The court ruling did prohibit the use of aerial spraying to control the light brown apple moth, a pest the state feared was threatening crops. But the state can continue to use other treatments.
Erin Tobin with Earthjustice says the state was spraying in populated areas between Monterey and Santa Cruz:
TOBIN: "And applying chemicals about which we know very little, in places that could impact families and children, so it's a big concern."
The state originally got approval for its chemical spraying program five years ago by declaring the pest an emergency situation. However UC Davis entomologist Jim Carey argues that the tiny, nondescript moth isn't a threat to crops at all.
CAREY: "Even if it was a bad pest, there was no chance to eradicate, yet this program has just taken on life of its own, and there's no end in sight. It's unbelievable."
The state didn't return a request for comment. But it has said in the past it's unlikely the chemical would cause human harm or environmental damage.