California bans high-VOC pesticides in the Central Valley in 2015

08/21/2014 01:08:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

California Department of Pesticide RegulationCentral Valley fruit and vegetable growers who rely on pesticides high in volatile organic compounds may see their use prohibited during the next two years.

That's because the state exceeded VOC trigger levels in 2013, according to a news release.

The affected products include high-VOC formulations of the insecticides abamectin and chlorpyrifos, gibberellin plant growth regulators and oxyfluorfen herbicides.

Low-VOC formulations of these products are not affected.

Under state regulations that are part of the federal Clear Air Act, agricultural users in the San Joaquin Valley must not exceed 17.2 tons per day of VOC emissions.

During 2013, VOC emissions rose to 18.1 tons per day from 16.2 tons per day in 2012, according to preliminary data.

As a result, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation will prohibit use of high-VOC compounds from May 1-Oct. 31, 2015, and from May-October 2016 in the San Joaquin Valley.

That means growers will not be able to use them and pest control advisers will not be able to recommend them.

The region includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties and part of Kern County.

Crops likely to be affected include alfalfa, almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes, pistachios and walnuts.

Statewide pesticides account for about 2 percent of all VOCs, which contribute to the formation of ozone, a greenhouse gas.

View a list of the restricted high-VOC compounds as well as their low-VOC counterparts at CDPR.



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