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Shutdown affects pesticides

Shutdown affects pesticides: Imported spray to repel citrus psyllid could be delayed

Raju Chebium

WASHINGTON — California farmers could face delays in getting pesticides from foreign manufacturers because of the partial government shutdown, Sen. Barbara Boxer said Tuesday.

Ninety-three percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s workforce has been furloughed, including every inspector in California, said Boxer, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees the agency. Because EPA inspectors have been furloughed since Oct. 1, the pesticides are stuck in foreign vessels, waiting to be inspected and cleared for unloading and distribution within the U.S.

“We’ve heard from California agriculture that processing plants could close down, jobs will the lost and the tools necessary to protect their crops would not be available,” the California Democrat told reporters....

“The American people count on EPA to ensure a safe and healthy environment,” she said. “But because of the shutdown the EPA cannot verify that the air we breathe and the water that we drink meet federal standards.”....

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