July 26, 2016

U.S. Court of Appeals Rules Pesticide Buffer Zones around Schools Unscientific

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to not implement pesticide buffer zones around schools, parks, daycare centers or anywhere children might congregate was justified. The ruling was part of the Court’s decision to deny the petition filed by the Pesticide Action Network North America, United Farm Workers, and Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste in 2009 requesting that the EPA impose interim buffer zones around schools to protect children from pesticide drift.

The court ruled that there was substantial evidence to support EPA’s decision and creating precautionary buffer zones would be unscientific and an inefficient use of EPA’s resources. The decision comes at an opportune time considering that the California Department of Pesticide Regulation plans to release new rules later this summer about the use of pesticides near schools.

The Court’s decision is in line with Western Growers’ mission to ensure that any future pesticide restrictions be based on scientific evidence. In an effort to help farmers maintain the various tools used for crop protection, Western Growers will continue to educate legislators and the public about the safe use of pesticides through WG&S articles that highlight the stringent approval process for pesticides and the importance of protecting a science-based process, facts sheets that detail the truth about crop protection tools and op-eds that demonstrate the detrimental effects additional pesticide regulations would have on farming operations.

For more information, contact Matthew Allen at (916) 446-1435.