Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures August Update

Written By: Linegar, Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer
Published: August 5, 2019

Pesticide Use Report Reminders

The promptness of submitting pesticide use reports and the accuracy of the information is extremely important. This information is not only used by regulatory agencies, but also by wineries, packers, and other end-use processers. Additionally, Pesticide Use Reports, along with the many of the documents kept by the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures, are subject to the California Public Records Act. The public has the right to request and access much of the information on file with the Department. There has been a spike in these requests, especially since the Pesticide Use Near School sites regulations were enacted last year.

Below are a few reminders when filling out pesticide use reports:
• Date and time of application: The date and time the application was completed. Time has been frequently omitted from pesticide use reports, but is very important, especially if the site is located within ¼ mile of a school or licensed daycare. As a reminder, per the Pesticide Use Near School sites regulations, there are restrictions on timing of applications and type of equipment used.
• EPA registration number: The registration number is printed directly on the label and is a unique number to the product used. Please ensure the correct product is reported.
• Total product used: The amount of concentrate used and not the final volume of the tank mix.
• Report due date: pesticide use reports are due to the Department by the 10th day of the month following the month in which the application was made.

If you have any questions regarding pesticide use reports, please call the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures at (707) 565-2371.

Upcoming VESCO Workshop on August 8

The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures will be hosting a discussion of VESCO topics on Thursday, August 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The purpose of this informative discussion is to answer questions from engineers, geologists, and developers to aid VESCO applicants in submitting complete application packages, resulting in a quicker permitting and lower at-cost review fees. Department staff and staff from engineering consultant LACO Associates will be on hand to answer questions.

Discussion topics will include how to get a VESCO project permitted when:
• Unstable slopes are present in or around the project area.
• There is an existing unpermitted drainage system in the replant area.
• There is no pre-existing access to new development areas.

Beyond these topics of discussion, we encourage attendees to bring any questions and/ or comments about the VESCO program and staff will address them in the group setting. If there is high interest in this meeting, the Department will consider holding additional meetings.

The meeting will take place at our office located at 133 Aviation Boulevard, Suite 110, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Please note space is limited. Please RSVP to sonja.moug@sonoma-county.org.

Fieldworker Safety Inspections

The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures conducts routine Fieldworker Safety Inspections on growers throughout the season to determine compliance of laws and regulations pertaining to pesticides and worker safety. During a routine Fieldworker Safety Inspection, staff will be interviewing supervisors and field workers (in Spanish when necessary) to determine compliance with the following:
1. Farm Labor Contractor (FLC) registration: If the fieldworker(s) is employed by a FLC, staff will verify the FLC is carrying his or her license and proof of registration with the county in which they are performing work.
2. Notice of application within ¼ mile: Staff will interview fieldworkers to determine how they are notified of pesticide applications being made within a ¼ mile of their labor activities.
3. Decontamination facility: Staff will verify that water (one gallon per employee), soap, and single-use towels are available within a ¼ mile of each fieldworker.
4. Hazard communication A-9: Staff will confirm the Pesticide Information Series leaflet A-9 is posted and filled out completely at all permanent decontamination facilities.
5. Emergency medical care knowledge: Staff will interview employees and field supervisors to determine their knowledge on what to do and where to go in a medical emergency.
6. Fieldworker training: Staff will interview fieldworkers to determine if they have been trained within the past 12 months on pesticide exposure, symptoms, and how to get emergency medical care.
7. Application-specific information displayed: Staff will verify fieldworkers have access to information about recent pesticide applications, which includes crop or site treated, time and date application started and ended, restricted entry interval, product name, EPA registration number and active ingredients, copies of Safety Data Sheets, and list of spray adjuvants.
8. Fieldwork during pesticide application: Staff will observe work area and make sure no pesticide applications are occurring in the immediate area.
9. Field entry after scheduled or completed pesticide application: Through interviews with fieldworkers, staff will determine how they are notified and kept out of areas that have or plan on having pesticide applications made.
10. Early entry requirements: Staff will verify employees are trained on specific pesticides and provided proper personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering a treated field during the restricted entry interval.
11. Posting compliance: Staff will check to see if treated fields are posted when required by the label if application takes place in an enclosed space (greenhouse), and for any application of a pesticide with a restricted entry interval greater than 48 hours.
12. Enclosed space ventilation criteria: Staff will assure no workers enter an enclosed space after any pesticide whose labeling requires respiratory protection.
13. Labeling PPE: Staff will verify employees wear appropriate PPE as stated on the pesticide label when entering a treated field before the expiration of the restricted entry interval.

Please contact the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures at (707) 565-2371 with any questions.

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