The County IPM program's mission is to promote pesticide pollution prevention through effective and efficient communication, coordination, training and evaluation of various reduced-risk pest management projects. Developing and/or improving pest management practices through public education, training of IPM practitioners, and implementation of IPM projects will accomplish this mission.
Instead of basing its program simply on reducing the percentage of pesticide use, the County used an ecosystem-based approach to IPM adoption and on May 21, 2002, the County Board of Supervisors passed the Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Use Ordinance. This first, and most important, step established the IPM ordinance, a framework on which to base individual procedures and guidelines.
The program is committed to the broad range of IPM elements that are required in ordinance implementation - monitoring, data and document control, pesticide product screening, selection and preparation of a reduced-risk pesticides list (approved list of pesticides), use restriction, pesticide-use reporting mechanism, minimizing applicator and public pesticide exposure through applicator safety education, precision application tools and techniques, posting requirements, and creation of IPM awareness among staff and the public through education and outreach.
The program is also responsible for investigating and developing alternative strategies for sustainable pest management with an overall objective of reducing or eliminating pesticide applications on County properties. The ordinance also mandated its inclusion in any future County contracts and easements thus making its adoption a long-term strategy.
To support the ordinance and assist departments in its implementation, the County hired an IPM Coordinator with the responsibility to develop administrative and procedural guidelines around the ordinance, and to engineer, facilitate, train and coordinate interdisciplinary IPM practices.