March 2, 2018 – -This week Superior Court Judge Timothy W. Frawley ruled against CDFA, in a lawsuit brought by environmental organizations and the City of Berkeley that attacked crop protection applications through CDFA’s Pant and Pest Prevention and Management Program. The judge’s injunction in EWG Plaintiffs v. CDFA applies to pesticides sprayed by the CDFA to control outbreaks of invasive plant pests.
Frawley issued the injunction following his ruling in January that the program violated numerous state laws, relying on “unsupported assumptions and speculation” to conclude that pesticides would not contaminate water bodies. The ruling cited the state’s “woefully deficient” analysis of the cumulative danger of increasing the more than 150 million pounds of pesticides already used in California each year.
The CDFA responded to Almond Alliance inquiries on the impact of the ruling by stating “Protecting agriculture and the natural landscape from invasive pests is a core mandate and an essential function of our agency. CDFA will comply with the judge’s decision and conduct any future program activities in compliance with CEQA as necessary. The Department is considering an appeal.” CDFA has also assured stakeholders that more information and guidance would be provided in the days and weeks ahead.