Dear Friends,

The news concerning toxic chemical pesticide-precipitated bee declines raises deep concerns for all of us who know what the disappearance of essential pollinator species will mean to the future security of our food supply and to our health and environment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has totally failed in its mission to protect the public from this ongoing environmental catastrophe. The EPA continues to bow down to heavy pesticide industry pressure to go on permitting the use of bee-toxic neonicotinoid-class and other pesticides without regard to the mounting evidence from independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies that they must immediately be banned if catastrophe is to be averted in time.

Of course pesticide issues and concerns are far broader than the pollinator effects, encompassing larger ecological matters, bio-system integrity, and human health and welfare from exposures to these toxins in daily lives, foods, and products we all face. Perhaps the most devastating are effects on the health and well being of our children, and the extreme personal and social costs from diseases and disorders caused by these ubiquitous poisons.

The lax (some would say ‘criminal’) pesticide rulemaking and lack of enforcement by the EPA is mirrored by seriously dysfunctional pesticide-related statutes and administration by the State of Colorado. These statutes were deliberately written to be protective of the pesticide industry, not the people of Colorado. In 2015 one of these statutes, the Colorado Pesticide Applicators’ Act (PAA), is due to “sunset.” The early part of this year, 2014, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs (DORA) is accepting comments from the public regarding needed changes to the PAA. DORA will prepare an analysis of the administration and utility of the PAA for the 2015 Colorado Legislature to be submitted in October 2014. The legislature will then either vote to make changes to the Act, reauthorize it in its current form without any changes or let it “sunset” and be effectively repealed.

The Colorado Pesticide Reform Coalition (CPRC) has been working to review the PAA and to propose needed changes to it. The CPRC has also developed a larger advocacy agenda for desperately-needed regulation of toxic chemical pesticides at the state and local level that goes well beyond the scope of the PAA. We invite you to review these proposed changes to the PAA (see attached) and to submit your individual and/or your group’s endorsements of it to us by Wednesday, April 30, 2014 so that we can forward your endorsements to DORA’s policy analyst, Bryan Jameson, before the Thursday, May 1, 2014. DORA will have time to incorporate public concerns into its sunset review report. Please find a sample endorsement letter to DORA, below. We invite you to use it as a template for submitting your own or your group’s endorsement of our proposed changes to the PAA. For best effect, please submit your endorsements and comments in your own words and on your group’s own letterhead.

Please forward this endorsement solicitation to others who may share your concerns about the inadequacies of existing pesticide regulation in the State of Colorado.

Thank you,

Rich Andrews, Coordinator