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November 16, 2018

DPR Recommends Interim Restrictions on Use of Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is now recommending new interim restrictions on the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. According to DPR’s announcement today, the new measures will provide increased protections from potential exposure to the pesticide, while DPR completes a formal regulatory process to list chlorpyrifos as a “toxic air contaminant” and develops permanent restrictions on its use.

The interim measures include:

  • Banning all aerial applications of chlorpyrifos.
  • Discontinuing its use on most crops. Chlorpyrifos will be restricted to “critical uses” on crops for which there are few if any alternative pesticides, as determined by the University of California Cooperative Extension. These critical uses are listed on DPR’s website.
  • Requiring a quarter-mile buffer zone during all allowed applications of the pesticide and for 24 hours afterwards.
  • Requiring a 150-foot setback from houses, businesses, schools and other sensitive sites at all times, regardless of whether the site is occupied at the time of application.

Chlorpyrifos is a critical part of pest management programs for farmers. It is used on more than 800,000 acres and more than 60 crops including tree nuts, vegetables, grapes, citrus, cotton and alfalfa. Western Growers continues to call on DPR to use real world scenarios and assumptions, appropriate models and all relevant studies in the continued review of chlorpyrifos so that final decisions are based on sound science and understood by the agricultural industry.

The complete interim restrictions recommended by DPR are available at: https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/enforce/compend/vol_3/append_o.pdf.