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How to Register Pesticides Under FIFRA

Posted on 8/11/2015 by Anthony Cardno

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), all new and existing "pesticide products" must be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before they can be distributed in commerce in the United States. Through the registration process, EPA evaluates whether the pesticide, when used according to the manufacturer's directions, will pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment.

EPA defines a pesticide product as "a pesticide in the particular form (including composition, packaging and labeling) in which the pesticide is, or is intended to be, distributed or sold. The term includes any physical apparatus used to deliver or apply the pesticide if distributed or sold with the pesticide." [40 CFR 152.3]

Aerial application of FIFRA-regulated pesticides

Contents of a FIFRA Pesticide Application

The rules governing the registration process can be found at 40 CFR 152, Subpart C. The application must include:
  • A completed application form;
  • The applicant's name (if a foreign entity, name of authorized agent within the US);
  • The applicant's address of record;
  • A summary of the application;
  • Information on the identity of the product, including:
    • Product Name,
    • Trade names, and
    • EPA registration number if already assigned;
  • A draft of the completed label for the product;
  • Detailed technical data and studies;
  • Certification related to child-resistant packaging where applicable;
  • A request for any classification change if other versions of the pesticide are already on the market; and
  • A statement regarding food and feed tolerances. [40 CFR 152.50]
EPA has created a guidance document for anyone interested in registering a new pesticide product, the Pesticide Registration Manual.

EPA's Classification of Pesticides

Once approved, pesticides are classified as "restricted use," "general use" or "unclassified." Individuals wishing to use "general use" or "unclassified" pesticides are required by law to follow the manufacturer's directions for use as printed on the pesticide product's label. Most "restricted-use" pesticides may only be applied by, or under the direct supervision of, a certified applicator. Some "severely-restricted-use" pesticides can only be used in accordance with stricter terms and conditions prescribed by EPA.

EPA's New Proposed Rules for "Restricted Use" Pesticides

Last week, EPA proposed bolstered training, certification, and age requirements for individuals who apply "restricted-use" pesticides, or RUPs. Applicators would have to be 18 years or older and complete a training program or demonstrate competency through testing, either annually or once every three years. Read more about the proposal here.

Expert EPA Compliance Training

Learn the latest regulations for registering and using pesticides under FIFRA at the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop. This two-day workshop covers critical elements of EPA's major environmental programs, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, EPCRA, and more. Get up to speed with new rules, and build strategies to ensure ongoing compliance with the bevy of EPA rules that affect your operations.


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