EPA Proposes New Pesticide Certification and Training Requirements for Licensed Pesticide Applicators

Cecil Tharp, MSU Pesticide Education Specialist

 

Pesticide applicators should be aware of an EPA issued comment period that began on August 24th, 2015 that revises the current Certification of Pesticide Application rule. The EPA is accepting comments on this proposal during a 90 day comment period that ends November 23rd, 2015. This is expected to prevent up to 800 acute illnesses per year.

The proposed changes will impact Montana pesticide applicators in a variety of ways:

Private Applicators
Proposed Rules Current Rules
  • Closed Book Testing Mandatory
  • Mandatory Category Specific Training
  • Mandatory 3 year certification cycle
  • Minimum 18 years old
  • Obtain 1⁄2 credits in last 18 months
  • Open Book Testing
  • No Category Specific Training (only endorsements)
  • 5 year certification cycle
  • Minimum 16 years old
  • Obtain 6 credits during the 5 year certification cycle

 

Non-certified Applicators (applying pesticides under another individual’s license)
Proposed Rules Current Rules
  • Annual Safety Training
  • Certified applicator can provide training
  • Training must meet certain requirements
  • Minimum 18 years old
  • Must be competent to use RUP’s
  • Certified applicator provides instructions
  • Requirements are not stated; ensure competence
  • Minimum 16 years old

 

Commercial / Government Applicators
Proposed Rules Current Rules
  • Recordkeeping must include non-certified applicator training
  • Minimum 18 years old
  • Mandatory 3 year certification cycle
  • No recordkeeping requirements for training non-certified applicators working under their license
  • Minimum 16 years old
  • 5 year certification cycle

 

*This represents only some of the changes proposed by EPA. More details are available by accessing the EPA comparison chart [link has expired] or see all details at the EPA website.

Details

Complete details of the proposed revisions and directions for commenting are available on regulations.gov, under docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183. After the 90 day public comment period, EPA will review and consider the public comments, and where needed, change the proposed requirements. EPA will draft the final regulation which will be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of Management and Budget. When these reviews are complete, the EPA will issue the final regulation.

Further Information

For all details regarding the proposed action see the EPA website. For questions regarding implications in Montana contact Cecil Tharp, Pesticide Education Specialist (406-994-5067; ctharp@montana.edu). For technical questions or further details regarding commenting contact Michelle Arling, arling.michelle@epa.gov.

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