Washington, United States: The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] has unveiled a proposal for new standards for applicators of ‘restricted-use’ pesticides that it says will lead to the safer and more-informed use of those products.
The agency says the new standards would reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of these pesticides and ensure a consistent level of protection.
“By improving training and certification, those who apply these restricted-use pesticides will have better knowledge and ability to use those pesticides safely,” said Jim Jones, the EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The proposal includes stricter standards for people certified to use restricted-use pesticides and would require all people who apply restricted-use pesticides to be at least 18 years old. Certification would have to be renewed every three years.
EPA is also proposing additional specialised licensing for certain methods of application that the agency says can pose greater risks if not conducted properly, such as fumigation and aerial applications.
For further protection, those working under the supervision of certified applicators would now need training on using pesticides under the standards in the new proposal.
Because state agencies issue licenses to pesticide applicators, the EPA says these new proposals would reduce the burden on applicators and pest control companies that work across State lines by promoting consistency across State programmes and encouraging the inter-state recognition of licenses.
The proposal would also update the requirements for States, tribes and federal agencies that administer their own certification programmes to incorporate the new standards.
A 90-day public comment period on these proposals will begin as soon as they have been officially published in the Federal Register. To view a copy of the proposals, visit this page at the EPA’s website.