Malibu’s efforts to ban all pesticides within city limits

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View of Malibu hills from Piuma Road, November 2019. Photo by Amy Ta.

Malibu wants to outlaw all pesticides, including anticoagulant rodenticides that are used to kill rats, because those pesticides end up killing a lot of birds and other animals that prey on rats. But the state says Malibu doesn't have the power to do that.

Pro Tem Malibu Mayor Mikke Pierson is behind the legislation. He was motivated to ban pesticides after seeing their effects on local wildlife. He says, “After personally fighting the fire that came through, and seeing what happened with the wildlife and seeing animals suffering, and then seeing the suffering afterward from anticoagulants, it’s just not something we’re willing to do in our town.” 

In December, the Malibu City Council voted in favor of a broad citywide ban on pesticide use. 

Professor Timothy Malloy says that there are some problems with the ban’s broad brush. “Creating a ban on all pesticides, there’s a question ... does that mean in every instance that folks can’t use any kind of herbicide or pesticide in their house?” 

He adds, “This is an important step in terms of trying to get control over the toxic materials that are being used to deal with rodents and invasive plants and insects.”

Malibu City Council has presented the ban to the Coastal Commission and is awaiting notes from them to decide how to proceed. 

Credits

Guests:
Mikke Pierson - Malibu City Councilman-elect, Timothy Malloy - Professor of Law at UCLA, Faculty Director, UCLA Sustainable Technology and Policy Program

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel, Megan Manata