Fiona Ma for State Assembly


San Francisco supervisors Wednesday will consider a resolution calling for the removal of a state law prohibiting local governments from banning pesticides in their jurisdictions, an effort that also has support at the state level.

The resolution, introduced by Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier and co-sponsored by supervisors Ross Mirkarimi, Sophie Maxwell and Aaron Peskin, mirrors legislation introduced by state Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco/San Mateo County.

Ma's AB 977, currently making its way through the state legislature, urges the repeal of a state Food and Agriculture Code law that would give the state final say over regulation of pesticides, including their sale, transportation and use in any local jurisdiction.

Alioto-Pier's resolution echoes Ma's legislation, but is non-binding.

According to Cammy Blackstone, an aide to Alioto-Pier, the supervisor's resolution came out of a recent effort by some city leaders to ban aerial chemical spraying for the light brown apple moth, which had been planned for this summer in parts of the Bay Area.

The plan, which received vociferous criticism from residents, as well as some local and state officials, was abandoned by state agriculture officials in June in favor of the release of sterile male moths to inhabit population growth, though aerial spraying will still be used in rural agricultural areas that are inaccessible by road.

But Blackstone said there was some apprehension the plan for aerial spraying in urban areas could be renewed in the future.

Other potential concerns Alioto-Pier wished to address in San Francisco, according to Blackstone, were the use of arsenic-treated wood and toxic chemicals known as phthalates, which have been found in toys and children's products.

"We really want to just be able to say, you can't do it in San Francisco," Blackstone said.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on Alioto-Pier's resolution at its 2 p.m. meeting Wednesday at City Hall.