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Wed Feb 20 2008 (Updated 02/24/08) Community Meetings Around the Bay to Protest Impending Spraying of Pesticides
State Plans to Spray LBAM Pesticide from Northern Bay Area to Santa Cruz and Monterey Aerial spraying of pesticides in Monterey and Santa Cruz to control the light brown apple moth is set to continue and soon will come to the Bay Area. The moth has been spotted in locations from Los Angeles to Napa, including highly-populated areas such as San Francisco, Berkeley, and Marin County. Individual municipalities are unable to stop spraying plans because they are superseded by the State’s declaration of a state of emergency, which pesticide opponents say is put into place to avoid having to conduct an Environmental Impact Review. "This supposed 'emergency' is the presence of the light brown apple moth in Bay Area counties," say opponents of the State's plans, "but like all toxic dumping by the agriculture industry, it is likely more about industry profits."

Four lawsuits have been filed in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. While pro-environment organizations are calling on officials to use sticky traps instead of sprays, aerial treatments are scheduled to begin June 1st in the infested areas of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, with subsequent aerial treatments expected to begin August 1st in San Francisco, Daly City, Colma, Oakland, Piedmont, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Tiburon and Belvedere. The “pheromones” that the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has been spraying are synthetic and contain toxic components that have made hundreds of people sick, with the homeless particularly impacted.

Organizers are encouraging people to get involved in opposing the spraying by attending community and/or city council meetings, writing letters to the editors, and taking many other actions. Various city officials have taken a stand against the spraying, while community meetings and public CDFA "scoping meetings" will be held in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Oakland to hear public comments regarding their Environmental Impact Review (EIR) process. The deadline for oral and written comments is March 20th, 2008. To prepare for talking with the CDFA, and to hear from grassroots opposition to the pesticide program, East Bay Pesticide Alert/Don't Spray California will present "Who's afraid of the Light Brown Apple Moth?" in San Leandro on Sunday, February 24th at 1:30pm. About scoping meetings | Events on the LBAMspray.com Calendar | About LBAM spraying and actions that can be taken

Longer Version of this Feature | Some past Indybay coverage of the LBAM Spraying:
2/14: CDFA News Release on LBAM | $74.5 Million Earmarked To Aerial Spray Parts of San Francisco Bay Area | LBAM spraying postponed until June 2008 | 643 Documented Complaints Following Aerial Pesticide Spraying | A list of symptoms experienced by those already sprayed | $74.5 Million Earmarked To Aerial Spray Parts of San Francisco Bay Area (2/2/08) | 26th National Pesticide Forum - March 14-16 at UC Berkeley | 12/10/2007: New Toxicology Report Proves Costly Long and Short-Term Health Effects From Aerial Spray | 10/12: Suterra Issues Cease and Desist Letter to Indybay regarding "Secret" Pesticide Ingredient; Monterey County Judge Halts Spraying | 9/12: "Aerial Applications of CheckMate®OLR-F Are Necessary in Your Area"

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