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U.S. EPA approves stronger plans for certification of pesticide applicatorsqrcode

Nov. 23, 2022

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Nov. 23, 2022
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved 13 state and federal agency certification plans that comply with the improved federal standards to enhance worker safety under the 2017 Certification of Pesticide Applicators (CPA) rule.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires authorities to have an EPA-approved plan to certify applicators of restricted use pesticides (RUPs). To date, of the nation's 68 certification programs, EPA has reviewed all proposed modified plans and has approved eight plans from states and territories and five from federal agencies, of which all are now starting to be implemented.

In 2017, EPA updated the CPA regulations, setting stronger standards for people who apply RUPs. Improvements include enhancing applicator competency standards to ensure RUPs are used safely, establishing a nationwide minimum age for certified applicators and persons working under their direct supervision, and protection for noncertified applicators by requiring training before they can use RUPs (under the direct supervision of a certified applicator), among others.

The implementation of revised certification programs is crucial to reducing potential RUP exposures to certified applicators and those working under their direct supervision, other workers, the public, and the environment.

The following approved state and territory certification plans meet or exceed the standards mandated in the 2017 CPA rule:

  • Alaska (Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation)

  • California (California Department of Pesticide Regulation)
  • Nebraska (Nebraska Department of Agriculture)

  • New York (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

  • Oregon (Oregon Department of Agriculture)

  • Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture)

  • Vermont (Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets)

  • U.S. Virgin Islands (U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources)

In addition, the following federal agency certification plans meet or exceed the standards mandated in the 2017 CPA rule:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Plant Protection and Quarantine

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

  • U.S. Department of Defense

  • U.S. Department of Energy; Bonneville Power Administration

  • U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

State, territory and tribal authorities with existing plans can continue using those plans until November 4, 2023, consistent with EPA's recently issued extension (87 FR 50953, August 19, 2022). EPA is working closely with authorities to address challenges in revising their plans and will continue to approve plans on a rolling basis. After November 4, 2023, only authorities with EPA-approved modified certification plans can continue to certify applicators of RUPs.

EPA makes these certification plans available to the public by:

  • Tracking the progress of certification plan reviews and approvals here.

  • Approving certification plans as they are ready and announcing the approvals in batched Federal Register Notices (approximately quarterly).

  • Making all pre-2017 and newly approved certification plans publicly available in EPA's Certification Plan and Reporting Database (CPARD) here.

Upon publication, the Federal Register Notice will be available in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2022-0509 at www.regulations.gov.

Source: U.S. EPA


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