California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2008-2009 budget supports new rules by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to reduce pesticide air emissions that help meet California clean air goals.

The proposed DPR budget includes about $2.6 million to implement new regulations to reduce pesticide volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that contribute to smog. Under federal court order, the rules are expected to take effect by January 25.

“The Governor’s Budget underscores our commitment to being part of the solution to air quality issues in the Central Valley and throughout California,” said DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. “Implementing the new regulations is our top priority for 2008.”

Other DPR highlights from the 2008-2009 Governor’s Budget:

- DPR’s proposed budget of $74.4 million reflects an increase of about $4 million over the current fiscal year;

- DPR would not increase licensing or registration fees, or the current 2.1 percent charge on pesticide sales (“mill fee”) at the wholesale level. Budget increases will be fully funded by fee collections. DPR receives no state General Fund monies;

- To support pending regulations to reduce pesticide VOC emissions, the proposed budget would add ten positions and about $1.3 million for DPR, plus an additional $1.3 million for local assistance (County Agricultural Commissioners) to implement the new VOC rules; and

- In addition to local funding for the VOC rules, DPR will provide about $19.6 million in other local support for pesticide regulatory programs in 2008-2009. This is an increase of about $800,000 from the current fiscal year.

One of six departments and boards within the California Environmental Protection Agency, DPR regulates the registration, sale, and use of pesticides to protect people and the environment.