The act implements some of the recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies, as contained in the department's sunset review of the "Pesticide Applicators' Act", and makes additional modifications to the "Pesticide Applicators' Act as follows:
- Sections 1 and 2 of the act continue the "Pesticide Applicators' Act" for 11 years, until September 1, 2034;
- Section 3 updates the statutory definition of "use" to align with the federal definition adopted by the federal environmental protection agency;
- The commissioner of agriculture (commissioner) maintains a registry of pesticide-sensitive persons (registry) whose residences are listed in the registry. If a commercial, registered limited commercial, or registered public applicator (applicator) applies a pesticide near the residence of a pesticide-sensitive person included in the registry, the applicator is required to take reasonable actions to notify the pesticide-sensitive person of the pesticide application. Section 4 authorizes a pesticide-sensitive person to apply for inclusion of the person's primary work or school address in the registry as well. In addition, section 4 authorizes an applicator to provide electronic notice to pesticide-sensitive persons.
- Section 4 also requires that, on or before July 1, 2024, the department of agriculture (department) develop a searchable database of all properties that abut or are entirely located within 250 feet of a residential property listed on the registry for applicators to search. If an applicator will apply pesticides on a property included in the searchable database, the applicator is required to notify the relevant pesticide-sensitive person of the pesticide application.
- Section 5 increases the maximum civil penalty for a violation of the act from $1,000 to $2,500 for the first violation, which results in the possibility of a maximum civil penalty of $5,000 for a second violation;
- Section 6 requires that money collected for civil penalties imposed under the "Pesticide Applicators' Act" be credited to the general fund;
- Section 7 requires the commissioner to publish and periodically update information on the department's website about pesticide applicators' licensing and registration;
- Section 8 requires the commissioner to establish an online complaint process;
- Section 9 limits the number of terms that members of the advisory committee, appointed by the state agricultural commission to advise the commissioner, may serve to 2 terms, but allows a member representing the Colorado state university agricultural experiment station or extension service (CSU) or the Colorado department of public health and environment (CDPHE) to serve on the advisory committee for unlimited terms during the duration of the member's employment with CSU or CDPHE; and
- Sections 10 to 12 amends statutes governing local governments to mirror the language in the "Pesticide Applicators' Act" requiring a local government that adopts an ordinance about pesticides to submit information about the ordinance to the commissioner.
Section 13 appropriates $72,150 for the 2023-24 state fiscal year from the plant health, pest control, and environmental protection cash fund to the department, which money is reappropriated to the office of information technology in the office of the governor to provide information technology services to the department.
APPROVED by Governor June 5, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)