Effective January 1, 2015, Senate Bill 1405 (“Bill”) made a number of significant changes to the use of pesticides at school sites, some of which impose mandatory requirements on school districts. This post is meant to summarize some of the most important changes.
Mandatory Development of an Integrated Pest Management Plan
Previously, schools were permitted, but not required, to develop an “integrated pest management” (“IPM”) plan. An IPM plan is designed to outline the long-term prevention of pest problems, while exploring the use of practices that will minimize the use of pesticides. If pesticides must be used, the plan should focus on using those that are the least hazardous.
The Bill requires that schools develop an IPM plan if certain pesticides are used. If an IPM plan is required, the school must post the plan online. If the school or district does not have an online presence, it must provide a copy of the IPM plan as part of its annual pesticide notice to staff and parents, as required by Education Code section 17612.
Mandatory Reporting of Some Pesticide Use to Department of Pesticide Regulation
The law already requires schools to keep a record of all pesticides used on school grounds. The Bill requires that schools annually submit these records to the Department of Pesticide Regulation if the school chooses to use certain pesticides, as defined by statute.
Mandatory Training of All Staff Applying Pesticides
Beginning July 1, 2016, any individual who intends to apply pesticides on school grounds in the course of his or her work must annually complete a training course provided by the Department of Pesticide Regulation. This training will focus on the use of integrated pest management, and the safe use of pesticides on school sites and near children.
Similarly, any individual hired by a school to apply pesticide on school grounds, such as contractors, must also complete this training, although it need not be provided by the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
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