27TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
February 22, 2008 Contact: Bill Maxfield Phone:
SACRAMENTO Assemblymembers John Laird (D-Santa
Cruz), Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley/Oakland), Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Jared
Huffman (D-San Rafael) today introduced a 4-bill legislative package to address
the eradication effort for the Light Brown Apple Moth and other invasive species.
In addition, Assemblymember Laird released draft language for a joint resolution
to be introduced next week.
Bill descriptions and comments from Assemblymembers:
2763 would enact the Invasive Pest Planning Act of 2008, by Assemblymember
John Laird. The bill would require the Department of Food and Agriculture
to create a list of invasive animals, plants, and insects that have a reasonable
likelihood of entering California for which an eradication program might be appropriate.
For each invasive on the list, the department would prepare a written assessment
on the most appropriate method of eradication. If pesticides were to be
used, the assessment would have to discuss application methods, the chemistry
of the pesticide and its inert ingredients, impacts on public health and the environment.
The department would have to coordinate with the State Department of Public Health,
the Department of Fish and Game, and other state health agencies. The department
would have to hold public hearings. If a pest was found, the department would
have to notify various local agencies, hold public hearings, and comply with other
“The state was not adequately prepared for the Light
Brown Apple Moth,” said Assemblymember Laird. “This won’t
be our last experience with an invasive pest. But in light of climate change,
international travel patterns and chronically underfunded federal inspection programs,
we ought to put in place a pest planning process that prevents the kind of public
fear and confusion we’ve experienced to date with the Light Brown Apple
AB 2764, by Assemblywoman
Loni Hancock, will prohibit the Secretary of Food and Agriculture from
approving the application of a pesticide in an urban area, unless the Governor
has proclaimed a state of emergency. Current law allows the Secretary of
Food and Agriculture, to proclaim any area in the state an eradication area with
respect to a pest, prescribe the boundaries of the area, and name the pest or
host of pests that are known to exist within the area, together with the means
and methods that are to be used to eradicate or control the pest. Assemblymember
Hancock’s legislation will increase the level of responsibility the administration
has to take and will provide more transparency. In addition, the Governor
will be able to solicit input from all of his state agencies including Department
of Health and relevant environmental agencies.
“We are trying to bring
some transparency to a process that seems to favor economic interest over public
health. The fact that the Department is now doing an EIR that won't be complete
until sometime after the spraying has commenced brings into question the openness
of this process. We believe that there are significant questions that remain unanswered
and we are trying to get answers for our constituents before the spraying occurs,”
said Assemblywoman Loni Hancock.
AB 2765, by Assemblymember
Huffman, sets new limits on the emergency powers of the Department of Agriculture.
It requires a public hearing to receive testimony and examine alternatives to
aerial spraying prior to any decision to spray. It further bars emergency
spraying in an urban area unless there is full disclosure of all elements in any
pesticide product, and a certification of the safety of the product by state health
"I want to make sure that people in communities affected
by a proposed eradication strategy for LBAM or any other pest have better information
and a meaningful opportunity to engage in the process before decisions about aerial
spraying are made,” said Assemblymember Huffman. “At a minimum,
we need an open and transparent public process, full disclosure of spray ingredients,
and safety assurances based on sound science."
AB 2760, by
Leno would require that an Environmental Impact Report be completed before
the state Department of Food and Agriculture can apply pesticide in an urban area
for the eradication of the light brown apple moth.
"We cannot even
begin a discussion about the current plans of eradicating the light brown apple
moth before we understand the impacts of the chemicals the state is proposing
to spray in urban areas," stated Assemblyman Mark Leno. "My measure
will require that before any spraying can begin, the state must complete an Environmental
Impact Report that will tell us what impacts the specific mix of pheromone and
other chemicals will have on our children, families and communities. The
report will arm us with the information we need to help the state and communities
make an informed decision. Too much is at stake to enter into the discussion
without all of the facts,"; Leno said.
Draft Assembly Joint
Resolution by Assemblymember Laird
The following is the draft concluding
language for an Assembly joint resolution to be introduced next week
focused on CDFA's response with regard to conducting its LBAM eradication effort:
it is the responsibility of the government to demonstrate that its actions are
necessary, appropriate, and do not compromise health or the environment.
It is not the responsibility of citizens to demonstrate the reverse.
the various state departments and agencies involved in the LBAM eradication effort
need to address the unresolved health, scientific, and efficacy issues concerning
the 2007 eradication effort.
Resolved, that these departments and
agencies need to take the steps necessary to ensure, in any future actions, that
human health and environmental impact issues are appropriately evaluated and addressed.