EPA Finalizes New FIFRA Certification Rules for Pesticide Applicators

Posted on January 6,2017 by Roger Marks

In the Federal Register on January 4, 2017, US EPA published a Final Rule to update the certification requirements for applicators of restricted-use pesticides (RUPs) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Certification and Re-certification for Pesticide Applicators

In its proposed rule, published in Summer 2015, US EPA recommended a certification period of 3 years for pesticide applicators. In addition, EPA proposed to require pesticide applicators to complete Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, as part of renewing that certification.

In the Final Rule, EPA has expanded the certification period to 5 years, instead of 3. The CEU requirement has been removed and replaced with a framework for certifying authorities (states, Tribal organizations, universities, etc.) to use in developing a recertification program.

Workers applying restricted use pesticides or RUPsCertification for Specific Application Methods

The Final Rule also lays out specific categories and subcategories of certification for certain methods of pesticide application deemed high risk, such as aerial application, soil and non-soil fumigation, and more.

Minimum Age for Applying RUPs

As EPA proposed in 2015, this Final Rule establishes a minimum age of 18 years for private and commercial applicators as well as noncertified applicators working under direct supervision. 
There is one exception to the minimum age requirement: The minimum age for noncertified applicators using RUPs under the supervision of a private applicator who is an immediate family member is 16.

Applying RUPs Under Supervision

To apply pesticides under the supervision of a certified applicator, noncertified applicators will be required to demonstrate competency by completing pesticide safety training for handlers as required by the EPA’s Worker Protection Standard, or WPS, at 40 CFR 170.

Recordkeeping for Commercial Applicators

The Final Rule requires commercial applicators of restricted-use pesticides to maintain records of training and qualifications for noncertified applicators using RUPs under direct supervision.

Read the Final Rule in the Federal Register here.

 

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