Posted on July 30, 2013 By Mina

Board of supervisors meeting 7/30/2013

 

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Board of Supervisors Comments July 30, 2013

 

My name is Paul-André Schabracq, I am an urban and environmental planning consultant.
I am here to express my support for the efforts of the Watertrough Children’s Alliance to obtain adequate protection from the potentially serious health impacts to the children & staff at the schools surrounding the Paul Hobbs vineyard conversion site from the application of agricultural pesticides and fungicides. What WCA has asked for are entirely reasonable mitigations to reduce the adverse impacts to the public health and safety, such as:
• Create a dense vegetative buffer adjacent to Apple Blossom and Sunridge schools surrounding this site.
• Provide 48-hour notice to the Ag Commissioner prior to the application of any agricultural chemicals.
• Prohibit the use of the most toxic pesticides, particularly fumigants which release toxins days after an application. Preventing drift is impossible. And scientific research concludes that children are the most susceptible to these chemicals.
 • Prohibit pesticide application whenever any of these schools are downwind, no matter what the wind speed.
• Prohibit future tree removal while school is in session. Tree removal, creates dust laden with lead arsenate and other chemicals that drift onto school property.
The problem here is much larger than just the Paul Hobb’s project. Sonoma County has currently no laws, regulations, or policies which expressly limit pesticide use in close proximity to schools and other sensitive sites. The VESCO Ordinance does not protect public health and safety.
The Board should address this policy gap which continues to threaten public health. A working group should be established comprised of the senior staff from AgCommissioner, Public Health, PRMD and community stakeholders with a mandate to prepare draft County-wide regulations to ensure the responsible application of agricultural chemicals in a manner that would protect schools and other sensitive sites.