After months of rumors, Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Director Val Dolcini has officially submitted his resignation—effective July 2—and will return to Washington, D.C.

In 2019 Gov. Newsom created a new position for Dolcini as the CalEPA deputy secretary for agriculture. After just six months, Dolcini took over the reins at DPR. He had previously led the Pollinator Partnership and the USDA Farm Service Agency.

The move leaves vacant one of the most controversial positions in the state at a time when the Newsom administration is proposing drastic changes to the way pesticides are regulated. Dolcini has led the charge on developing a statewide pesticide notification system and setting new limits on the use of the fumigant 1,3-D and neonicotinoids.

The department is also struggling with a significant budget deficit as more environmental justice programs have been added to its duties.

Dolcini’s even temperament and efforts to work with all stakeholders gained him the support of the Ag Council and California Citrus Mutual (CCM), along with sustainable farming groups.

“He took time to understand the needs of the citrus industry, especially our fight to protect against [citrus greening],” writes CCM in a statement.

DPR is now facing a leadership vacuum. Chief Deputy Director Jesse Cuevas (top right, with Dolcini) left his role last month to lead the Assembly’s Accountability and Administrative Review Committee. And after serving less than a year, DPR’s communications director has left the department and is now with the Delta Stewardship Council.