Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and EPIC v. CDF (Vegetation Management Case)

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) and EPIC v. CDF (Vegetation Management Case)

2000

The California Department of Forestry developed and approved a statewide vegetation management plan as work for fire hazard reduction activities throughout the state. The draft plan called for widespread use of herbicides without any meaningful analysis of the potential impacts. Following extensive comments from CATs and EPIC, CDF systematically struck all mention of herbicides from the document, yet the actual on-the-ground projects will continue to use harmful chemicals. Essentially, CDF removed herbicide usage from their analysis without actually removing it from the project.

We filed a petition for a writ of mandate on July 14, 2000, challenging CDF’s failure to analyze herbicide impacts and other environmental effects from the vegetation management plan, as well as their failure to evaluate alternatives and to enact a monitoring plan. CDF originally requested settlement negotiations, but were unwilling to discuss the possibility of assessing the risks associated with herbicides. The court ruled that CDF acted with prejudicial abuse of discretion in approving the management plan, agreeing with CATs and EPIC on all issues raised in our writ of mandate. EPIC was represented in this case by Sharon Duggan.