The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated in a recent settlement agreement that California pesticide regulators discriminated against Latino schoolchildren when they annually approved a pesticide used near their schools. The settlement includes the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

EPA made this discrimination finding as part of a settlement stemming from a civil rights complaint filed in 1999. According to the complaint, the California Department’s annual renewal of methyl bromide registration had a disproportionately adverse impact on Latino children because their schools were often close to farm fields. Under the settlement, the state will expand monitoring of methyl bromide levels in Watsonville, the area of highest risk.

This settlement is historic not only because the case was first filed over a decade ago. It is also the first time that EPA has made such a finding of discrimination in a civil rights case.

Click here to access EPA website on settlement