide notification system.
The county-based pilot projects are testing certain elements of the notification system to inform the development of the statewide system. DPR provided participating Commissioners draft guiding principles and practical considerations to inform the development of the pilot notification projects.
The pilot projects provide an opportunity for community members and industry groups to contribute feedback to help inform DPR’s development of the statewide notification system. The participating counties will collect input on the pilot program implementation and share that input with DPR.
|County||Notification Pilot Location||Launch Date||Additional Information|
|Riverside County||Eastern Coachella Valley||Launched||Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner's Office | Pesticide Notification (rivcoawm.org)|
|Santa Cruz County||Senior Village Community, Watsonville||July 2022||Santa Cruz County Pilot Pesticide Notification System – Senior Village Community|
|Stanislaus County||Grayson Community||April 2022||Stanislaus County Pilot Pesticide Notification System - Grayson Community|
|Ventura County||Nyeland Acres Community||May 2022||Ventura County Pilot Pesticide Notification System – Nyeland Acres Community|
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