To the applause of wildlife groups, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1788 Tuesday. The bill bans second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides statewide.
The author, Assemblymember Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, amended the bill twice to broadly exempt agricultural operations, dropping most of the industry’s opposition. The ban is in effect until the Department of Pesticide Regulation completes its risk assessment on the rodenticides and enacts new mitigation measures.
“My father was a naturalist and a strong advocate for the preservation of mountain lions,” said Newsom. “He would be proud to know that California is taking action to protect mountain lion populations.”
Bloom called the bill a commonsense measure to curb use of the chemicals.
“AB 1788 will protect our communities and imperiled wildlife,” said Pamela Flick, the California program director for Defenders of Wildlife.
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Newsom also approved a bill on chlorpyrifos. SB 86 requires DPR to submit quarterly reports detailing the use of the granular form of the insecticide, which Newsom acknowledged in his signing message will be "extremely limited."
Newsom also responded to criticism of the bill from ag groups arguing that SB 86 would add more costs for DPR and take resources away from its other regulatory duties.
"Additional funding may be needed to support this reporting without reducing resources to monitor, test and regulation (sic) of more widely-used pesticides," he writes.
He did not specific if the funding would come from the Legislature or from increasing the mill tax on pesticides. When the administration banned all other uses of chlorpyrifos in 2019, Newsom allocated $5.7 million in the budget to help find alternatives.