An appeals court threw out the State of California’s Light Brown Apple Month (LBAM) pesticide program on the grounds that it violates state environmental laws. Their plan was to spray toxic pesticides over multiple counties in the San Francisco Bay Area every 30-90 days for seven years for an agricultural pest. This “spray now, think later” approach was outdated and based on a decades old approach to pest management.
How This Legal Fight Started
- The LBAM pesticide program began with an aerial spray over populated areas of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties in 2007, resulting in hundreds of complaints of harm to human health and wildlife.
- The state planned to continue the spraying in the Bay Area, over millions of people, farms and coastal waterways, all without real environmental review.
- In 2008, MOMS Advocating Sustainability started as a small group of Marin moms called Mothers of Marin Against the Spray (MOMAS), to fight against the LBAM spray.
- Through extensive organizing, outreach to press, and coalition building, MOMAS and other groups were able to halt the aerial spraying – a tremendous and important victory for the citizens of both the Bay Area and of our state.
- Knowing this would not be the end of the CDFA’s pesticide program, we filed a lawsuit with several other groups and cities.
A Big Thank You
MOMAS was a leader in an incredible coalition of non-profit organizations and cities all throughout Northern California, with amazing pro-bono attorneys at Earthjustice and Cooley, that all teamed together to make this victory possible. You can read more about the efforts in our coalition press release and in the news. We thank each and every one of you that supported us along the way with phone calls, letters, and meetings with our officials, and most importantly your encouragement.
We are also hopeful this decision will have a positive impact on another of our litigation efforts over the Statewide Plant Pest Prevention and Management Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), which allows dangerous chemicals to be used anywhere in the state, any time into the indefinite future, without an option for affected communities to stop the spray. The state can also approve new pesticide treatments and treatment sites behind closed doors without public scrutiny or notice.
Read more about our PEIR efforts here.
To read the appeal document certified for publication, click here.