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Citizens Try To Stop Pesticide Spraying

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency injured more than 640 people after unlawfully granting an emergency exemption allowing aerial pesticide-spraying for the Light Brown Apple Moth in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties in the fall of 2007 - and now it plans to spray again, according to a federal lawsuit.

North Coast Rivers Alliance and a dozen individuals say 643 people reported injuries during the 2007 spraying and thousands suffered injuries they did not report. Workers collected more than 650 dead or injured birds along the shoreline of Santa Cruz County, and other wild and domesticated animals died as a result of the spraying of CheckMate LBAM-F and CheckMate OLR-F, the complaint states.

In March and April this year, Superior Courts in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties found no evidence of crop damage from the apple moth in the two counties. The courts concluded that the California Department of Food and Agriculture's emergency exemption for the two dangerous pesticides was unlawful, putting a halt to the spraying program.

The state and federal agriculture departments threaten to resume spraying after completing environmental reviews. The plaintiffs want the exemptions declared invalid and the applications delayed until a proper review can be done.


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