Environmental Health
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  Thurston County's IPM Program  

Kennydell ParkIn 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.

Links to reports:
2019 2018
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
2002 2001 2000 1999 1998

County 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.

Pesticide Reviews

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 environment.

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 hazards.

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This page last updated: 07/09/21