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Agricultural Pesticides

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General Description

The application of pesticides on any plant, or part thereof, or animal, or animal product, produced by a person (including farmers, ranchers, vineyardists, plant propogators, Christmas tree growers, aquaculturalists, floriculturalists, orchardists, foresters, or other comparable persons) primarily for sale, consumption, propagation, or other use by man or animals.

Summary of Federal Requirements

There are different requirements for applicators of agricultural pesticides depending on whether pesticides are being applied on a farm, in a nursery, or in a green house.

What is sprayed determines the allowable re-entry times into a treated area.

The agricultural workers must be trained on how to use their PPE and the hazards of the pesticides being applied and allowable re-entry times.

Decontamination supplies must be available as are appropriate for what is sprayed.

EPA has an interpretive statement in response to questions raised about Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting requirements for the application of pesticides to or over the nation's waters. The statement reflects EPA's belief that a CWA permit is not required where application of a particular pesticide to or over water is consistent with requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). However, EPA is reinforcing for local officials, resource managers, agricultural producers, and other pesticide users the importance of applying pesticides in accordance with their label directions.

In 2015 there was a major re-write of the EPA regulations protecting agricultural workers. In order to help users of agricultural pesticides comply with the requirements EPA has issued this "2016 Worker Protection Standard How To Comply" manual.

Summary of State Requirements

States often identify particular pesticides that may not be used on individual crops.

States may have more stringent agricultural pesticide application constraints in terms of wind speed, drift, and neighborhood notification.

Laws and Statutes

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

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Regulatory Sources
40 CFR 170.104 through 170.160
Worker Protection Standard, Subpart B: Standards for Workers

40 CFR 170.202 through 170.260
Worker Protection Standard, Subpart C: Standard for Pesticide Handlers
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Last Updated: June 28, 2017