The Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) is launching a new task force to look at the laws surrounding pesticide use and regulations for professionals, including those in agriculture.

Arizona lawmakers last session passed a bill to examine how the State of Arizona governs pesticide use. The legislation calls for the study and temporarily moves the Office of Pesticide Management (OPM) into the Department of Agriculture.

“We started planning after Governor Brewer signed the bill in April and everyone from OPM was moved in by mid-July,” said Jack Peterson, ADA Associate Director. “The next step was to get the task force in place, so we can begin working through the process to create the recommendations by the end of 2012.” 

Peterson will serve as chair of the new task force made up of professionals from the agricultural plant pesticide industry, the structural home and business pesticide industry, and two members of the ADA’s Advisory Committee.

“The pesticide community is ready to take this next step,” said Don Butler, ADA Director. “We had good suggestions from several groups about who should help decide the future of pest control regulation in Arizona.”   

The task force has until December 2012 to review current laws concerning structural pest management, organizational configurations for the ADA to oversee the industry, personnel and funding needs, and changes to the laws that may be necessary.

Task force members include: Lindsley Evans, Elgin Tree Farm; Jimmy Fox, Evergreen Turf, Inc.; John Boelts, Boelts Farms, LLC; Dave Burns, Burns Pest Elimination; Ken Fredrick, Conquistador Pest & Termite, Inc.; Kirk Smith, Maricopa County Vector Control Supervisor; Will Rousseau, Rousseau Farms; and Phil Hemminghaus, Golf Ventures West.