The Nation: Fields of Toxic Pesticides Surround the Schools of Ventura County—Are They Poisoning the Students?

April 06, 2015

“Several of the kids had to go to the hospital, and the parents were furious,” says Hannah-Beth Jackson, who was serving in the State Assembly at the time. By February 2001, Jackson had drafted and introduced a bill to increase regulatory oversight of pesticide use near schools and other sensitive sites and to give county commissioners the authority to curtail pesticide use within a quarter-mile of schools.

A few months after Jackson introduced her bill, Ventura County prosecutors sued the ranch owner and his foreman for allowing the pesticide to drift onto the school. Within a year, the rancher agreed to pay a $25,000 fine and avoid spraying within 200 feet of the street that borders Mound until 6 pm on school days. And in September 2002, less than two years after the incident, Jackson’s bill was signed into law.