The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has proposed cancellation of nearly 100 pesticide products because registrants failed to provide data to protect the state's air quality.

DPR took action based on a re-evaluation notice sent to registrants -- manufacturers and sellers -- on February 16, 2005. The notice required registrants to submit data on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their products by the end of last year.

VOCs contribute to ground-level ozone, an air pollutant harmful to humans and plant life. DPR is working to reduce VOCs in pesticides to meet state air quality goals.

DPR received acceptable responses for 579 products. But 53 of the 218 registrants failed to submit data for a total of 97 different agricultural and structural-use chemicals.

"DPR made every effort to work with registrants -- and a large majority cooperated -- but the response from these remaining registrants was unacceptable," said Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. "We have repeatedly emphasized the importance of this data toward improving air quality, so cancellations are both necessary and appropriate."

DPR has scheduled hearings June 28-30 on the cancellations. Once ordered, cancellations may take effect 30 days after hearings.

Second review

Meanwhile, the Department is reviewing responses to a second VOC notice issued in May 2005 and due March 1. Those notices required 177 registrants to tell DPR how they would reformulate 748 products to reduce VOCs, or explain why reformulation was impractical. DPR expects to act on those notices later this year.

California law requires that any pesticide product sold or used in the state must be registered with DPR as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sale of unregistered pesticides is punishable by fines of up to $5,000 per individual sale.

California has about 11,000 registered pesticide products.

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