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PEOPLE Make a world of difference ! Were proud of our employees and their contributions to your success and ours. Call us for quality printing, binding, mailing and data processing services. Get to know the people at Futura. FUTUM COMMUNICATIONS INC P.O. Box 17427 Austin, TX 78760-7427 389-1500 derstanding of IPM [integrated pest management] and realize that it includes pesticide use. Statements about pest control should always include 1PM, but they should not that each infestation must be treated according to its threat to environmental and human health. I also respectfully request that the Structural Pest Control Board notify TDA when it finds manufacturers releasing their advertisements that may be contrary to FIFRA labeling requirements.” Gonzalez replied in a November 4, 1993, letter that it was “unfortunate TDA was first made aware of his concern through the media.” But while Perry is an ex-officio member of the board, neither he nor his designee from the TDA had showed up for the public meetings where manufacturers’ advertisements were discussed. Gonzalez also noted that some of Bearden’s statements were inconsistent with reports by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute of Health and the EPAespecially regarding the inadequacy of EPA testing and registration requirements. “I am aware of the many important reforms that are long overdue in pesticide regulation and registration,” he wrote. “I welcome this opportunity for us to communicate directly concerning these fundamental changes in pesticide policy…” Gonzalez wrote. In a telephone interview from his Hous ton insurance agency, Gonzalez said “the displeasure of the [pesticide] industry was called to my attention in a number of ways, including that letter from the TDA.” He accepts that, as an insurance agent, he does not have technical expertise in pesticide application, but he said he was irked that Perry had an underling send him a letter of reprimand. “I haven’t had my ears boxed back like that since I was in school,” he said. Gonzalez said he has no first-hand evidence that the Department of Agriculture has relaxed pesticide enforcement since Perry took over, but he noted, “Every time that we move to improve education or increase the competence leyel of applicators or expand continuing education programs, I always hear, ‘Why can’t you be more like the TDA’ I can only assume that if they had the chance to choose which hoops to jump through, they would rather jump through the TDA’s hoops and not ours.” That is not the board’s concern, he said. “Our only concern is the consumer. The only reason we were created was to protect the consumers, not to protect the industry…. Anybody can take a look at the examination and continuing education requirements and see that it’s clearly easier at the TDA than at the structural board,” he said. “We take pesticide competency very seriously.” As a state representative from Haskell, Rick Perry was the author of an amendment to the Texas Department of Agriculture reauthorization bill in 1989 that created a Texas Agriculture Resources Protection Authority to review pesticide control policies among all state agencies \(and watch over then-Agriculture Commissioner Jim culture Commissioner, he has had little use for the authority. Despite the statutory requirement that it meet at least quarterly, Perry, as its chairman, had not called a meeting since October 1992 until a majority on the committee, led by consumer representative Max Woodfin and producer representative Larry Smith, demanded an August 29 meeting to address issues such as estrogenic pesticides, which can affect reproduction, and found that the department did not have any plans to regulate them. They also discussed boll weevil eradication, birth defects in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Department of Health fish tissue sample studies that show about a dozen bodies of water with excessive levels of chlordane and other pesticides. Woodfin, who was executive assistant for regulatory programs under Hightower, said the authority was “one way, albeit awkward, to begin addressing the issue of pesticides.” The board set another meeting for October 10. J.C Continued from pg. 2 ity,” about conservation, cannot be divorced from the political context and calculus in which they initially were developed, a perspective that Fox’s letter sidesteps. The original report does not dodge this point, however. Its introduction, for instance, notes that two of the committee’s critical charges were to “identify possible water supply alternatives which will satisfy water demand in Bexar County through 2050” and to “develop strategies for initial implementation of the recommended supply alternatives.” That said, the final resolutions had to meet a pair of predetermined and politically charged conditions. “The recommended strategies,” the introduction concertainty of San Antonio’s water supply competitive with that in other major cities in Texas and the Southwest.” The 2050 committee’s concept of conservation, in short, was shaped by what my piece argued has long constituted the core of the strategy for San Antonio’s growth and development: the easy flow of cheap water. That flow, it must be said, received the lion’s share of publicity during the run-up to the Applewhite election in mid-September. Take one example, the slick, eight page brochure entitled The Water Issue that the “Citizens for the 2050 Plan” issued. Applewhite, it affirmed, would “promote water conservation” \(promote and while its more specific and tangible rewards were all set in the affirmative. The reservoir “Doubles our water supply with certainty and reliability,” “protects jobs,” “diversifies our water resources” and accomplishes this at the least possible cost.” These assertions hardly challenge the public to conserve. Quite the reverse. Perhaps the next time, if there is one, those who propose to solve San Antonio’s ongoing water crisis ought to place a rigorous and mandatory conservation policy at the top of the agenda and at the center of public debate. Such a fundamental shift in strategy might actually win them a few more votes, too. Char Miller, San Antonio P.S. It is curious that Thomas Fox sent a copy of his letter to the president of the university where I teach. In light of academic freedom, what purpose did this act serve? THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7