For decades now, the uses of certain pesticides in urban areas, even when applied in compliance with pesticide regulations, have adversely impacted urban water bodies. Currently used pesticides are the primary cause of toxicity in California surface waters, including urban water bodies. CASQA’s pesticide initiatives aim to address this issue at the source (True Source Control).

CASQA has two main programs to address pesticides: (1) regulatory engagement and (2) integrated pest management (IPM) and outreach through the Our Water, Our World program.

Regulatory Engagement

CASQA is actively engaged with state and federal regulators in an effort to develop an effective pesticide regulatory system, based primarily on existing statutes, that includes timely identification and mitigation of urban water quality impacts, and proactively prevents additional problems through the registration and registration review processes. As part of this regulatory engagement, CASQA provides the following:

Regulatory Activity Tracking: In collaboration with the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA), CASQA tracks pesticide-related regulatory activities by EPA, DPR and other agencies that have significant potential to affect municipal urban runoff programs, and surface water quality.

Pesticide Regulatory Action Items (Monthly): Identifies highest priority pesticides-related regulatory activities and includes recommendations regarding regulatory participation or other follow-up steps.

Prioritized Urban Pesticides Watch List (Annual): Based on the latest scientific information, CASQA provides an annual watch list for pesticides that are or may be of concern for urban waterways.

Comment Letters: CASQA prepares and submits comment letters on proposed actions for priority pesticides (e.g., environmental risk assessments). CASQA members can view the archive on the Comment Letters & Testimony page.

Annual Report: CASQA provides a comprehensive description of activities and accomplishments with regard to interaction with state and federal pesticide regulations. CASQA members can access these annual reports on the Programmatic & Technical Reports page.

Our Water, Our World

Our Water, Our World (OWOW) is an award-winning partnership between city and county agencies and garden centers and hardware stores that sell pest control products. Initiated in 1998, the program focuses on less-toxic, eco-friendly products and techniques as many common pesticides are harmful to sensitive species and ecosystems when they reach local creeks, bays, and the ocean.

From a stormwater management perspective, OWOW is an excellent opportunity and cost-efficient way to educate the public and reduce toxicity in waterways from current use pesticides.