Department of Pesticide Regulation finalizes on rules for application near schools

After almost a year of deliberation, the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) new rule prohibits pesticides from being applied within a quarter mile of schools and daycares on school days. Overall advocates are pleased with the new ruling because it provided protections to schoolchildren who were vulnerable to exposure from pesticide application in agriculture hubs near schools. The National Partnership submitted a comment letter last winter with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and took special note on how exposure has impacted low-income and Latino students in Coachella Valley area schools. In our letter, we also called for a 1-mile buffer to protect kids walking and biking to school. The final ruling falls short in that it fails to address low-dose daily exposure and pesticide drift for kids who walk to and from school.The ruling also fails to address how racial disparities impacts of Latino students in particular due to poor land use planning of agricultural farming, lack of affordable housing and how environmental racism plays out near many low-income communities like the Eastern Coachella Valley and other communities throughout California. In fact, Californians for Pesticide Reform reported that Latino schoolchildren in California twice as likely to attend the most toxic impacted schools as their white peers. Read more in the Pesticide Action’s network press release and the official ruling for the DPR.

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