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What was the OPM Task Force?

The Office of Pest Management (OPM) Task Force was created by Senate Bill 1194 (Structural Pest Management; Regulation), signed into law on April 6, 2011. The law moved structural pest control temporarily under the Department of Agriculture and Section 6 created the OPM Task Force to study the regulation of structural pest management. The OPM Task Force was required to submit their findings and recommendations to the governor, the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives on or before December 15, 2012.

The industry anticipated that the findings and recommendations would be to streamline the regulations. But this was not to be. To begin with, Jack Peterson, Director of OPM, chose not to notify the affected parties of the existence of the OPM Task Force - such as the 1200 pest control companies or the 8000 licensed applicators, or the thousands of yard workers, or the real estate industry, or the building inspection industry, or the construction industry, or the political subdivisions or the public at large.

You should also notice who was selected to be on the OPM Task Force to represent the structural pest control industry - two SPCC (Structural Pest Control Commission) commissioners and two AzPPO (Arizona Pest Professional Organization) board members. The OPM Task Force Chairman was also a SPCC commissioner. You may remember that the SPCC was sunset because of abuse and corruption in 2008. You may also remember that AzPPO has consistently lobbied for protectionist regulations. The small independent businesses were never given a seat at the table nor were their comments and signed petitions taken seriously.

OPM Task Force member Dave Burns resigned around May 9, 2012 - for "Personal" reasons. Burns was in charge of the so called "Town Hall" meetings run by AzPPO - the second Tucson meeting was a fabricated sham. Burns harassed people who signed our petitions against over regulation prior to his resignation. Someone at Burns' company (Burns Pest Elimination) tried to fraudulently manipulate our industry survey following Burns' resignation.

Although the OPM Task Force went through the motions of reviewing the regulations, the AzPPO and SPCC board members had no intentions of making significant and real changes to streamline the pest control regulations. In fact, the volume and complexity of the regulations increased. The process was a sham from the vary beginning. Corruption is alive and well in the structural pest control industry.

Senate Bill 1290 (Office of Pest Management) was passed and signed into law on April 17, 2013. The new law made the move to Department of Agriculture permanent, changed the QP 3000 hour experience requirement to an arbitrary 24 month waiting period, gutted the yard worker exemption, forced school districts to have QPs and much more. Read why this bill was bad for consumers and small independent businesses: pest control industry sample letter and landscaper sample letter.

OPM Task Force members

The following people were appointed to the OPM Task Force by the Director of the Department of Agriculture. Note that 2 of the 3 structural pest control industry positions were occupied by AzPPO board members and 2 of the three structural pest control industry positions plus the chair position were occupied by former SPCC commissioners. AzPPO does not represent the vast majority of independent pest control companies. The SPCC was disbanded for abuse and corruption in 2008.

  • Jack Peterson (Chairman) - OPM Director, Associate Director Department of Agriculture for Department of Environmental Services, SPCC Commissioner May 2002 to January 2006.
  • Dave Burns (resigned May 9, 2012 - not replaced) - Owner of Burns Pest Elimination (one of the larger pest control companies in Arizona), SPCC Commissioner February 2006 to June 2008, AzPPO Board member 2011 to 2012.
  • Ken Fredrick - owner Conquistador Pest & Termite Control, AzPPO founder, AzPPO Vice President 2005 to 2008, AzPPO President 2008 to 2011, AzPPO Board member 2011 to 2012, OPM Advisory Committee 2009 to present.
  • Kirk Smith - supervisor of vector control for Maricopa County, SPCC Commissioner March 2008 to June 2008.
  • John Boelts - agriculture
  • Lin Evans - agriculture
  • Jimmy Fox - agriculture
  • Philip Hemminghaus - Department of Agriculture Advisory Council.
  • Will Rousseau - Department of Agriculture Advisory Council.

336 petitions signed against over regulation

The following 336 petitions were sent to the OPM Task Force asking for streamlined regulations. Comments are included on the last page following the signatures. These petitions were also given to the legislature. The petitions were essentially ignored by both the OPM Task Force and the legislature.

Petition to abolish the Termite Action Report Form (TARF) database - 82 signatures.

Petition to eliminate arbitrary experience requirements for qualifying party applicators license - 83 signatures.

Petition to stop requiring a QP license for applying unrestricted pesticides - 67 signatures.

Petition to expand the unrestricted herbicide gardener exemption to licensed operators - 60 signatures.

Petition to say AzPPO does not represent me - I do not want AzPPO representing my business - 44 signatures.

Survey results and Burns survey fraud

Here are the Survey results (7/23/12). We also include details of how Burns Pest Elimination tried to fraudulently manipulate the survey results.

OPM Task Force Meetings and AzPPO Town Hall Meetings

Meetings are listed in reverse chronological order.

November 21, 2012 - OPM Task Force legislative report, final statutes and rules

October 17, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting - the final public meeting.

July 18, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting.

June 26, 2012 Devices subcommittee meeting.

June 26, 2012 Golf Course subcommittee meeting.

June 26, 2012 Groundwater subcommittee meeting.

June 19, 2012 Devices subcommittee meeting.

June 18, 2012 Golf Course subcommittee meeting.

June 15, 2012 Groundwater subcommittee meeting.

June 13, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting.

May 15, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting.

April 18, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting.

March 30, 2012 Tucson AzPPO Town Hall meeting.

  • Video (0:12 runtime). Note that AzPPO started the Town Hall over 15 minutes before it was scheduled to start - we walked into the room just as they were starting - thus we were running the video as we were setting up the tripod and mounting the camera. Note also that the meeting was over before the meeting was scheduled to start.
  • Meeting handout: Meeting Notice and Agenda
  • Meeting handout: AzPPO Town Hall meeting rules
  • AzPPO summary: Fabrication of events (April 3, 2012)
  • Letter to OPM Task Force: Comments on meeting (April 8, 2012)

March 29, 2012 Chandler AzPPO Town Hall meeting.

March 14, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting.

February 15, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting.

January 26, 2012 Tucson AzPPO Town Hall meeting.

January 11, 2012 OPM Task Force meeting.

December 14, 2011 Tempe AzPPO Town Hall meeting.

November 16, 2011 OPM Task Force meeting.

October 18, 2011 OPM Task Force meeting.

September 14, 2011 OPM Task Force meeting.

August 24, 2011 OPM Task Force meeting.


 
 
Copyright © 2013 by Phyllis M. Farenga.  All rights reserved.
Updated April 2013

It's Our Turn
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