Baykeeper Update

Strengthening County Pesticide Plans

Baykeeper recently advocated for stronger Pesticide Action Plans in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Entities that use pesticides in and around waterways to control disease-carrying insects are required to submit a Pesticide Action Plan for approval by the State Water Board prior to any discharges. Larvicides and adulticides used to control mosquitoes, black flies and midges are harmful pollutants, therefore all dischargers must obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act prior to applying these pesticides.

Baykeeper found the proposed Pesticide Action Plans for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties to be inadequate, as they fail to comply with state requirements and do not address each county's unique conditions and waterways. In addition, the Pesticide Action Plans do not provide the proper framework for determining appropriate pesticide use, despite the potentially major impacts to public and environmental health. The plans also fail to specify the amount of pesticides to be used; do no include any monitoring guidelines or management practices to ensure safety; and do not evaluate all alternatives to pesticide use.

Baykeeper will continue to monitor and comment on Pesticide Action Plans developed by Bay Area counties in order to strengthen water quality and human health protections.