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Metro Digest / Local News in Brief

Judge Says Cities Can't Ban Malathion Missions

June 19, 1990

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe issued a court order Monday stopping the cities of Azusa, Lynwood and Pasadena from enforcing ordinances designed to stop aerial malathion spraying by banning low-altitude formation flying.

Yaffe granted a request from the state for a preliminary injunction, saying that local ordinances cannot restrict the state during emergency eradication programs, such as the one developed for the 11-month-old Medfly infestation in Southern California.

The ordinances led to a series of polite aerial confrontations earlier this year between local police helicopters and the state's squadron of helicopters, which need to fly low and in formation to conduct malathion spraying. Pasadena police issued two citations against the state's pilots for violating a city ordinance. The cases are pending.

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