Quan IPM Final

Supplemental Report

City of Oakland
Agenda Report

To: Public Works Committee
From: Councilmember Jean Quan
Date: March 8, 2005



This report is supplemental to the report submitted to the Public Works Committee and the Pubic Safety Committee on February 22, 2005. It addresses concerns raised at both meetings by Councilmembers and the public about the proposed policy. In order to further address concerns raised about proposed revisions to the policy, the resolution has been revised to direct the preparation of changes to the policy, including the analysis of approaches, best management practices and protocols for the ten year strategic plan as part of the implementation of the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District (WPAD). This work will also include the necessary environmental documentation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The proposed changes and all documentation will then be presented back to the City Council as part of the vegetation management plan.


Current IPM protocols require change in order to allow for limited use of herbicides under certain conditions, requirements and restrictions. This change is necessary in order to develop an effective and integrated vegetation management plan for the WPAD. By directing that this work be initiated, the community will be able to review how and when the limited use of herbicides will occur. The resolution has been revised to clearly state that the Council is directing staff to prepare the necessary revisions and analysis for limited herbicide use. The next step will be for the Council to review the revised IPM policy and an annual vegetation management plan within the next year.

If direction is given to initiate this work, a consultant with IPM and vegetation management expertise will work with city departments and community stakeholders to finalize a revision of the City's current IPM protocols, prepare the required environmental documentation and frame an overall strategy for vegetation management for the WPAD. The vegetation management plan will provide an opportunity for the public to review, on a yearly basis, the fuel reduction work proposed for the WPAD. Utilizing protocols from the IPM policy, the consultant will propose a plan detailing where, how and when fuel reduction efforts will occur and how, when and where herbicide use would be appropriate. Opportunities to receive public comment will occur during the WPAD Board review process and during the review and approval process by the City Council. Herbicide use will only occur if the Council finds that the both plans adequately address safety and environmental concerns.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Policy

An IPM policy is a set of protocols and procedures for effective and safe management of vertebrate and invertebrate, insect, plant and fungi pests. In this case, it will define the most appropriate strategy to control plant pests and specifically reduce the fuel load within the WPAD, including when and how herbicides should be used on a species-by-species basis. There are many resources from which to draw on when identifying the best protocols for the plan. The Nature Conservancy (see attachment A) is one example of an available resource from which to model a policy concerning the appropriate procedures for herbicide use.

Integrated pest management is a pest management strategy that focuses on long-term prevention or suppression of pest problems, with minimum impact on human health, the environment and non target organisms. Preferred pest management techniques include encouraging naturally occurring biological control, using alternate plant species or varieties that resist pests, selecting pesticides with a lower toxicity to humans or that reduce pest problems; or changing the habitat to make it incompatible with pest development. Broad spectrum pesticides are used as a last resort when careful monitoring indicates they are needed according to pre-established guidelines. When treatments are necessary, the least toxic and most target specific pesticides are chosen. Implementing an integrated pest management program requires a thorough understanding of pests, their life histories, their environmental requirements and natural enemies as well as establishment of a regular, system program for surveying pests, their damage and/or other evident of the presence. ["Establishing Integrated Pest Management Policies and Programs; A Guide for Public Agencies"; Flint, Daar, & Molinar]

The proposed resolution requires that standards already established in the City's current IPM policy will be reviewed, updated and amended to address fuel reduction work specific to the WPAD. Some of the IPM requirements include but are not limited to:
* Public notification;
* Signage;
* Dye markers to indicate exactly where herbicide was applied;
* Monthly reporting;
* Buffer zones;
* Compliance with all state and federal regulations for applying and dispensing herbicides, including training or certification of all city staff and contractors who handle herbicides;
* Monitoring areas where herbicides have been applied

An IPM establishes guidelines for the choice of formulation for each type of herbicide application based on environmental factors, such as wind and rain conditions, as well as the product's capabilities. The WPAD's IPM protocols will include a list of the highly flammable non-native plants considered "pests" (as identified in this Resolution) and those native plants species that will encourage natural biological control or are a protected native species.

The most important component of the IPM policy is the annual reporting requirement that details when and where herbicides have been applied in the past year, the type of herbicide used, quantities used, and the success rate of the application, if possible. This report not only is presented annually to the City Council, but also, by law, must be filed with the Alameda County Agriculture Commission.

Vegetation Management Plan

Before the limited use of herbicides is triggered, the IPM/vegetation management consultant, Fire Department and the WPAD Board will develop a vegetation management plan that incorporates IPM protocols and complies with CEQA requirements for City Council review and approval. The plan will literally map out the fuel reduction priority areas for the year, identify sensitive plant and habitat locations within the priority areas and identify the various non-native plant species and the methodologies planned for their eradication or suppression including when, where and how herbicides will be used. Additionally, if the high priority areas include a creek, watercourse, endangered species or habitat, the plan should detail the necessary permits required from agencies such as the Alameda County Clean Water Program or the City's Environmental Services Creek Protection Program and any mitigation measures that are deemed necessary.

The vegetation management plan will be developed using Best Management Practices (BMPs) garnered from other public agencies with vegetation management responsibilities. These include the East Bay Regional Park District, the University of California, and East Bay Municipal Utility District, and other public agencies in the greater Bay Area. The California Invasive Plant Council and The Nature Conservancy, and other conservation groups provide valuable research on their web sites. BMPs from the State Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be adopted for areas containing endangered species.

Herbicide Application

Aerial or ground spraying is not permitted under this policy. When herbicides are needed for vegetation control, best management practices call for direct application to the plant or tree either by hand painting the herbicide directly on to the cambium of the freshly cut tree or plant stump or bottle spritzing, no further than six inches away, onto freshly cut grass clumps. In order to apply the herbicide to the stump or grass clump, all of the plant or tree's foliage (leaves, branches, trunks) must be hand or mechanically cut away until nothing is left but a stump or clump. When glysophate and triclopyr are applied in this manner, the herbicide is absorbed within the plant or tree's system and does not migrate into the surrounding soil.

Herbicide Formulations

The exemption will be limited to the use of two herbicides ñ glysophate (in formulations such as Roundup or Rodeo) and triclopyr (in formulations such as Garlon and Pathfinder). These are federally- and California-registered pesticides for the control of woody plant species and broad leaf plants in right of ways, forests, open space parks, ditch banks and maintenance of wildlife corridors. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency categorically ranks herbicide toxicity on a scale of one to four as follows: Category One ñ highly toxic; Category Two ñ moderately toxic; Category Three ñ Slightly Toxic; Category Four ñ Not Acutely Toxic. Both glysophate and triclopyr have received the lowest ranking for toxicity or a Category Four. In accordance with the city's IPM policy and BMPs, the choice of formulation for each type of application will be determined based on environmental factors as well as the product's capabilities.

Glysophate and triclopyr will only be used when conditions and BMPs demonstrate that a chemical treatment would be the most effective approach and will only be applied to the list of plants previously identified in this report and those new non-native plants that may be identified in the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District's yearly report

A copy of the EPA Reregistration Eligibility Decision (R.E.D.) Facts document is attached to this report for your review (attachment B).

Certification and Training for Herbicide Applicators

The City currently has one staff member that has a Qualified Applicator Certificate issued by the State Department of Pesticides in the laws, regulations, and basic principles associated with pesticide application. This position supervises employees who work with Category Three and Category Four herbicides, such as Garlon or Roundup. Employees applying Category three and four herbicides do not require state certification, however state law does require employees to receive annual training in the following areas:

* Safe handling procedures;
* Proper cleaning and disposal of containers;
* Drift;
* Storage;
* First aid and contamination;
* Emergency medical contact information;
* Employee rights to receive information regarding pesticides;
* Location of documents such as access to Hazard Communication program, information, labels, pesticide use records, medical records and other documents;
* Heat stress recognition, treatment, prevention;
* Respiratory equipment fitting, use and maintenance;
* Reading labels;
* Proper use of protective gear.

The City is further required to maintain records of the annual training for each employee. Inspectors from the Alameda County Agriculture Department make scheduled inspections of records and employees in the field to monitor compliance with procedures for the safe handling and dispensing of herbicides. County inspectors also make frequent unscheduled inspections and cite employers if workers are found not complying with safety procedures.

The annual training is conducted in house by the City's State certified employee.

Environmental Impact

This resolution directs staff to prepare an Environmental Impact Report for the limited use of herbicides in the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District. The resolution does not authorize the actual change in policy but merely directs that the components of the policy change be prepared and brought to the public, WPAD Board and city Council for review.


That the City Council approve the attached revised resolution directing staff to prepare the information, revisions and analysis necessary to allow limited use of herbicides on City-owned land in the Wildfire Prevention Assessment District and other City properties identified by the Fire Marshal as areas of high fire hazard, including the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report, revised IPM policy and a Wildfire Prevention Assessment District vegetation management plan.
Respectfully submitted,

Jean Quan
Councilmember, District 4