The Sustainable Pest Management Work Group

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The Sustainable Pest Management Work Group was convened in March 2021 by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The group’s charge is to develop a roadmap of recommendations and ambitious, measurable goals that will accelerate a system-wide transition to more sustainable pest management.

The work group was initiated following the release of the Chlorpyrifos Alternatives Work Group’s 2020 Report, PDF, which recommended the state build on its efforts towards lasting, meaningful impact at the intersection of agriculture, community health, and the environment by engaging in more holistic, multi-sector discussions about the future of pest management.

The work group includes 26 members from diverse backgrounds, including growers and other representatives from the agricultural industry, university researchers, government representatives, and community representatives who bring environmental, social justice, farm worker and Tribal perspectives. The work group also includes subgroups to discuss future roadmap recommendations, including the Urban Subgroup to specifically consider urban pest management practices.

The Sustainable Pest Management Work Group is engaged in an 18-month process for learning and analysis and the development of a recommended roadmap. The work group is expected to release its initial draft of recommendations for public input in Spring 2022.

What is the goal of the Sustainable Pest Management Work Group?

The group’s shared commitment is to develop a recommended roadmap with ambitious, measurable goals to practically achieve the state’s vision to accelerate a system-wide transition to safer, more sustainable pest management.

The work group is considering how to minimize the reliance on use of higher toxicity pesticides and deploy traditional and new agronomic practices to protect and preserve soil health, water resources, air quality, and biodiversity; provide safe, resilient food systems; and ensure economic viability for growers and consumers. The workgroup is also identifying additional solutions needed to protect the health and safety of communities and agricultural and pest control workers, and eliminate racial and other disparities associated with adverse effects of pesticide use and application. The group is additionally considering how to engage, educate and promote collaboration among growers, pest managers, scientists, farmworkers, government agencies, environmental programs, and urban and rural communities.

What is the timeline for the release of the Sustainable Pest Management Work Group’s recommended roadmap?

The Sustainable Pest Management Work Group meets monthly, and additionally in smaller issue-specific groups. The group began meeting in April 2021 and will continue meeting through Fall 2022. The process includes identifying criteria for recommendations that will be included in the roadmap, conducting an in-depth systems analysis and learning by the group as whole, developing a draft roadmap, receiving feedback from the public on the initial recommendations, and finalizing the recommended roadmap to provide to the Governor, CalEPA, CDFA and DPR.

It is expected that the draft roadmap will be released in Spring 2022 with a final version available in Fall 2022.

How will the recommended roadmap from the Sustainable Pest Management Work Group be incorporated by DPR and CDFA?

The Sustainable Pest Management Workgroup’s roadmap will be provided to the Governor, CalEPA, CDFA and DPR. This roadmap will identify cross-sector recommendations and actions that can be taken to support the state’s goal of accelerating a transition to safer, more sustainable pest management.

Can I provide feedback on the recommendations or roadmap in development by the Sustainable Pest Management Work Group?

DPR and CDFA will conduct a public input process following the release of the draft roadmap in Spring 2022. More information will be available on this website in early 2022 on how to participate in that process.