Insist on Your Right to Know

PPS Posting and Notification Policy | PPS Pesticide Use Reporting | Getting Information from Your School | Getting Information from the School District | Once You Know: How to Use the Information

PPS Posting and Notification Policy

Under the PPS pesticide policy, the district is to provide notice to the school principal seven to ten days before an intended pesticide (including herbicide) application.  According to school board policy, the principal is to notify the school community by notice and posting both before and for a reasonable time after application.

The district is currently completing a posting and notification procedure to implement this policy.  The procedure specifies that notices of planned pesticide applications (both indoor and landscape applications) will be posted at the school seven to ten days prior to the application.  There may be some circumstances in which this notice period is reduced.  Additional signs are to be posted at the school at the time of pesticide applications, and are to remain posted for seven days.  Notices are to include the name of the particular pesticide(s) to be applied, the date of the planned application, and how to get more information.

Because many parents may not see a notice posted at the school, PPAP also asked the district to send notices of planned pesticide applications home with all students.  The district said that this type of 'universal' notification is not feasible.  PPAP then sought a 'registry' notification system, such that individual concerned parents and school staff would be given an annual opportunity to sign a registry to request advance notification if pesticides were to be applied at their school.  The district has not adopted such a system, but might consider it, especially if parents and school staff request it.  For now, PPS procedure leaves it to the discretion of individual school principals whether to provide direct advance notification to parents or school staff.

If you receive notice of a planned pesticide application at your school, see Once You Know: How to Use the Information for steps you can take to learn more about the application and how to propose safer pest control alternatives.

PPS Annual Pesticide Use Reporting

School board policy also requires the district to 'report annually on practices.'  PPAP has asked the district to release pesticide use data annually, including as part of the State of the Building reports for individual schools, and on the district's Web site, so that this information will be widely available to interested parents and school staff.  We want data for both indoor and outdoor applications to be released, including applications made to PPS properties by other agencies or groups.  We also think that an annual report summarizing progress in reducing and eliminating pesticide use indoors and out, including actual reductions achieved, areas for improvement, and priorities for future reductions, will be essential to successful implementation of the policy.

Current PPS State of the Building reports contain a brief narrative description of some of the district's past and present pesticide use practices.  However, these reports provide no actual pesticide use data, and very limited information about pesticides that are currently being used.  The district also released a first annual report in May of 2002 that contains actual data records of indoor pesticide use at each PPS school in 2001.  Data on pesticides applied on PPS landscapes was not included in the report.  No summary was provided of overall pesticide use or of pesticide reductions achieved, nor identification of priorities for future reductions. The report had limited circulation.  PPAP has posted some of the information, including the 2001 indoor pesticide use data and PPS lists of approved pesticides (indoor approved list, outdoor approved list), here on our Web site.

Here's what you can do.

Getting Information from Your School:

Getting Information from the School District: Once You Know: How to Use the Information:
This site created and maintained by Portland Parents for Alternatives to Pesticides (PPAP). This page was last updated  March 2003.