From the Mercury News:
In 2007, state agriculture officials locked horns with local communities concerned about aerial spraying of residential neighborhoods to combat the light brown apple moth.
Now, as the California Department of Food and Agriculture plans for fighting future pest invasions, critics worry about locking in such pesticide-based strategies for decades to come with little chance for communities to weigh in.
"It basically gives them a blank check, and communities will no longer have a say," said Nan Wishner of the Oakland-based advocacy group, Stop the Spray East Bay.
The dispute surrounds what's known as the Pest Programmatic Environmental Impact Report, a legal document that agriculture department spokesman Steve Lyle said will lay out options for dealing with potential invasive pests and examine the consequences of possible actions.
Lyle said critics are jumping the gun on a process that's just getting started. The public will be involved along the way and afterward, he said. Future infestations may require additional study before action is taken, and any undertaking would involve community outreach.