Community organizers in the Salinas Valley have long begged for a ban on chlorpyrifos, as study after study has tied the widely-used pesticide to brain damage in children. So when California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation announced this month that it’s taking legal action to ban chlorpyrifos across the state, those campaigning for pesticide reform in the region felt that their work was finally paying off.
Advocates say a plan to turn a grassy lot in Oxnard into a port storage facility is part of a pattern of disregarding poor communities living near California’s ports. These neighborhoods are often saddled with disproportionate amounts of industrial pollution compared to more affluent locales further away from port facilities.
Residents of City Heights in San Diego often deal with mold and vermin infestations in rental housing, but a bureaucratic rats’ nest prevents them from getting any action. The city does not enforce parts of the state code dealing with these issues, and the county enforces codes only in areas not served by cities. The could step in but is taking a go-slow approach. The result: a runaround, and no help for tenants.