In 1987, the County Commissioners appointed a citizens
committee to study the County’s use of pesticides and to
recommend a policy to address pest control. This was in
response to a growing concern by many citizens on the use of
pesticides by the County and its impacts on the environment,
public health, and worker safety. In 1989, the Commissioners
adopted the County’s first Pesticide Use Policy and in 1993
its revision became the
Thurston County Pest and Vegetation
Management Policy [PDF], which is still in use today.
In order to assist in implementing the IPM policy, a Pest
and Vegetation Management Advisory Committee was
established. The committee has been composed of up to nine
people appointed by the Thurston County Board of Health that
are not Thurston County employees. The Committee includes
two or three members representing agriculture and two or
three members representing environmental interests. The
committee also has an expert in toxicology and
representation from other relevant state agencies.
The committee reviews and makes recommendations to all
departments and programs affected by this policy, the Board
of County Commissioners, and the Board of Health. The
advisory group chairman is also responsible for providing an
annual review of the program and its implementation.
Each County department that controls pest and vegetation problems
has written IPM programs approved by the Thurston County
Board of County Commissioners. Each program is
specific to the sites and pests that the department is
responsible for managing, and details the roles and
responsibilities within in.
Prior to using chemical controls for pest control, each department must
undergo a two-step process. The first step is the
prescription development and approval process; the second is
the pesticide chemical review and selection process. The
following links outline each of these processes:
IPM Prescriptions used by Thurston County Departments
Before Thurston County begins pest control, the pest is
researched to better
understand what type of environmental factors may be
promoting it. We then develop prescriptions that
provide information about the pest and the procedures that
will be used to monitor and control that pest. Each
prescription contains a description of the pest or
vegetation problem, its negative impacts, the level at which
it represents a problem requiring control, monitoring
process, non-chemical control strategy, chemical control
strategy, and the timing for these events.
Links to currently used prescriptions (as they become
available) are available below.
The Environmental Health Division reviews each
pesticide product proposed for use by a Thurston County department.
All Active ingredients in the pesticide products are evaluated to
determine the hazards they present to non-target organisms and the
Chemical hazards evaluated include: mobility,
persistence, bioaccumulation, acute and chronic toxicity, inert
ingredients, degradation products, and exposure risk.
Pesticide chemicals are considered to have unacceptable hazards when
they are: persistent and can bioaccumulate, known or suspected
carcinogens, mutagens, known to cause endocrine disruption, or
considered high in risk for toxicity to non-target
organisms. Products that are found to have an
unacceptable level of hazards fail the review. Chemicals that pass
the review do not have these toxicological or environmental