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Council’s approval of pesticide recommendation in line with Delta Plan development

January 2012

A proposed recommendation by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to decrease the amount of pesticides entering the Delta and other surface water areas has earned the support of the Delta Stewardship Council.

The proposed regulations would require businesses using pyrethroid pesticides in urban settings to follow new rules governing where and how pyrethroid pesticides can be applied.

The proposed regulations are important because reducing pollution in the Delta is essential for achieving the coequal goals of improving water supply reliability and restoring and protecting the Delta ecosystem.

Inherent in the coequal goals is the objective to “improve water quality to protect human health and the environment consistent with achieving water quality objectives in the Delta.” (Water Code Section 85020(e)) The Delta Plan must also promote several characteristics of a healthy Delta ecosystem, including “reduced threats and stresses on the Delta ecosystem.”

The most recent (Fifth) staff draft Delta Plan discusses the potential impacts pyrethroids may have to aquatic organisms in the Bay-Delta and Central Valley and identifies pesticides as contributing to the impairment of the Delta ecosystem. The Council recommends that the State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards accelerate the completion of the Central Valley Pesticide Total Maximum Daily Load and Basin Plan Amendment for pyrethroids. (Delta Plan Chapter 6, Water Quality recommendation 6)

“DPR’s proposed regulations will complement this recommendation and reduce stress on the Delta ecosystem by improving water quality consistent with the coequal goals and the Delta Plan’s objectives,” said Council Executive Officer Joe Grindstaff in his letter to DPR, dated Dec. 12, 2011.

Grindstaff’s letter also recommended to DPR that it should document an adaptive implementation approach that includes:

• Clear goals, quantified objectives, and performance measures

• Conceptual models that link the proposed actions to the objectives, addressing the anticipated effects of the proposed pyrethroid regulations on endangered species, water and sediment quality, and the Bay-Delta ecosystem while considering pesticide applicator responses to the changed regulation

• Metrics that will be used to evaluate how well the actions are achieving intended outcomes

• A full monitoring, evaluation, assessment, and reporting plan.

To view the letter, click here

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)