The following is partially excerpted from an article today in The Carmel Pine Cone.
"Last week, a California Department of Food and Agriculture spokesman conceded that the State of California would not be able to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth," an invasive insect that has been found in large numbers in California counties from Monterey north to the San Francisco Bay and beyond. "The spokesman said they would only be able to control the insect."
Action Now asserts that this distinction is extremely important, because when an insect pest is recognized as established - and therefore can no longer be completely eliminated - the State cannot consider the infestation an emergency. "Emergency" infestations allow for toxic pesticides to be applied without any environmental review, and are thus imposed on communities that have no legal recourse for protecting themselves and their neighborhoods from exposure to the harmful chemicals used.
The article continues: "In September and October of 2007, when eradication was still the goal, the state conducted aerial spraying of moth pheromones - a synthetic chemical intended to confuse males and make it difficult for them to locate potential mates - over Monterey and Santa Cruz county neighborhoods.
"But the operation ran into heated opposition among resident who said the pheromone made them sick. Environmental groups filed lawsuits over the LBAM aerial-spraying program.
Now instead of trying to eradicate the LBAM, large numbers of sterilized moths "are being produced in a facility in Moss Landing as part of state and federal efforts to control the pest. The number of sterile moths produced will increase dramatically over the next six months, an offical told reporters this week."
" 'Right now, we are producing about 40,000 sterile moths per week,' said U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman, Larry Hawkins, on Monday. In September, 'when all of the new equipment is at capcity, we anticipate we will be producing 3 million to 4 million sterile moths per week.'
"So far, the only area where sterile moths are being released is Carneros, a wine region in Sonoma and Napa counties. However, it is not yet clear if the extra moths will be released only in those two counties, or in other areas in California affected by the moth.
" 'At some point in time, we want to release the moths in areas that are generally infested,' Hawkins said. 'We haven't determined where that is going to be.'
"On Tuesday, the state certified the environmnetal impact report for the LBAM program. The EIR found that it was unlikely treatments in the moth program would cause human or environmental damage,* and that more harm would be caused by widespread pesticide use by private parties in absense of the program. The state is currently only considering the release of sterile moths and the placement of pheromone twist ties on trees and plants to get rid of the insect, the EIR said."
*Action Now members have experienced first-hand in the past how EIRs prepared by state and federal agricultural officials never seem to find any adverse health effects caused by their pest eradication programs no matter how many folks report illnesses. But their admission that the moth infestation can no longer considered an "emergency" is welcome news! For more information on the LBAM issue go to Pesticide Action Network's website at www.panna.org and click on "resourses."
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Attend a California Assembly hearing on chemical policy!
Or write to your representatives!
See below for details on the CHANGE coalition's efforts to pack the hearing room and generate public involvement. Learn about "Bad Actor" chemicals, and help change California policy on toxic chemical regulation!
Dear CHANGE Members:
We need to pack the room at the Assembly oversight hearing of the Green Chemistry Initiative on this coming Wednesday, March 17. This is a really important moment for us to demonstrate that people want a STRONG Green Chemistry Initiative. Critical mass is really important, so please come and reach out to your networks. There is a role for you whether you want to speak out or just be a supportive body in the room.
Can we count on you?
Rally for Green Chemistry-March 17th
Who: You and other people united for a toxic-free future (organized by CHANGE)
What: Pack the room to retire Bad Actor Chemicals at the California Assembly Green Chemistry Initiative oversight hearing
Where: California State Capitol, Room 126, Sacramento
When: Wednesday, March 17, 9:30a
Why: The Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC), the agency responsible for implementing the Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI), has just released their draft plan for regulating toxic chemicals and accelerating the quest for safer products.
They are now asking for comment from stakeholders – including you, the legislature, and the chemical industry.
We want to make sure that the voice for the public interest is louder than the voice for chemical profits. So we need to pack the room with the public voice (that’s you and me!) at the Assembly committee on Environmental Safety and Toxics Materials oversight hearing on the GCI. The heads of both DTSC and the California EPA will be there along with the relevant legislators. They are asking for public comment and we need to be there in force.
In other words, CHANGE has been working for over the past couple years on getting healthy, genuine chemical policy reform for California and we need your presence more than ever. This is it everyone! Once this draft framework gets approved, they start writing the regulations and it will be much harder to influence the outcomes.
So come to Sacramento and help ensure that the Bad Actor Chemicals are dealt with once and for all.
Every person counts!
We want to show DTSC, the legislature, and the governor’s office that people are united for a toxic-free future.
Will you join us? We’ll have talking points available if you’re willing to speak. This is our moment.
Please RSVP to Christina@ceh.org with the following information:
Name:Organization: How many people can you bring:Can you bring a banner:Do you need a ride? (If so from where?):Can you provide a ride? (if so from where and how many people?):Are you willing to speak:
If you can’t come to Sacramento, please show your support by sending a letter to the governor.
Policy Director, Center for Environmental Health
Coordinator, Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE)
2201 Broadway, Suite 302
Oakland, CA 94612
Follow us on twitter @changeca or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/changeCA