Proposed Pesticide Ban for City of Petaluma

The Petaluma Community Guild has led the way in adopting better policies around the use of pesticides. Last year we proposed a ban on glyphosate (RoundUp) which was adopted by the California Guild (CG) membership as part of it’s 2015 legislative agenda. Members from Petaluma Community Guild met with Senator Mike McGuire about legislation banning glyphosate, however this was before the World Health Organization had declared glyphosate a carcinogen. Since that time, the CSG has championed adding glyphosate to the Prop 65 list of known carcinogens. The California EPA intends to include glyphosate on that list.


Below is our proposed resolution and suggested follow up ordinances based on the work of the City of Richmond and Portland.

Petaluma Community Guild #851 Proposed Resolution and Ordinance Implementing a 12-month Prohibition on the Use and Purchase of pesticides by the City of Petaluma; adopt Integrated Pest Management strategies; urge retailer labeling (ordinance).

WHEREAS, several of the pesticides being used by city departments tasked with weed and pest control contain the toxin glyphosate or neonicotinoids;

WHEREAS, there is documented evidence that exposure to glyphosate causes birth defects, fetal deaths, cancer, DNA damage, and other serious illnesses;

WHEREAS, neonicotinoids can be very long-lived in plants and soil, containing harmful levels of neonicotinoids months to years after being treated, and lower level exposures can eventually lead to death of the individual bee or colony;

WHEREAS, bees and other insect pollinators are under great environmental stress, experiencing die-offs and diminishing populations and negatively impacting major sectors of agriculture, putting food security and environmental ecosystems at risk;

WHEREAS, there is no safe dose of exposure to glyphosate because it persists in soil, water, and animal tissue for prolonged periods of time, so even low levels of exposure could still be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment;

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has identified glyphosate as a possible carcinogen; and California EPA intends to list glyphosate on Prop 65, state labeling of known carcinogens;

WHEREAS, the City Council wishes to implement a twelve-month pilot prohibiting city employees and their contractors from using all pesticides;

WHEREAS, the City Council wishes to receive a report that details, among other things, how much more expensive and labor intensive it is to not use pesticides.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Petaluma City Council, that beginning on the effective date of this resolution, that all weed abatement activities conducted by the city employees and their contractors shall not involve the use of any pesticides;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council, the City Manager shall prepare and adopt an ordinance on Integrated Pest Management strategies and identify an Integrated Pest Management coordinator for the City of Petaluma.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council, the City Manager, and the Integrated Pest Management coordinator (to be identified) shall not grant any exemptions to allow the use of pesticides in the eradication of invasive or noxious weeds, during the pilot;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all purchases by the city of pesticides shall end immediately, and any remaining stock of pesticides shall be disposed immediately following the city’s hazardous waste disposal protocols;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that city staff from the Parks and Recreation Department, in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Utilities Department and the Finance Department, shall produce a report to the City Council evaluating the impacts on cost and weed control; the efficacy of non-chemical methods including weed burners, mowing and line trimmers, vinegar, goats and other non-chemical methods; and attitudinal changes of residents towards pesticide use and weed control;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the report shall be due to the Petaluma City Council upon the conclusion of the pilot;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Manager’s Office prepare and disseminate information to educate Petaluma residents and businesses about the harmful effects of using toxic pesticides such as those containing glyphosate and neonicotinoid pesticide; and urge retailers operating within the City of Petaluma to label plants, seeds and products containing neonicotinoid pesticides (Ordinance).

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Petaluma will encourage the Petaluma School Districts to join this prohibition on pesticides containing glyphosate and neonicotinoid pesticide, and calls on the Cinnabar Elementary School District, Dunham Elementary School District, Laguna Joint Elementary School District, Liberty Elementary School District, Lincoln Elementary School District, Old Adobe Union Elementary School District, Petaluma City Elementary School District, Petaluma Joint Union High School District, Two Rock Union School District, Union Joint Elementary School District, Waugh Elementary School District and Wilmar Union Elementary School District to educate employees, students, and parents about the harmful effects of using toxic pesticides such as those containing glyphosate and neonicotinoid pesticide;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this prohibition on the use of products containing glyphosate and neonicotinoid pesticide shall continue until the Petaluma City Council decides further action;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution becomes effective immediately upon approval by the Petaluma City Council;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that city staff shall immediately notify all contractors performing weed abatement;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that city staff shall use all feasible and affordable means at its disposal to alert residents about the city’s decision to end its use of pesticides, and to encourage residents to follow the city’s example.

Petaluma City Council Proposed Pesticide Ban Resolution (PDF)

List of website links of studies, other Integrated Pest Management Programs and more!

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