Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Inventory of the Department of Pesticide Regulation Records
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Subjects

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Department of Pesticide Regulation Records
    Dates: 1950-2004
    Collection number: R195
    Creator: California Department of Pesticide Regulation
    Extent: 14 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The records of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) consist of 14 cubic feet of textual records reflecting the agency's administration of California's many and varied pesticide regulatory programs. The records are dated from 1950 to 2004, are separated into three subgroups, and include ten record series.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Language: English

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Department of Pesticide Regulation Records, R195.[series number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The California State Archives acquired the records of the Department of Pesticide Regulation per state law.

    Agency History

    Agriculture has always been a major component of California's economy. Mention of some form of pesticide regulation responsibilities can be found in the state's budget as far back as 1923 under the Department of Agriculture's Division (sometimes Bureau) of Chemistry. Between 1962 and 1968, it appears that the Division of Chemistry shared pesticide-related responsibilities with the Division of Standardization and Inspection.
    In 1968, Governor Reagan's Reorganization Plan #1 (Statutes of 1968) created the Agriculture and Services Agency which moved the Department of Agriculture under this new superagency. At this time, the Department did some internal reorganizing. The Division of Inspection Services included several programming elements related to pesticides: Chemistry, Field Crops and Agricultural Chemicals, Pesticides, and Pesticide Residue. In 1969, HR480 directed a committee to study the control of pesticides and to report its findings by 1970. In 1973, the Department of Agriculture was renamed the Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA).
    In response to new federal mandates, the state legislature enacted Chapter 308 (Statutes of 1978) which required the DFA to develop and oversee a statewide Pesticide Regulatory Program. In the same year, Governor Jerry Brown dissolved the Agriculture and Services superagency; DFA was now a stand-alone agency.
    In 1980, DFA once again completed an internal reorganization which resulted in the establishment of the Division of Pest Management, Environmental Protection and Worker Safety, the body responsible for managing the Pesticide Regulatory Program. In 1985, this division's name was shortened to Pest Management. In 1986, Governor Deukmejian approved major budget increases for the evaluation and enforcement of pesticide regulation.
    Governor Wilson's Reorganization Plan #1 (Statutes of 1991) removed all pesticide-related responsibilities from the DFA and placed those powers into the newly formed Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). DPR was placed under the authority of the also newly formed superagency, the Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). According to DPR's 1988 strategic plan, the agency "has the primary responsibility for regulating all aspects of pesticide sales and use to protect the public health and the environment". Furthermore, the agency's mission is to "evaluate and mitigate impacts of pesticide use, maintain the safety of the pesticide workplace, ensure product effectiveness, and encourage the development and use of reduced risk pest control practices while recognizing the need for pest management in a healthy economy."
    Since its inception in 1992, DPR has frequently changed the names and, to a lesser extent, scope of its divisions. For example, Executive and Administrative Services (1992-2005) changed to Administration (2005-2010); Enforcement, Environmental Monitoring and Data Management (1993-2002) changed to Pest Management, Environmental Monitoring, Enforcement, and Licensing. Other divisions are not so clearly explained: Pesticide Programs (2005-2010); State-Mandated Local Programs (1999-2005); Registration and Health Evaluation (1993-2005); Pesticide Regulation (1992-1995).
    Researcher note: Because this collection contains records from both the Department of Agriculture as well as the Department of Pesticide Regulation, it is recommended that the researcher also consult the Department of (Food and) Agriculture's records.

    Scope and Content

    The records of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) consist of 14 cubic feet of textual records reflecting the agency's administration of California's many and varied pesticide regulatory programs. The records are dated from 1950 to 2004, are separated into three subgroups, and include ten record series. Because the records date from the time periods both before and after the creation of DPR as its own agency, the names of two of the three sub-groups reflect an encapsulating description rather than a literal agency division.
    The Executive subgroup (1983-2004) contains the largest volume of records and includes the following records series: Bill Files, Director's Subject Files, Director's Technical Files, Chief Deputy Director's Subject Files, and the Chief Deputy Director's Technical Files. These series reflect the wide variety of information and functions administered for the agency by the executive staff. This subgroup highlights legislation as well as policy, litigation, chemicals, and collaboration with other organizations and agencies.
    The Worker Health and Safety Branch sub-group contains one series, the Health and Safety Briefs. These briefs provide a snapshot of the executive concerns and guiding policies from 1988 to 1994 as they pertain to those who are employed by companies or agencies that use, create, distribute, or investigate pesticides.
    The Pesticide Enforcement-Licensing subgroup (1950-1998) includes four record series. Three of these series reflect the state's emphasis on the creation of an educated pesticide employee workforce. The Agricultural Pest Control Advisory Committee Files pertain to the legally mandated development of qualifications and examinations for licensed pesticide advisers, operators, and similar. The records found in the series titled Examinations can be seen as examples of the result of the Committee's efforts. Later DPR would contract with the University of California, Davis (UCD) to develop and implement educational curriculum and training for personnel of pesticide regulatory organizations, as seen in the Pesticide Regulation Education Program (PREP) Files.
    The final series is the Medfly Files. The invasion of the Medfly into Northern California was perceived as nothing short of potentially disastrous, not only for the State but for the entire nation, to whom California provides a significant amount of food crops. These files summarize interstate and intrastate coordination and cooperation as well as dialogue with relevant federal bodies. The majority of this series, however, concern litigation surrounding the pesticide spraying that was used to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly.


    Further accruals are expected.


    California Environmental Protection Agency. Department of Pesticide Regulation
    California. Division of Pest Management
    Mediterranean fruit-fly