Code Section Group

Food and Agricultural Code - FAC

DIVISION 7. AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS, LIVESTOCK REMEDIES, AND COMMERCIAL FEEDS [12500 - 15340]

  ( Division 7 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

CHAPTER 2. Pesticides [12751 - 13192]

  ( Heading of Chapter 2 amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 361, Sec. 26. )

ARTICLE 12. Penalties and Injunctive Relief [12996 - 13000.1]
  ( Heading of Article 12 amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 624, Sec. 9. )

12996.
  

(a) Every person who violates any provision of this division relating to pesticides, or any regulation issued pursuant to a provision of this division relating to pesticides, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment of not more than six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. Upon a second or subsequent conviction of the same provision of this division relating to pesticides, a person shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment of not more than six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. Each violation constitutes a separate offense.

(b) Notwithstanding the penalties prescribed in subdivision (a), if the offense involves an intentional or negligent violation that created or reasonably could have created a hazard to human health or the environment, the convicted person shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison or by a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(c) This section does not apply to violations of Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 15300) or Section 13186.5.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 173. (AB 731) Effective January 1, 2016.)

12996.5.
  

(a) For the purposes of this chapter:

(1) “Office” means the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

(2) “Department” means the Department of Pesticide Regulation.

(3) “Certified Unified Program Agency” or “CUPA” means the agency certified by the Secretary for Environmental Protection to implement the unified program specified in Chapter 6.11 (commencing with Section 25404) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code within a jurisdiction.

(4) “Agency” means the California Environmental Protection Agency.

(5) “Nonoccupational” means that the person exposed to the pesticide was not at the time of the exposure performing work as an employee.

(6) “Acute” means a medical condition that involves a sudden onset of symptoms due to an illness, injury, or other medical problem that requires prompt medical attention and that has a limited duration.

(7) “Uncompensated medical care” means the cost of care not covered by any other program, including, but not limited to copayments for medical insurance, Healthy Families Program, or Medi-Cal. Reimbursed medical costs shall not exceed 125 percent of the Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.

(b) The exposure of each person to a pesticide resulting from the violation of Section 12972 or 12973, or any regulation adopted pursuant to Section 12976, 12981, or 14005, that causes acute illnesses or injury, shall constitute a separate violation of the statute or regulation.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 913, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

12997.
  

In lieu of seeking prosecution of any violation of this division as a misdemeanor, and the penalty prescribed in Section 12996, the director may prosecute civilly pursuant to Sections 12998 and 12999, or may levy civil penalties pursuant to Section 12999.4 or the commissioner may levy civil penalties pursuant to Section 12999.5.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 843, Sec. 2.)

12997.5.
  

(a) In addition to any penalties paid in connection with an enforcement action taken pursuant to Sections 12996, 12997, 12999, and 12999.5, any person who is found in violation of any provision of this division related to pesticides or any regulation related to pesticides adopted pursuant to this division that results in illness or injury requiring emergency medical transport or immediate medical treatment of any individual in a nonoccupational setting from any pesticide used in the production of an agricultural commodity, shall be liable to the individual harmed or to the medical provider for the immediate costs of uncompensated medical care from acute injuries and illnesses of the exposed individual.

(b) Any order issued in connection with a finding of a violation as described in subdivision (a) shall include the obligation to reimburse medical costs from acute illnesses and injuries of any individual requiring immediate medical treatment as a consequence of this violation to the injured individuals or their medical providers.

(c) Any person found in violation of this section shall submit to the director within 30 days of the final determination of liability, a written plan on how they will pay individuals and medical providers for the emergency medical transport and the immediate medical costs from acute medical injuries and illnesses of all individuals requiring immediate medical treatment as a consequence of the violation. A person alleged to have violated subdivision (a) may voluntarily submit a written plan pursuant to this section prior to the determination of liability. The contents of the voluntary plan shall not be held against the person in any action to determine whether the person violated those provisions.

(d) Any violation of this section shall be subject to the criminal and civil sanctions and penalties set forth in this division.

(e) Payment of emergency medical costs pursuant to this section shall not preclude an affected person from filing a civil action for injuries, illnesses, or costs related to the incident. Any damage award associated with a civil action related to the incident shall be reduced by the amount the plaintiff received from this section.

(f) Payment of emergency medical costs pursuant to this section shall not be held against the person in any action to determine whether the person violated those provisions.

(g) For any person who provides for the immediate reimbursement of medical costs for acute medical illnesses and injuries prior to a final determination by the department, the director or agricultural commissioner may reduce, by not more than 50 percent, the fines imposed pursuant to Section 12996.5. This reduction shall not limit the responsible party’s financial obligation under this section. The department or agricultural commissioner shall attempt to complete the determination within 45 days of the incident.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 913, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2005.)

12997.7.
  

(a) The agency, in consultation with the department, the office, county agricultural commissioners, local health officers, CUPAs, and affected community members, shall by August 31, 2005, establish minimum standard protocols for the purposes of amending area plans.

(b) The protocols shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) Protocols for requesting and providing immediate access to pesticide-specific information necessary to assist emergency medical services personnel in identifying pesticides that may be causing a pesticide drift exposure incident and appropriate treatments.

(2) Protocols to delineate specific agency responsibilities and the process for responding to calls, notifying residents, and coordinating evacuation, if needed.

(3) Protocols to establish emergency shelter procedures and locations to be used in the event evacuation is needed.

(4) Protocols to access services in all languages known to be spoken in the affected area in accordance with Section 11135 of the Government Code.

(5) Protocols to ensure access to health care within 24 hours of the exposure and up to a week after the exposure.

(6) Protocols to notify medical providers regarding eligibility for reimbursement pursuant to Section 12997.5.

(c) The CUPA or administering agency shall amend the area plan for emergency response, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 25503, to specifically address pesticide drift exposure and to incorporate provisions of the protocols of subdivision (b).

(d) Upon the next scheduled update of the area plan, all CUPAs shall have incorporated a pesticide drift component into their area plan.

(e) The minimum standard protocols developed under subdivision (a) shall be in accordance with the California Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 913, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2005.)

12998.
  

Any person who violates this division relating to pesticides or structural pest control devices, or any regulation issued pursuant to a provision of this division relating to pesticides or structural pest control devices, is liable civilly in an amount not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation. Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation that is the same as a prior violation or similar to a prior violation or whose intentional violation resulted or reasonably could have resulted in the creation of a hazard to human health or the environment or in the disruption of the market of the crop or commodity involved, is liable civilly in an amount not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for each violation. Any money recovered under this section shall be paid into the Department of Pesticide Regulation Fund for use by the department in administering this division, and Division 6 (commencing with Section 11401).

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 651, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1999.)

12999.
  

Upon a complaint by the director, or by the Structural Pest Control Board in the case of violations of Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 15300) or regulations adopted pursuant to that chapter relating to structural pest control devices, the Attorney General may bring an action for civil penalties in any court of competent jurisdiction in this state against any person violating any provision of this division, or any regulation issued pursuant to it. The Attorney General may bring an action for civil penalties on his or her own initiative if, after examining the complaint and the evidence, he or she believes a violation has occurred.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 651, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1999.)

12999.2.
  

The remedies or penalties provided by this division are in addition to the remedies or penalties available under any other law.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 651, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 1999.)

12999.4.
  

(a) In lieu of civil prosecution by the director, the director may levy a civil penalty against a person violating subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 11792 or Sections 12115, 12116, 12671, 12992, and 12993, Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 12400) of Division 6, Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 12841), Section 13186.5, Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 15300), or the regulations adopted pursuant to those provisions, of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation.

(b) Before a civil penalty is levied, the person charged with the violation shall be given a written notice of the proposed action, including the nature of the violation and the amount of the proposed penalty, and shall have the right to request a hearing within 20 days after receiving notice of the proposed action. A notice of the proposed action that is sent by certified mail to the last known address of the person charged shall be considered received even if delivery is refused or the notice is not accepted at that address. If a hearing is requested, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given at least 10 days before the date set for the hearing. Before the hearing, the person shall be given an opportunity to review the director’s evidence. At the hearing, the person shall be given the opportunity to present evidence on his or her own behalf. If a hearing is not timely requested, the director may take the action proposed without a hearing.

(c) If the person against whom the director levied a civil penalty requested and appeared at a hearing, the person may seek review of the director’s decision within 30 days of the date of the decision pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(d) After the exhaustion of the review procedure provided in this section, the director, or his or her representative, may file a certified copy of a final decision of the director that directs the payment of a civil penalty and, if applicable, any order that denies a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus, with the clerk of the superior court of any county. Judgment shall be entered immediately by the clerk in conformity with the decision or order. Pursuant to Section 6103 of the Government Code, the clerk of the superior court shall not charge a fee for the performance of any official service required in connection with the entry of judgment pursuant to this section.

(e) Any money recovered under this section shall be paid into the Department of Pesticide Regulation Fund for use by the department, upon appropriation, in administering this division and Division 6 (commencing with Section 11401).

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 152, Sec. 2. (AB 1480) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12999.5.
  

(a) In lieu of civil prosecution by the director, the county agricultural commissioner may levy a civil penalty against a person violating Division 6 (commencing with Section 11401), Article 10 (commencing with Section 12971) or Article 10.5 (commencing with Section 12980) of this chapter, Section 12995, Article 1 (commencing with Section 14001) of Chapter 3, Chapter 3.7 (commencing with Section 14160), Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 15300), or a regulation adopted pursuant to any of these provisions, of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation. Any violation determined by the county agricultural commissioner to be a Class A violation as defined in Section 6130 of Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations is subject to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation. It is unlawful and grounds for denial of a permit under Section 14008 for a person to refuse or neglect to pay a civil penalty levied pursuant to this section once the order is final.

(b) If a person has received a civil penalty for pesticide drift in a school area subject to Section 11503.5 that results in a Class A violation as defined in subdivision (a), the county agricultural commissioner shall charge a fee, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50), for processing and monitoring each subsequent pesticide application that may pose a risk of pesticide drift made in a school area subject to Section 11503.5. The county agricultural commissioner shall continue to impose the fee for each subsequent application that may pose a risk of drift, until the person has completed 24 months without another Class A violation as defined in subdivision (a).

(c) Before a civil penalty is levied, the person charged with the violation shall be given a written notice of the proposed action, including the nature of the violation and the amount of the proposed penalty, and shall have the right to request a hearing within 20 days after receiving notice of the proposed action. A notice of the proposed action that is sent by certified mail to the last known address of the person charged shall be considered received even if delivery is refused or the notice is not accepted at that address. If a hearing is requested, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given at least 10 days before the date set for the hearing. At the hearing, the person shall be given an opportunity to review the county agricultural commissioner’s evidence and to present evidence on his or her own behalf. If a hearing is not timely requested, the county agricultural commissioner may take the action proposed without a hearing.

(d) If the person upon whom the county agricultural commissioner levied a civil penalty requested and appeared at a hearing, the person may appeal the county agricultural commissioner’s decision to the director within 30 days of the date of receiving a copy of the county agricultural commissioner’s decision. The following procedures apply to the appeal:

(1) The appeal shall be in writing and signed by the appellant or his or her authorized agent, state the grounds for the appeal, and include a copy of the county agricultural commissioner’s decision. The appellant shall file a copy of the appeal with the county agricultural commissioner at the same time it is filed with the director.

(2) The appellant and the county agricultural commissioner may, at the time of filing the appeal or within 10 days thereafter or at a later time prescribed by the director, present the record of the hearing, including written evidence that was submitted at the hearing, and a written argument to the director stating grounds for affirming, modifying, or reversing the county agricultural commissioner’s decision.

(3) The director may grant oral arguments upon application made at the time written arguments are filed.

(4) If an application to present an oral argument is granted, written notice of the time and place for the oral argument shall be given at least 10 days before the date set for the oral argument. The times may be altered by mutual agreement of the appellant, the county agricultural commissioner, and the director.

(5) The director shall decide the appeal on the record of the hearing, including the written evidence and the written argument described in paragraph (2), that he or she has received. If the director finds substantial evidence in the record to support the county agricultural commissioner’s decision, the director shall affirm the decision.

(6) The director shall render a written decision within 45 days of the date of appeal or within 15 days of the date of oral arguments or as soon thereafter as practical.

(7) On an appeal pursuant to this section, the director may affirm the county agricultural commissioner’s decision, modify the county agricultural commissioner’s decision by reducing or increasing the amount of the penalty levied so that it is within the director’s guidelines for imposing civil penalties, or reverse the county agricultural commissioner’s decision. A civil penalty increased by the director shall not be higher than that proposed in the county agricultural commissioner’s notice of proposed action given pursuant to subdivision (c). A copy of the director’s decision shall be delivered or mailed to the appellant and the county agricultural commissioner.

(8) Any person who does not request a hearing pursuant to subdivision (c) may not file an appeal pursuant to this subdivision.

(9) Review of a decision of the director may be sought by the appellant within 30 days of the date of the decision pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(e) The county agricultural commissioner may levy a civil penalty pursuant to subdivisions (a), (c), and (d) against a person violating paragraph (1), (2), or (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 1695 of the Labor Code, which pertains to registration with the county agricultural commissioner, carrying proof of that registration, and filing changes of address with the county agricultural commissioner.

(f) After the exhaustion of the appeal and review procedures provided in this section, the county agricultural commissioner or his or her representative may file a certified copy of a final decision of the county agricultural commissioner that directs the payment of a civil penalty and, if applicable, a copy of any decision of the director or his or her authorized representative rendered on an appeal from the county agricultural commissioner’s decision and a copy of any order that denies a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus, with the clerk of the superior court of any county. Judgment shall be entered immediately by the clerk in conformity with the decision or order. Fees shall not be charged by the clerk of the superior court for the performance of official service required in connection with the entry of judgment pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 174. (AB 731) Effective January 1, 2016.)

13000.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), an action brought pursuant to this article shall be commenced by the director, the commissioner, the Attorney General, the district attorney, the city prosecutor, or the city attorney, as the case may be, within two years of the occurrence of the violation.

(b) When a commissioner submits a completed investigation to the director for action by the director or the Attorney General, the action shall be commenced within one year of that submission. However, nothing in this subdivision precludes the director from returning the investigation to the commissioner for action to be commenced by the commissioner, the district attorney, the city prosecutor, or the city attorney, as provided in subdivision (a).

(c) An action brought by the director to collect unpaid mill assessments and delinquent fees required by Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 12841) or an action brought by the director to collect civil penalties pursuant to Section 12999.4 for violations of Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 12841), Section 12992, Section 12993, or Section 12995 shall be commenced within four years of the occurrence of the violation.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 338, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2008.)

13000.1.
  

The commissioner or director may bring an action to enjoin the violation or the threatened violation of any order made pursuant to this division in the superior court in the county in which the order is issued or the violation occurs or is threatened, and the court may enjoin the violation or threatened violation upon that showing and without further evidence of irreparable injury. The court may compel specific performance of any acts or course of conduct necessary to protect persons, animals, crops, or property.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 624, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 1994.)

FACFood and Agricultural Code - FAC12.