Friday, February 26, 2016

Several interested parties await decision on Pesticide Applicators rule

With the comment period for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to revise the Certification of Pesticide Applicators rule now closed, farmers, ranchers, commercial applicators and extension agents across the country await the final rule. Proponents of the plan say its increased supervision, education and oversight would make pesticide use safer and ensure the riskiest pesticides are used responsibly. Detractors worry the rules are overly burdensome, especially to private applicators, who may quit the certification program altogether if the changes go through. In a nutshell, the EPA is proposing stronger training and certification standards for the approximately one million pesticide applicators certified to apply the riskiest pesticides, known as restricted use pesticides (RUPs). The proposed rule would impact both commercial pesticide applicators and private ones, such as farmers and ranchers. It would also impact states and tribes that operate certification programs. The rules are designed to put private applicator competency on par with that of commercial applicators. As such, private applicators will be expected to pass a closed book exam with a score of 80 percent; take category specific training; and requalify every three years. In addition to having general knowledge of agricultural pest control, private applicators would have to be proficient in the following areas: comprehending labels; safety; environment; pests; pesticides; equipment; application techniques; laws and regulations; responsibilities for supervisors of noncertified applicators; and stewardship...more

No comments: