MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
Apple Moth Aerial Spraying Stopped Until August
By Daniel Lopez
Excerpted From Monterey County Herald
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday announced that the state will postpone aerial spraying until testing of eye, inhalation, respiratory and other potential irritants - known as the "six-pack" toxicology test - is complete.
According to the governor's office, the earliest spraying could resume is Aug. 17.
Schwarzenegger's office said the decision to halt spraying is unrelated to a ruling made earlier Thursday by Santa Cruz County Judge Paul Burdick, who ordered California agricultural leaders to finish an environmental review before spraying could take place in that county.
A lawsuit filed on the same grounds last fall in Monterey County is pending.
In deciding the Santa Cruz case, Burdick said the state did not prove that the invasive moth poses an immediate threat to life or property. As a result, he said, an emergency exception under which the state sprayed areas of Santa Cruz County in the fall was not justified.
Areas of Monterey County were sprayed during September and October under the same exemption.
When Burdick announced his decision, a cheer went up from the packed courtroom, and residents celebrated on the courthouse steps afterward.
"It's a great victory not only of the law, but of common sense," said Santa Cruz County Supervisor Neal Coonerty.
State Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura vowed to appeal the case. But Burdick denied the state's request for a stay, which would have allow spraying to continue as the Attorney General's Office prepares its appeal.
Later in the day, Schwarzenegger met with Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, and other officials to hear concerns about the moth eradication program.
When that meeting concluded, a few hours after the ruling was made in Santa Cruz, Schwarzenegger's office announced spraying would be postponed.
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