Existing law provides that every person who violates a provision of law relating to pesticides, or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor. In lieu of seeking prosecution for a misdemeanor, existing law authorizes the Director of Pesticide Regulation to prosecute a violation civilly, as specified. In lieu of a civil prosecution by the director, existing law authorizes the county agricultural commissioner to levy a civil penalty against a person violating specified provisions of law relating to pest control operations, pesticides, pesticides and worker safety, use of restricted materials, use of an unregistered pesticide, carbon monoxide pest control devices, structural pest control devices, or regulations adopted pursuant to these provisions.
This bill would provide that, if the director determines that violations of those specified provisions have been committed in multiple jurisdictions, involve a priority investigation involving human or environmental health effects, as defined, or are not appropriate to be enforced by a county agricultural commissioner for specified reasons, the director may levy a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation in accordance with specified procedural and other requirements, or may refer any of those violations to the proper enforcement agency, including the district attorney of the county in which the violations occurred or the Attorney General. The bill would apply only to violations that occur on or after January 1, 2019.