April 1st, 2014
Dear Board Members, Sandra Lyon and Staff,
At the last board meeting, Malibu Unites presented the board with a packet that included the Healthy Schools Act requirements, information concerning the application of pesticides on all schools in Malibu, and the State of California Department of Investigation Report stating that the district is not in compliance with the Healthy Schools Act and pesticide application notification regulations. This letter is a follow up to those documents.
A long list of pesticides and rodenticides, including but not limited to fumitoxin, strychnine, and diphacinone, that are known to cause harm is being used on the schools in Malibu and Santa Monica. SMMUSD is in violation of the Healthy Schools Act (please see attached). Malibu Unites requests that the district immediately comply with this law and create and implement an environmentally friendly and enact a Precautionary Principal Policy for our district. The requirements for the Healthy Schools Act are as follows:
1. IPM coordinator must make sure that the requirements of the Healthy Schools Act are met. The IPM coordinator should attend an IPM training in the next few months.
2. District must provide annual written notice to all parents and staff of pesticide products expected to be applied at school sites for the year, including the name, active ingredient and the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR’s) school IPM website. If a product is not included in the annual notification, then you must give 72 hours written notice prior to application.
3. District must establish an individual notification registry to allow all parents and staff the opportunity to register and be notified before each pesticide application throughout the year 72 hours prior to each application; providing the product name, active ingredient and intended date of application.
4. District must post warning signs at each area where the pesticides will be applied at least 24 hours before and leave up 72 hours after. Signs must follow guidelines and must be visible to anyone upon entering the treated area.
5. District must keep records of all pesticide application for four years at each school site that include: product name, manufacturer’s name, US EPA registration number, date and areas of application, reason for application and amount used. These records must be readily available to the public when requested.
6. Don’t use prohibited pesticides. There is a list of prohibited pesticides and this list must be posted on the School IPM Web Site and updated quarterly by DPR.
We would like to help the district design and implement an environmentally responsible pesticide plan that complies with the Healthy Schools Act. We strongly encourage the district to not use products that have potentially harmful health consequences. There are alternatives to highly toxic pesticides that address pests without harming the health and safety of students, teachers and community members. The City of Malibu and the City of Santa Monica have joint use agreements with the district and the district’s application of harmful pesticides has exposed the children in the City’s sports programs. Malibu Unites has Advisory Council members that are experts in the field who are willing to help advise the district on an environmentally responsible, organic plan to manage pests in school buildings and grounds. In addition, we can provide you recommendations to hire an expert to implement this plan.
The specifics of these violations and the non-compliance with the Healthy Schools Act and pesticide regulations should be communicated to all parents in the entire SMMUSD. Parents have an immediate right to know about issues that could affect the health of their children.
Thank you for allowing us to assist the district in complying with the Healthy Schools Act to ensure that our students and those that educate them are in a healthy, clean and safe environment. We look forward to your reply.
The Malibu Unites Team
cc: Assembly Member Richard Bloom, Senator Fran Pavley, Henry Stern, Congressman Henry Waxman, Senator Barbara Boxer