Assembly Votes to Protect Santa Clara County from Unsafe Fumigations
The Assembly passed Assembly Bill (AB) 126 on Thursday, May 3, 2007 by a vote of 68-3. This bill will quadruple the number of inspections of structural fummigation jobs in the County of Santa Clara and help enforcement efforts across the state of California.
Assembly Member Jim Beall, Jr. (D - San Jose) introduced AB 126 in order to provide for the inspection of an additional 150-200 job sites a year in Santa Clara County, ensuring that fumigations are conducted in a safe and legal manner. Currently, the Agricultural Commissioner of Santa Clara County has the resources to inspect 50-60 job sites a year.
“This enhanced inspection program is an example of how the pest control industry and their regulators can work together to meet the mutual objectives of public safety and consumer protection,” said Greg Van Wassenhove, the Agricultural Commissioner of Santa Clara County.
Existing law allows Los Angeles and Orange counties to levy a $5 fee on fumigations conducted in the county to pay for increased structural fumigation inspection and enforcement activities. AB 126 would allow the Agricultural Commissioner of Santa Clara County to participate in the same program.
The increase in inspections will not only help Santa Clara County, but will assist enforcement efforts across the State. Fumigators typically work in multiple counties. Transgressions discovered by increased enforcement in Santa Clara County would be reported to other counties, helping them to better target their enforcement efforts. This bill will expire on January 1, 2010, so that the State can evaluate the effectiveness of the program in Santa Clara County.
“This bill will allow us to protect the public, workers, and the environment by providing for more enforcement of fumigation safety standards at the county level,” said Assembly Member Beall.
AB 126 will be heading the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee next.