The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) appreciates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) providing a twelve-month extension to the implementation of the revised Certification of Pesticides Applicator rule. NASDA strongly supports EPA’s decision, and NASDA requests EPA work with its state regulatory partners and the regulated community to revisit and revise a specific provision within the final rule to help facilitate a robust and efficient implementation of the final rule beginning on May 22, 2018.
NASDA represents the Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of the state departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. State departments of agriculture are responsible for a wide range of programs including food safety, combating the spread of disease, and fostering the economic vitality of our rural communities. Conservation and environmental protection are also among our chief responsibilities. In forty-three states and Puerto Rico, the state department of agriculture is the lead state agency responsible for the regulation of pesticide use under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
NASDA strongly supports the twelve month extension EPA provided to states on the effective date of this rule to help states and the regulated community have the educational assistance and resources necessary to deliver an effective implementation. NASDA was pleased with the significant improvements EPA made to the final rule (published on January 4, 2017), and we appreciate the on-going collaboration with EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) on this rule. NASDA does request EPA work with its state regulatory partners and the regulated community to revisit and revise a specific provision in the rule, which will help facilitate a comprehensive and effective implementation of these regulatory changes.
Specifically, NASDA requests EPA work with its state regulatory partners to revise and amend the new mandatory minimum age standard for commercial RUP applicators at 18 years (§171.103(a)(1); 171.105(g); and related provisions), which will unnecessarily complicate some states’ ability to facilitate a successful implementation.
Prior to this rulemaking, individuals under the age of 18 were able to apply RUPs if they met certification and training requirements promulgated within their respective state. The age requirement would require numerous states to undertake the lengthy and costly process of amending state statutes through the state legislature and/or undertake a state regulatory public comment and rule change. The age requirement, like many other aspects of pesticide applicator certification and training standards, should be a determination made by individual states and not a federally mandated requirement that will force states to amend their statutory authorities. NASDA requests that the Agency amend this narrow portion of the final rule, and NASDA stands ready to assist EPA in addressing this specific revision to provide states greater regulatory flexibility to states while facilitating a robust and efficient implementation process for the final rule changes by May 22, 2018.
NASDA appreciates the significant improvements EPA made to the final rule promulgated earlier this year, and NASDA strongly supports extending the effective date of this rule, which will help ensure the Agency’s state regulatory partners have adequate time, assistance, and resources necessary to assist in the development, delivery, and implementation of the new requirements.
NASDA welcomes the opportunity to discuss our request to revisit and revise the specific provision mandating a new minimum age standard, and NASDA stands ready to work with our regulatory partners at OPP to help facilitate a robust and efficient implementation of the final rule beginning on May 22, 2018.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please contact Dudley Hoskins (Dudley@nasda.org) if you have any questions or would like any additional information at this time.
Director, Public Policy