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May 28, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced that Assembly Bill 2472, one of the winners of Simitian’s “There Oughta Be a Law” contest is scheduled for a vote on the Assembly Floor tomorrow.  AB 2472 addresses the proliferation of toxic pesticides in our environment by directing the State to obtain grant funding for a demonstration project at the State Capitol that uses least toxic alternatives to pesticides.

“The time to act is long overdue,” said Simitian.  “We have the ability to use less toxic alternatives to traditional pesticides and herbicides, but we lack the experience here at the State. AB 2472 will give us an opportunity to put in place a high-visibility demonstration program at the Capitol itself so we can establish best practices. Reducing pesticides in our environment has a positive impact on water quality and wildlife habitat, as well as human health.” 

Cindy Russell, M.D., with Pesticide Alternatives of Santa Clara County explained, “Reducing the use of toxic pesticides protects the health of our planet and its inhabitants. Fewer toxins in the environment will aid in preventing associated illnesses such as some cancers as well as respiratory, neurological, and reproductive problems.”

“A single granule of a common insecticide that’s often used to control ants can kill a bird.  Ant baits are safer and they wipe out the ant nest, so they are more effective in the long run.  This is only one example of a less toxic alternative that will make a world of difference in our environment,” continued Russell.  “I congratulate Assemblyman Simitian for his vision in pursuing this legislation.”

Though many cities and counties have experience in using less toxic alternatives to pesticides, the State of California has not yet implemented a program on the myriad of properties it owns and/or leases. Simitian, former chair of the Santa Clara County Pollution Prevention Committee, recalls looking at this issue in Santa Clara County, “When we looked at this issue in Santa Clara County we came across examples of programs that led to cost savings after being up and running for just a short time. Using less toxic alternatives is not just an environmentally responsible approach to controlling pests, it can often be more cost effective.” 

AB 2472 is supported by Acterra, the Sierra Club, the California Public Interest Research Group, the League of Conservation Voters and the Breast Cancer Fund.  It has strong bi-partisan support in the Assembly with unanimous support in the Committees for Environmental Toxics and Safety, Rules, and Appropriations.  If it passes off the Assembly Floor tomorrow, it will head to the State Senate for its consideration.