Wishtoyo and its Ventura Coastkeeper Program file a notice of intent to sue the California government to make Ventura County’s air safe to breathe. Wishtoyo's and its Ventura Coastkeepers move to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (“VOC”) emissions from pesticide emissions to help eliminate smog and PM2.5 pollution, aims to improve the health of Ventura County residents and pesticide applicators (Click here for Press Release). 

Volatile Organic Compounds Lawsuit VICTORY  - July 2007

A lawsuit brought by a coalition of community-based environmental justice groups, including Wishtoyo Foundation / Ventura Coastkeeper, will provide relief for smog-plagued California.  After two years of resistance by senior environmental officials in the Schwarzenegger Administration, a Federal judge ordered California to reduce smog-forming emissions from pesticides.  Pesticides rank among the largest contributors to California’s notorious smoggy air quality.  In Ventura County, pesticides are the third largest source of smog-forming volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.  In the San Joaquin Valley, residents are exposed to the most number of unhealthy days of pollution in the United States, and pesticides rank as the fourth largest source of smog pollution. 

“Despite smog-forming emissions actually increasing over time, the Schwarzenegger Administration chose to protect pesticide users and manufacturers rather than public health.” said Mati Waiya, Executive Director of the Wishtoyo Foundation and the Ventura Coastkeeper.  “In Ventura, smog-forming emissions from pesticides have doubled, with most of those emissions coming from fumigants.”

In 1994, California regulators promised to reduce smog-forming emissions from pesticides by 20% from 1990 levels by the year 2005.  In February 2006, a Federal judge ruled that California violated that promise in 1997 when the state used inappropriate data to avoid adopting regulations necessary to achieve the 20% reduction.

“The order gives the state and pesticide users ample time to adjust practices and develop reasonable regulatory controls,” said Mary Haffner, Board Member of Community and Children’s Advocates Against Pesticide Poisoning “The regulators need to call off their lawyers, stop fighting us, and start protecting the public.” The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) represents the community groups.