Cal/EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation will award more than $1 million in grants during the next year for projects that help reduce pesticide risks to workers, consumers, and the environment.

DPR Pest Management Grants are available for reduced-risk projects in agricultural and urban areas. Proposals may range from local efforts that refine specific pest management practices to large-scale projects with statewide impact. Previous DPR grants have supported school gardens, helped commodity groups battle problem pests, and encouraged nature-friendly alternatives to highly toxic pesticides.

DPR has awarded nearly $8.4 million in grants since 1996 to private groups, university researchers, and government entities.

Based on legal mandates and regulatory concerns, DPR set the following priorities for its 2001-02 grants: alternatives to highly toxic pesticides; use of reduce-risk pest management to lessen worker exposures; protection of surface and ground water quality; alternatives to methyl bromide and other fumigants; integrated pest management (IPM) for schools and other public buildings; more reduced-risk strategies for urban and suburban areas; alternatives to secondary pest problems related to a reduced-risk approach, and developing reduced-risk practices for new or exotic pests.

Proposals will be accepted in four categories that encourage a logical progression of research and development:

  • Applied research grants of up to $30,000 each help develop new reduced-risk methods or refine existing practices. Proposals are due by Oct. 4. DPR expects to announce awards in December.

  • Demonstration grants of up to $50,000 each support practical implementation of reduced-risk practices on private or public properties, such as farms, schools, and parks. Matching funds are required. Proposals are due Oct. 4, with awards announced in December.

  • Pest management evaluations as a prerequisite to proposing a Pest Management Alliance grant. Up to $10,000 is available for evaluations that describe a pest management system and reduced-risk practices. Funding is available for about 10 evaluations, with proposals due by Sept. 13. DPR expects to announce awards in October.

  • Pest Management Alliances aimed at major pest management issues on a regional or statewide scale, in collaboration with DPR. Groups may receive up to $100,000 per year, with full matching funds required. Proposals are due by Nov. 1. DPR expects to announce awards in December.

For complete details on various DPR grant options, including recommendations on proposal suitability and a downloadable request for proposal bid package, go online to <www.cdpr.ca.gov> and click on “Grants”.