The California Ecosystems Protection Act, or bill AB 1788, that would ban second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) for use in the state and first-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs) for use on state-controlled property, has been put on hold for now.
The bill was moving closer to becoming law until it was taken off the Senate Appropriations Committee’s hearing schedule. This would have been the last stop before making its way to the Senate floor for a vote and the Governor’s desk for his signature.
The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) convinced California Gov. Gavin Newsom that signing the bill would lead to a public health disaster. The author of AB 1788, California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), met with Cal EPA and the DPR and decided to place the bill in the suspense file after realizing he had no path forward, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The bill is not expected to die, however. It is likely it will be revised in 2020.
If the bill had been passed and signed into law by Gov. Newsom as written, California would have been the first state in the country to impose an all-out ban on SGARs with a few exceptions that would have included: a warehouse used to store foods for human or animal consumption; an agricultural food production site, including, but not limited to, a slaughterhouse and cannery; and a factory, brewery, or winery.
As PMP reported in February, the DPR announced plans in November 2018 to re-evaluate SGARs brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum and difethialone. These rodenticides were named Restricted Materials the last time they were assessed in 2014. Since then, only licensed applicators, not consumers, could buy and use them.
The NPMA issued a statement calling on pest management professionals (PMPs) to take action when the bill makes its way through the California legislature again next year.
“The activist groups are angry. They are going to put up another fight. But so are we. Our industry remains electrified, organized, and unified. Together, we are going to continue our persistent pursuit to protect public health, like we always do. When it comes to advocacy in 2020, our industry is ready and waiting.”