Historically, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has provided a clear understanding of what the state’s county commissioners can recommend as a lawful application and when some additional discretion was allowed. But some recent guidance letters are putting that long-standing relationship to the test.
Case in point: Growers in the northern part of the state needed to apply fungicide sprays due to heavy rains in almond and walnut orchards that had been flooded. In the past 30 years,
DPR had allowed growers thru an exemption from the label to allow the applications to occur by air. The legal opinion at the time was based on a definition of standing water that was not going to move off site into other waterways. However, a recent letter from DPR said that’s no longer the case and use of the product was not labeled for this use by air, and in the next paragraph, the DPR letter informed that the commissioner should use his own discretion.
Ruben Arroyo, Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer and President of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association said there is a “rocky road we are going down now, but hopefully we’ll come to some conclusion that is based on sound science.
“Our goal is to make sure we are regulating you in the right manner and that we are doing the same things in all counties,” Arroyo told CAPCA members during a meeting in Temecula last week. “I want you to feel comfortable that what I’m doing in Riverside County is the same thing that’s happening in San Diego County.”
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