Feds: Calif. Pesticide Regulators Discriminated Against Latino School Kids

SACRAMENTO (CBS) — A state agency tasked with protecting the public from harmful pesticides is found to have discriminated against Latino school children.

KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports on a settlement in a 12-year-old case that has civil rights groups largely dissatisfied.

The complaint filed in 1999 claimed California regulators put children at risk because they continually approved the use of methyl bromide near schools in agricultural areas that are heavily Hispanic.

The Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the state violated the Civil Rights Act in a settlement announced Thursday — a ruling that forces California to assign a monitor to check levels at an affected school in Watsonville.

The state disputes the findings, saying it already has the toughest methyl bromide restrictions in the nation thanks to new findings since the suit was filed twelve years ago.

Civil rights groups are also unhappy with the settlement, saying it falls short on compensation for the victims or offering any long-term solutions.

Methyl bromide, which many state agricultural producers used for decades, has been largely phased out since the suit was filed under the Montreal Protocol, which claims it depletes the earth’s ozone layer.


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