The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is incorporating input from a variety of interests in the development of the Pesticide Notification Network. With an allocation of $10 million in funding, DPR will be working to craft the new statewide notification system over the coming years. DPR Acting Director Julie Henderson said the first set of focus group meetings were successful in getting some baseline information to help guide the next steps in the process.
“Those meetings were designed as listening sessions for DPR to gather stakeholder input on the benefits and challenges of a statewide network,” Henderson noted. “We were seeking to gather input on the benefits of a system that would provide advance information about pesticides being applied around people but also get a sense of what the challenges may be and then diving into what elements of a notification system would be beneficial.”
Following the focus group sessions that included community groups, regulatory agencies, growers, and regulated industries, another series of outreach events will be hosted. Over the coming months, DPR will be putting on a series of public webinars and workshops to gather further feedback on the development of the program. “The input that we gather from those webinars and workshops in addition to the focus groups earlier will inform the design of the system as well as the regulation that will be developed to provide for the advance notification of certain pesticide applications,” said Henderson.
DPR is anticipating implementing the new Pesticide Notification Network sometime between 2023 and 2024. Henderson noted that the network will essentially be a continuation of the efforts to increase the adoption of more sustainable pest management tools and practices. “The development of this statewide network to provide information to communities about pesticides being applied around them is just a piece of that bigger picture,” Henderson explained.