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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Nevada' Category


25
Jan

Bill to Protect Birds and Bees in New York Raises Political Challenges to Addressing Ecosystem Collapse

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2024) Legislative efforts to curtail some life-threatening pesticides associated with birds and bees (and other pollinators) decline were weakened in New York State at the end of December 2023 as the governor negotiated and stripped elements of a bill relating to agriculture that had passed the legislature—again illustrating the grip of the agrichemical industry on public policy intended to begin to address the crisis in ecosystem collapse. (See “Study Cites Insect Extinction and Ecological Collapse.”) In passing the Birds and Bees Protection Act, New York joined New Jersey, Nevada, and Maine in banning most nonagricultural uses of neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides, but, in last-minute changes to avoid the governor’s veto, failed to phase out corn, soybean, and wheat seeds coated with these chemicals. [Pointing to an exemption in federal law that has been challenged by advocates, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not regulate treated or coated seeds as pesticides despite their toxic pesticidal properties.] In New York State, the governor can, in consultation with the leadership of the legislative branch, negotiate language changes (called Chapter Amendments) in legislature-passed legislation (originally enacted) before deciding to sign it into law or can simply choose to veto the legislation. […]

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03
Nov

States Step In to Restrict Bee-Toxic Pesticides, California the Latest in Absence of EPA Action

(Beyond Pesticides, November 3, 2023) California joined 10 other states that have laws partially restricting use of bee-toxic neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides with the enactment of CA AB 363 into law in October, 2023.  California’s new law will ban over-the-counter sales of lawn and garden neonics by 2025, limiting their use to licensed pesticide applicators. The legislation gives the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (CA EPA) until June 30, 2029 to take broader action on neonics, if it determines restrictions are necessary. CA 363 will take neonics out of the hands of homeowners, while allowing lawn care companies to continue use. The California law falls short of the strongest state laws in Nevada, New Jersey, and Maine that eliminate all outdoor (nonagricultural) uses of these chemicals, even by lawn care companies. In June, 2023 Nevada became the third state to ban lawn and garden uses of neonics, while Colorado prohibited homeowner use of land and garden neonic products, similar to laws in Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  Minnesota recently banned neonic use on state lands and granted its home-rule subdivisions the authority to ban “pollinator-lethal pesticides” (those with bee warning labels) under its state law preempting local authority […]

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27
Apr

Nevada Assembly Votes Unanimously To Protect Pollinators, Recognizes Deficiencies of EPA Regulations

(Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2023) The Nevada Assembly, by unanimous vote, took the state one step closer to banning the use of neonicotinoid insecticides used on plants, with a waiver for commercial agricultural purposes. Despite dramatic declines in bee populations linked to neonicotinoid pesticides and other toxic pesticides, the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) and state regulatory authorities have for the most part ignored beekeepers and the independent scientific literature by allowing widespread toxic pesticide use—forcing elected officials to take protective action. Portions of the bill would take effect upon passage or no later than January 1, 2024. Maine and New Jersey have adopted similar legislation. The failure to adequately regulate pesticides under federal law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and EPA inaction is viewed by environmentalists as the shocking disregard for the importance of biodiversity to sustaining life. The inadequate restriction of pesticides and slower than necessary transition to organic land management practices are viewed as major contributors to the “insect apocalypse.” The legislation (A.B. 162), led by Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow and a group of nine other Assemblymembers, illustrates a growing trend of local and state legislative bodies asserting their authority to protect against health, biodiversity, and […]

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28
Jun

Pesticides Linked to Adult and Childhood Cancer in Western U.S., with Incidence Varying by County

(Beyond Pesticides, June 28, 2022) There is a strong connection between pesticide use and cancer rates in the Western United States, finds research recently published by scientists at University of Idaho and Northern Arizona University. Two studies (here and here) published in the peer-reviewed journal GeoHealth used geospatial data and publicly available pesticide databases to uncover the relationship between chemical heavy agricultural practices and cancer in both adults and children. As the rate of chronic diseases like cancer continue to increase in the United States, and more and more studies find these diseases to be pesticide-induced, it is imperative for the public to put increased pressure on regulators and lawmakers to enact meaningful measures that eliminate pesticide use and the hazards these chemicals pose. Of the two studies conducted by the research team, the first study modeled the connection between pesticide use and cancer incidence for adults and children in 11 western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming), while the second study focuses on childhood cancer rates in Idaho’s 44 counties. Both studies utilized databases established by public entities, including U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Pesticide National Synthesis Project database, EPA Pesticide Industry […]

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22
Sep

Washoe Tribal Council Brings Goats to Its Rangeland to Manage Invasive Weeds

(Beyond Pesticides in Gardnerville, Nevada, September 22, 2017) For the second year, the Washoe Tribe has brought a 450 head herd of goats to its tribal land to manage weeds on its rangeland at the Stewart Ranch. The program, led by the Washoe Tribal Environmental Protection Department (WEPD), is being conducted with the Washington, DC-based organization Beyond Pesticides and Goat Green LLC., a goat grazing company based in Wyoming. “We are goal oriented and want to heal all components of this living system including diversity in desired plants, recycling of all nutrients, water retention in the soil to prevent erosion and decrease runoff to the river.  The goat herd is a living tool and we work with deep respect for the land, water, animals and culture of the Washoe people,” says Lani Malmberg, co-owner of Goat Green, LLC. The program is being launched as a pilot, an alternative to using herbicides for managing invasive weeds, including Perennial Pepperweed, Hoary Cress, Canada Thistle, Russian Knapweed and others.  Goat grazing has been demonstrated to be an effective tool because the herd eats unwanted vegetation then cycles nutrients back into the soil, thus fertilizing.  Goats get a drink and deliver water to dry sites […]

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29
Sep

Reno, Nevada Kick-Starts Pesticide-Free Parks Program

(Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2015) Last week, the City of Reno, Nevada officially approved a Pesticide-Free Parks program aimed at improving the health of its residents and the local environment. In addition to two downtown parks, Neighborhood Advisory Boards within each of City’s five wards chose two parks to join the program, bringing the total to 12 pesticide-free parks. The program is an outgrowth of resident concern over the use of pesticides linked to cancer, asthma, and learning disorders, as well as impacts to local water quality. Beyond Pesticides worked to support the pesticide-free parks movement by sponsoring a training session taught by nationally renowned turfgrass expert Chip Osborne on how to transition to organic practices. “This is a major win for the city in regards to our priority of providing and maintaining safe and healthy neighborhoods,” Ward 2 Reno City Councilmember Naomi Duerr told ABC8. “Community input will continue to drive the important decisions we make.” According to a staff report released by the Reno Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, there is not expected to be any burdensome financial implications put upon the City as a result of the program. “There will be no cost implications as […]

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13
Dec

Lake Tahoe Pesticide “Ban” Overturned by Local Water Control Board

(Beyond Pesticides, December 13, 2011) Despite opposition from Lake Tahoe water providers and environmental groups, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (LRWQCB) voted last week to allow the use of pesticides to control invasive species like Asian clams and the underwater plants Eurasian watermilfoil and curly leaf pondweed. For years, the rules regulating pesticide use in Lake Tahoe limited their use to below detectable levels, creating a “de facto prohibition,” explains Mary Fiore-Wagner, an environmental scientist with the LRWQCB. The decision to allow the use of pesticides in the lake now rests in the hands of California State Water Resources Control Board. Carl Young, interim executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe/Keep Tahoe Blue, told the Associated Press that the plan poses a threat to the lake’s water quality and the public’s health, and he’s concerned visitors and residents could be exposed to pesticides through Tahoe’s fish and drinking water. The League is urging regulators to use non-chemical methods, including bottom barriers that involve the use of large mats to starve the species of sunlight and oxygen. The aquatic plants can be managed through mechanical harvesting. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates economic impacts from introductions […]

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16
Dec

Group Plans to Sue Agencies over Threatened Amphibian

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2010)The Center for Biological Diversity notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) December 15 of its intent to sue the agencies for failing to study and act on threats posed by more than 60 pesticides to the threatened California red-legged frog. A 2006 legal settlement secured by the Center required the EPA to assess the impacts of pesticides on the frog, then consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under the Endangered Species Act to address those impacts, by 2009. The completed assessments were submitted to the Wildlife Service between March 2007 and October 2009. Although EPA determined that 64 registered pesticides are likely to harm the frogs, the Service has not completed any consultations or adopted protective measures. “The EPA acknowledges that scores of pesticides may be dangerous to California’s rare red-legged frogs, but nothing’s been done about it,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate with the Center. “This three-year delay violates the Endangered Species Act and jeopardizes the future of the largest native frog in California.” Historically abundant throughout California, red-legged frogs have declined in numbers over 90 percent and have disappeared from 70 percent […]

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20
Sep

Stores Fined for Selling Mislabeled and Unregistered Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 2010) California-based discount retailer 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. has been fined over $400,000 for selling three household products containing unregistered or mislabeled pesticides. It is the largest contested penalty ever handed down by EPA. According to EPA, the retailer continued to sell the products even after being notified that they were violating regulations. EPA found 99 Cents Only Stores were selling products in violation of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) during a routine inspection in 2004. Subsequent inspections up until 2008 found additional problems resulting in a total of 166 separate violations. Originally. EPA handed down a $1 million fine. 99 Cents Only Stores Inc decided to contest the penalty. These types of fines are rarely contested. In the end, EPA Administrative Law Judge Susan Biro ruled the company would pay a fine of $409,490, declaring the retailer’s management had a “culture of indifference.” Of the 166 violations committed by 99 Cents Only stores Inc., 164 were related to a household cleaner and sanitizer imported from Mexico called Bref Limpieza y Disinfeccion Total con Densicloro which translates into “Bref Complete Cleaning and Disinfection with Densicloro.” The product had pesticidal claims on the […]

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09
Sep

Nevada “Too Busy” To Clean Up Pesticide Dump

(Beyond Pesticides, September 9, 2009) Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) officials said that its department was too busy with more important matters to make sure that a pesticide container site in Antelope Valley was properly cleaned and closed. Residents in the area have reported an unexpected number of rare cancers and immune diseases in the valley over the last decade and have long suspected contamination from the dump site for the outbreak. An investigation last month by the Reno Gazette-Journal documented that an abandoned pesticide container dump was ordered closed, sealed with clay and local water wells were to be monitored for contamination in 1993. Documents show that state and federal officials directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to take action but the work was never done and the toxic dump was forgotten for 16 years. Federal and state documents reported that the site poses “no significant hazard to human health or environment … (However) the shallow groundwater table conditions, high to moderate permeability of soils, and the extremely fractured bedrock in the study area make the groundwater vulnerable to contamination. It is suggested that the existing and any future disposal pits on the site be lined with […]

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09
Oct

Chloropicrin Fumes Send Nevada Farmworkers to Hospital

(Beyond Pesticides, October 9, 2007) Two state agencies and the U.S. EPA are close to completing an investigation of the poisoning of over 100 farmworkers in Nevada two weeks ago. Chloropicrin, an agricultural fumigant, drifted to a worker-occupied field, sending 121 laborers to Saint Lyon Medical Center (SLMC) for treatment on the morning of September 26. Upon arrival, the workers were showing symptoms including difficulty breathing, nausea, watery eyes and sore throat. SLMC Administrator Joan Hall said that only 12 of the 121 people required emergency room care, and most returned to work the same afternoon. Normally, chloropicrin’s off-gas dissipates, but because of a weather inversion the fumigant stayed lower to the ground and drifted more than a half-mile away from its application area to the worker-occupied field. Speaking on behalf of local farming operation Peri & Sons Farms, media contact Tim Cummings said both the Nevada Department of Agriculture and Occupational Safety and Health Administration have concluded their portion of the report, with the remaining piece due from the EPA. Peri & Sons owns both fields, which are located just over a half-mile apart, far enough apart from each other for such applications, according to state regulations and the […]

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