State stops aerial pesticide spraying over neighborhoods
A victory for thousands of residents in California. The
CDFA announced they will no longer aerial spray urban areas with pesticide to
combat LBAM. However, the struggle is not over. If the CDFA has its way, planes
will spray the pesticide CheckMate LBAM-F over "agricultural or undeveloped
areas only" (areas not accessible by roads). All ground applications will go on
as planned but will now include an aerial release of sterile moths. Our work continues,
buoyed by this tremendous victory! - 6/19/08
The ruling by Judge Paul Burdick was a good ruling based on sound reasoning and
law. Anytime a judge rules in our favor we have something to celebrate. The thing
to keep in mind is that this only applies to Santa Cruz County, and for how long,
we don't know. The judge does not have jurisdiction in other counties, so each
county can still be sprayed. We do know that at some point the EIR will be done,
even if not honestly, and we will be right back where we started.
City and County of Santa Cruz filed this suit, and passed the resolutions to stop
the spray in response to the huge and collective community outcry - which is where
CASS came in. CASS, which was formed in the early stages of this CDFA program,
resolved to organize a grass roots campaign to halt this program permanently.
We started by forming action teams where individuals with particular skills and
passions could put their resources together to make change. We came up with 12
different areas that we believed were necessary to focus on to stop this thing.
(legislative, economic, media, outreach, etc.) We enrolled local government in
taking legal action, but we knew from the start that this suit, if successful,
would only be temporary because of the cause of action the City and County of
Santa Cruz chose.
CASS is dedicated to
stopping the State of California's residential use of pesticides in an attempt
to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). CASS opposes this program for
the following reasons:
1. The program developed by the state has not
been shown to be safe for application to residential populations.
The pesticide solution contains synthetic chemical pheromones as active ingredients
and numerous potentially toxic compounds as so-called "inactive" compounds.
3. The aerial spraying portion of the program will occur 3-4 days every month
for up to 10 years exposing children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and the
elderly to continued exposure to unknown concentrations of these potential toxins
for extremely long periods of time.
4. The toxicity of this pesticide
solution to the environment has not been fully ascertained and many of the ingredients
are recognized human, environmental, ecological, and aquatic toxins.
5. The economic justification used by the State of California was based on a completely
theorized worse case scenario of LBAM infestation with no basis of substantiation
6. The program includes pesticide treatment of residential
yards, parks, and residential streets with highly toxic pyrethroids.