By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- The Oregon House has passed a bill to facilitate adoption of integrated pest management strategies by state agencies.
House Bill 3364 creates a committee to oversee implementation of IPM on state and university grounds and amends the state's existing definition of IPM.
The bill's provisions do not extend to commercial or private pesticide applications.
In a floor speech, the bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, said the bill "makes sure that we are protecting commodity crops, ecosystems, water quality and public health."
She said the bill is the result of consensus reached by a work group of diverse interests, including representatives of state agencies, environmental groups and agricultural and forestry groups.
Keny-Guyer said the group crafted 11 versions of the bill before reaching agreement.
Scott Dahlman, executive director of Oregonians for Food and Shelter, who participated in the work group, said the bill is crafted in such a way as to not rule out the use of pesticides.
"OFS has and continues to support an integrated pest management process," Dahlman said, "but we must ensure that all tools are available to be able to manage pests.
"We believe (the bill) does allow for that," Dahlman said.
Dahlman also said that while OFS does not believe the state needs to rewrite its IPM definition, the proposed definition "is something we are comfortable with."
Keny-Guyer said she agreed to bring the bill forward in part because of findings of a 2010 survey of state agency pest control techniques.
"(The survey) revealed that agencies have fallen behind in training, in coordinating their efforts, in adoption of the latest technologies and in evaluating and reporting their outcomes," Keny-Guyer said.
The new Interagency Integrated Pest Management Coordinating Committee would be made up of agency personnel and headed by Paul Jepson, an IPM specialist at Oregon State University.
The House voted 51-9 to adopt the bill, with nine Republicans voting in opposition.
The bill now goes to the Senate.