Last week, Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) introduced Senate Bill 1405 to provide more stringent guidelines on the use of harmful, toxic pesticides in schools.
“This bill will make California a national leader in protecting students from harmful pesticides at school,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “Schools should be a safe place for students, and it is imperative that any pesticides on site be used safely. Having schools adopt integrated pest management plans will promote the usage of preventative measures that can lessen the need for toxic pesticides.”
Under SB 1405 school sites will report all pesticide use to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Current law only requires professional applicators to report their use. This bill also requires anyone—including school staff and professional pest control applicators—using pesticides on school sites to undergo an annual training on integrated pest management and the safe usage of pesticides. An integrated pest management plan focuses on long-term preventative measures to solve pest problems with the least hazards to people and the environment. SB 1405 requires school sites to have a written integrated pest management plan in place. This practice has already been successfully implemented by the Los Angeles Unified School District and Santa Clara Unified School District, without significant cost burdens.
This is Senator DeSaulnier’s third attempt to regulate the use of pesticides on school sites. He previously authored SB1157 in 2010 and SB 394 in 2011.
SB 1405 is sponsored by the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council.