The California Department of Pesticide Regulation in Sacramento will offer $585,000 in grants to reduce pesticide risks under a program revived by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Grants could support least-toxic practices in a wide variety of settings, from public housing projects to farm fields.



Upon legislative approval of DPR's budget for 2007-08, the department will prepare to award Pest Management Alliance Grants. They were created to help growers, urban pest managers and pest control advisers implement reduced-risk pest management practices.



"Before budget cuts suspended grants in 2002, DPR supported school gardens, helped commodity groups battle problem pests and encouraged least-toxic alternatives to promote IPM, or integrated pest management," says department director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. "The governor's budget restores this successful program."



In July, DPR expects to call for concepts consisting of two-page summaries for project objectives and plans. Priorities will focus on two areas:



♦ Production agriculture.

♦ Urban environments such as housing projects, schools, and parks.



Emphasis will be on pesticides with human health concerns, such as organophosphates; pesticides in water, such as pyrethroids; and in air, such as fumigants, where pesticide emissions contribute to smog.



For information on project concepts, contact DPR staffer Tom Babb at tbabb@cdpr.ca.gov or DPR Pest Management and Licensing Branch, P.O. Box 4015, Sacramento, CA 95812-4015.



Once project concepts have been approved, applicants must then submit detailed proposals for review by DPR's Pest Management Advisory Committee. Approved projects are expected to begin in January 2008. Groups may receive up to $300,000, and funds may be spent

through June 2010.