OLYMPIA — A bill extending the tenure of the Pesticide Application Safety Committee passed the Senate on Tuesday with a unanimous 49-0 vote. 

Senate Bill 6166, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle), extends the provisions of the Pesticide Application Safety Committee and its advisory work group until July 1, 2035, from the original expiration date of July 1, 2025. Additionally, the bill removes the requirement for the advisory work group to conduct virtual meetings, allowing for in-person meetings as necessary. 

The Pesticide Application Safety Committee—an essential body dedicated to safeguarding public health and the environment— established by the Legislature in 2019 after passage of Saldaña’s Senate Bill 5550, comprises legislative members, agency heads, academic leaders, and industry representatives. Co-chaired by the secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) and the director of the Department of Agriculture (WSDA), the committee’s primary focus is enhancing agricultural pesticide application safety and data collection practices. 

The committee plays a critical role in fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including farmers, agricultural workers, public health experts, and regulatory agencies. Extending the committee’s duration and facilitating in-person meetings will enhance data sharing, improve training, and ultimately promote trust among stakeholders. 

“This bill represents a crucial step toward breaking down silos between academics, farmers, and agricultural workers and promoting collaboration among key stakeholders in addressing pesticide-related challenges,” Saldaña stated. “By extending the tenure of the Committee, we are reaffirming our commitment to protecting public health and the environment. We are helping the public and decision-makers have a clearer picture of exposures, how to prevent them, and to begin to build trust.” 

With unanimous support in the Senate, the bill demonstrates bipartisan commitment to addressing environmental and public health concerns associated with pesticide use.  

The bill now heads to the House for consideration.