California's chief pesticide regulator is leaving his post.
Brian Leahy, who has served as director of the state Department of Pesticide Regulation for the last seven years, announced his resignation in an email to agency staff last week, but stopped short of explaining why.
"It has been an incredible honor to serve as your director," Leahy said in the email. "During that time we addressed many challenging issues in pesticide regulation."
Leahy is among a number of top state officials who have stepped down since Gov. Jerry Brown left office earlier this month. A former attorney and organic rice farmer, Leahy was appointed director of the agency by Brown in 2012.
DPR regulates pesticide sales and the use of those chemicals, and creates rules that county agricultural commissioners are tasked with enforcing. The department is part of the state's Environmental Protection Agency. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently appointed Jared Blumenfeld as the new head of that agency.
“I want to thank Brian Leahy for his service at DPR," said Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, who chairs the Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials (ESTM) Committee. "I appreciated working with Brian on public protection measures, such as making sure that the people who apply the most dangerous pesticides are properly licensed, and also increasing penalties on those who commit severe pesticide use violations.”