On Tuesday, California lawmakers took steps to add stricter penalties for pesticide drift violations in the state. With a 5-0 vote, members of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee moved AB 1419 forward, signalling support for the health and safety of California farmworkers and farming communities.
Protections for farmworkers
The bill, which was authored by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), gives the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) authority to issue larger fines to companies that violate rules around pesticide spray and drift, endangering the health of farmworkers and surrounding communities.
Quirk introduced the bill in response to four separate drift incidents this year in the state that had farmworkers fainting and vomiting, some receiving medical attention. One August incident in Kern County had up to 92 workers exhibiting symptoms of pesticide exposure.