Southern California environment news and trends

Fines levied in California for selling banned peach pesticide

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The current battles being waged across the state of California over pesticides continue to grow, most notably in regards to the embattled strawberry industry. But it's not just strawberries, as it was announced this week that a pair of pesticides dealers in the San Joaquin Valley have been fined $105,000 for selling an unauthorized pesticide to peach farmers.

As reported by the New Farm Press, Gar Tootelian Inc, and Britz-Simplot Grower Solutions LLC, were charged $60,000 and $45,000, respectively, for selling pesticide Comite in Fresno and Tulare counties. Gar Tootelian was charged with the practice from 2008 through 2010, Britz-Simplot from 2009 through 2010.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of Comite on peaches back in 1996 for being a potential carcinogen to fish and amphibians.


Hermosa Beach battles to ban foam takeout boxes

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As cities across California are embroiled in the contentious movement towards eliminating plastic bags, another environmentally based container war is raging in the Hermosa Beach.

The Hermosa Beach City Council has voted in favor of banning single-use polystyrene (better known as Styrofoam) food containers. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the primary component Styrene is a known toxic substance, with extended exposure contributing to depression, hearing loss, headaches and fatigue. Polystyrene can take hundreds of years to decompose if trashed instead of recycled.

According to the Daily Breeze, while the Hermosa Beach motion passed with only two dissenting votes, the ban is being opposed by a host of organizations, including the California Restaurant Association, American Chemistry Council and California Growers Association.