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Submitted by on 1, April 24, 2008 – 6:00 pmNo Comment

Fresh on the heels of a judge’s order halting aerial pheromone spraying of Santa Cruz County, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a postponement of the state’s plans to spray huge swaths of the Bay Area in its effort to eradicate the light brown apple moth. The spraying is being postponed so a battery of toxicity tests can be performed on the spray.

The postponement will be in place until at least August 17 – probably at least as long as it’ll take the state’s promised appeal to make its way through the courts. Spraying was to start in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties in June, and here in Alameda and elsewhere around the Bay Area in August.

“I am confident that the additional tests will reassure Californians that we are taking the safest, most progressive approach to ridding our state of this very real threat to our agriculture, environment and economy,” the governor said in a statement.

Schwarzenegger announced the postponement at a meeting today with a delegation led by San Francisco state Senator Carole Migden, whose bill to halt the spraying is one of several anti-spray bills making their way through the state Legislature.

Sierra Club California Bill Magavern, who attended the meeting, said in a release that he thanked Schwarzenegger for his action, which he said is “consistent with Sierra Club’s call for a precautionary moratorium on the spraying until health effects and alternatives can be fully studied.”

Sierra Club is one of several green groups that has concerns about the spraying program, we reported here Wednesday.

For more on this, check out Bay City News Service’s report here, CBS5’s report here, Eve Pearlman at the Journal’s take on it here, the Chronicle on the Santa Cruz ruling here, Schwarzenegger’s press release here, Migden’s here, Sierra Club’s here.

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