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Volatile Organic Compounds, Pesticides and IPM: Dealing with Air Quality Standards in Pest Management in California, USA

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Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of management techniques. As such, pests and pest management activities can and do affect the environment in which they occur. In recent years, environmental issues have been a primary driver of IPM programs, especially as they impinge on air and water quality. In California, air quality in particular is an important environmental resource on which pest management has an effect. The Clean Air Act was enacted by Congress in 1970 and changed the manner in which the Federal Government regulates air quality. The Act built on previous legislation and authorized the establishment of National Ambient Quality Air Standards and established requirements for State Implementation Plans (SIP) to achieve these standards. The Act was amended in 1977 and 1990. A major change in the 1990 amendment required states to track and reduce pollutant emissions. Like all other states, California is under Federal mandate to come into compliance with the Federal Clean Air Standards, including ozone. Within California, there are five nonattainment areas (NAA) for ozone standards. Ground-level ozone is created in the atmosphere from a combination of reactive or volatile organic compounds (VOC), hydrocarbons or nitrogen oxide gases, and sunlight. As part of California's 1997 SIP to meet Federal air quality standards, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) has committed to reduce pesticide VOC emissions from fumigant and non-fumigant pesticides sources based on 1990 levels by 12–20% of the 1990 baseline. Within the five non-attainment areas (NAAs) of Sacramento Metro, Southeast Desert and South Coast, the goal for reducing VOC emissions from pesticides is 20%. For the San Joaquin Valley and Ventura NAAs, the VOC reduction goals are 12% and 20%, respectively. According to CDPR reports, progress is being made in meeting the reduction levels of VOC emissions from pesticides in all five NAA, but reductions are not consistent in three NAAs and nonfumigant VOC emissions might be increasing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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