Calls have intensified for California regulators to take state-level action on the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos.
In response to a legal challenge by PAN and our allies, the judges gave agency officials 60 days to ban the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos. But last week, the federal administration appealed a recent court decision ordering EPA to ban chlorpyrifos nationwide.
Now, with the federal ban back in limbo, people are ramping up the call for government action in California, which uses more chlorpyrifos than any other state.
Last Thursday, support of a state-wide ban of chlorpyrifos in California was very visible when dozens of advocates and residents of farmworking communities from around the state gathered in Sacramento. This grassroots delegation met with their legislators and delivered letters to Governor Brown on behalf of nearly sixty health, labor and environmental justice organizations. The governor’s office has also received close to 7,000 letters from concerned residents calling for a ban.
“I want the governor to understand this is personal for me,” said Cristin Romo, a Watsonville schoolteacher who has witnessed the impacts experienced by rural children, including her own. “I believe my sons were impacted for life by chlorpyrifos, and no one seems interested in doing anything about it. I don’t understand why our elected officials aren’t protecting us.”
California advocates will continue to urge Governor Brown to take immediate action and suspend use of chlorpyrifos, citing the overwhelming body of independent scientific evidence of chlorpyrifos’ harm, as well as the May decision by the Hawai’i state legislature to ban the hazardous chemical.
Momentum at the state level is building, while while a federal ban continues to move through the courts. Chlorpyrifos’ days on the market are numbered.