Coastal Commission To Rule on Malibu Pesticide Ban

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A citywide ban on the use of pesticides is headed before the California Coastal Commission during its next meeting. On Thursday, May 13, at 9 a.m., the influential state agency which governs issues of public access and the environment along the 1,100 miles of the California coast will rule on whether or not to allow the city to restrict pesticides—something Malibu City Council passed more than a year ago on Dec. 9, 2019. 

“The goal is to protect wildlife throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, and we plan to work for similar regulations up and down the coast,” advocacy group Poison Free Malibu wrote in an email about their efforts to bring the issue to city council. 

In its advocacy, the group has focused heavily on the effects of rodenticides on mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains, whose numbers are dwindling. 

“The most recent mountain lion deaths are P-67 last July, orphaning two kittens, and P-78 last December. Other causes contributed to their deaths, but both had five anticoagulant rodenticides and the non-anticoagulant bromethalin, crippling them from dealing with the challenges of living in the wild,” the email said.

“Rodenticides have also caused at least six known mountain lion deaths in the Santa Monica Mountains area,” the Coastal Commission’s staff report on the issue said. 

Poison Free Malibu is now calling for Malibu residents to send emails of support for the prohibition by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 7. 

The commission, which is made up of 12 voting members, is expected to approve the rodenticide ban, on the recommendation of its staff, with minor changes—some of which do even more to restrict rodenticides than the original council ordinance had. The commission’s staff wrote that they had met with members of Poison Free Malibu in drafting the document.