We are thankful that the Petaluma City Council prioritized the creation of a Sustainable Pesticide Program (“IPMP”) and has listened to community members from “Pesticide Free Petaluma” who asked for this as an official City policy to discontinue the use of synthetic pesticides for routine maintenance (emergency exemptions allowed, similar to Windsor’s 2018 plan).
However, there is a problem: the Draft IPMP just released (January 2023) has many deficiencies and loopholes that could actually lead to increases in synthetic pesticide use.
Make your voices heard! Send an email to the Petaluma City Council and show up at the March 13 2023 City Council meeting (in person or zoom) to speak during public comment. See below for instructions.
Thank you Petaluma City Council for prioritizing safe and sustainable landscape maintenance. Windsor passed an organic Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPMP) in 2018, we want this type of plan in Petaluma! As a community member who lives, works, and plays in Petaluma, it is important to me that the new city IPMP:
- Is written with very clear directions around how emergency exemptions are allowed — omit vague language and loopholes
- Specifies that only “certified organic” products may be used for non-exempt chemical treatment (Organic Materials Research Institute or Washington State Department of Agriculture)
- Requires the new city IPMP Coordinator be a staff member (not consultant) to aid park staff in finding non-toxic pest management solutions
- Specifies that the IPMP Task Force includes appointed community members, meets regularly, and functions as a part of the exemption decision making process
- In addition, I understand that the Petaluma Parks Department staff is strained by a large workload. I support a City Council discussion on adding more parks staff to support the city’s vision of creating more sustainable open spaces.
Ways to Give Your Comments
(1) Email your comments to the entire city council: CityCouncil@cityofpetaluma.org
(2) Attend the City Council meeting at 6:00pm on March 13th
The theme is pollinators, wear bees and butterflies on your clothes! Find a Pesticide Free Petaluma community member with butterfly signs at the entrance to City Hall for meeting props to show your support.
Be prompt (important!) As soon as you enter the council chambers, go to the City Clerk at the front of the room and ask them to explain how and when you can talk. Ask anyone who looks like staff. They will give you a speaker card to fill out.
Sign-on links will be posted on the meeting agenda that will be posted at this website: https://cityofpetaluma.org/meetings/. You will be invited to virtually “raise your hand” to make public comment after the presentation on the IPMP. Expect to be given 2-3 minutes to talk.
Please email any questions to email@example.com