California expands its regulatory authority over pesticides in groundwater

California Senate Bill 1117 (amendments to the 1985 Pesticide Contamination Prevention Act, or PCPA) was signed into law late last week and will change the extent of information that the State must publically display for those pesticides that could potentially contaminate groundwater.

Specifically, the law requires the Groundwater Protection List (GPL) (as maintained by the CA Department of Pesticide Regulations, or CDPR) to include active or otherwise specified ingredients or degradation products with potential for groundwater contamination and update the current statutory method to a peer-reviewed method to determine the same.  It is hoped that such a standardized method would determine those pesticide with the highest potential to move into groundwater and allow the Agency to focus its resources on those “higher risk” compounds.  The law also expands CDPR authority with which it can mitigate risk from groundwater contaminants or their byproducts by requiring CDPR to review, and modify or cancel if necessary, use patterns of specific compounds as they are detected in groundwater.  As such, the law now requires CDPR to regulate items on the Groundwater Protection List that are “detected and determined to be a result of lawful agricultural use.”