Farming regulations in California are especially difficult. California duplicates all of the regulatory commissions that the federal government already has in place. For example, the California Food and Agriculture Department is a duplication of the USDA. They regulate the exact same things, but the California department is much more stringent in order to justify their existence. California regulators respond after the federal government and then go a step further to make the rules even stricter. This is also evident in the California Environmental Protection Agency, which is a duplication of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additionally, California has the Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR), which further duplicates the previous two regulatory agencies. No other state has a DPR, which is a direct result of all of the lawsuits filed by the EPA in California.
DPR required fumigation safety meeting.
Here’s an example of how strictly farmers are regulated in our state. In just the area of Methyl bromide, a soil fumigant, the federal government regulates this material at five parts per million. That means that in one volume of air there can be only 5 parts per million. The no affect level of Methyl bromide is actually 21 parts per million. So this is the safety factor that the EPA has built in and regulated at five parts per million. In the state of California, they regulate Methyl bromide at 210 parts per billion. One second in thirty-two years is the equivalent of one part per billion. The difference between that and what the federal government regulates at 5 parts per million is 5,000 seconds in thirty-two years. What is happening in the state of California is that we are basically measuring ourselves out of business.
And this does not even speak to the then even stricter regulations of Santa Barbara County, where DB Specialty Farms is located. Additionally, other countries are regulated differently, even further adding to the confusion.
The way we are able to succeed and will continue to succeed amongst all of these regulations is by staying five years ahead of the game and by being active in the government process. You must envision the direction where the regulators will be going and set up camp. We have to get where they are going before everyone else gets there.