9 Pesticide Regulation

(Updated September 2017)

Pesticides are an important component within many agricultural and horticultural crop production systems that result in the production of a safe, abundant, and affordable safe food supply.  Pesticides are also critical tools in a variety of public health activities.

In forty-three states and Puerto Rico, the state department of agriculture is a co-regulatory partner with EPA and is responsible for administering, implementing and enforcing the production, labeling, distribution, sale, use and disposal of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which establishes a rigorous, scientific evaluation and review process for these tools. NASDA supports the scientifically-sound development, review, registration, and re-registration of crop protection technologies and uses to enable growers to produce our nation’s food, fiber, and fuel. 

9.1 Pesticide Spray Drift

  • NASDA encourages EPA and USDA to work with the states and the regulated community to support structural pest control programs.

9.2 Methyl Bromide

  • NASDA calls on EPA to provide the appropriate funding and support to state lead agencies and Cooperative Extension Service in the development and implementation of certification and training programs.
  • NASDA emphasizes that FIFRA grant funding for certification and training programs should be consistent in federal/state match funding requirements with the 85/15 requirement of other FIFRA programs.
  • NASDA supports the periodic review of certification and training programs and calls on EPA to consult with states prior to any potential or future revisions.
  • NASDA notes any additional requirements or revisions must be accompanied with adequate funding necessary to implement any future revisions.

9.3 FIFRA and Other Environmental Statutes

  • NASDA calls on EPA to provide the appropriate funding and support to state lead agencies and Cooperative Extension Service in the development and implementation of Worker Protection Standards (WPS).
  • NASDA supports the underlying goals of the WPS rule and calls on EPA to consult with states prior to any potential or future revisions.  

9.4 State-Federal Partnerships & Funding

  • Pesticide regulation must be based on sound science.
  • NASDA supports the harmonization of data requirements and risk assessment methodologies among states, regions, and trading partners.
  • NASDA recognizes the significant time, cost, and resources invested in developing, reviewing and registering pesticide products, and NASDA supports minimizing unnecessary or duplicative activities under the review, registration, and reregistration of pesticide products.
  • NASDA supports increasing the U.S./Canada Technical Working Group (TWG) efforts to harmonize pesticide regulations, tolerances, and registration data.

9.5 Sound Science & Harmonization

  • EPA must recognize states are not stakeholders but are co-regulatory partners under FIFRA and, therefore, must be consulted on any FIFRA regulatory or policy initiatives.  
  • NASDA calls for the appropriate and sustained funding for state lead agencies as co-regulatory partners with EPA under FIFRA.
  • NASDA supports a robust and meaningful consultation between EPA and the states concerning all FIFRA-related programs, regulations, and activities.
  • NASDA recognizes the importance of a robust state pesticide regulatory and compliance program, and NASDA supports primacy at the state level, as opposed to efforts that would allow localities the authority to regulate pesticides beyond provisions provided for in state law.
  • NASDA supports expediting EPA’s approval of state equivalency applications under the federal container/containment regulations, supporting the implementation with sufficient inspector training and additional funding to support implementation.
  • NASDA supports implementing a program that recognizes electronic labels for a variety of uses and to include label amendments to products in the channels of trade, allow for filtering lengthy labels for crop specific use directions, enhance label accessibility, and provide version controls.
  • NASDA supports a uniform and voluntary federal pesticide container recycling system that relies on partnerships between state departments of agriculture, extension, industry associations, grower groups and other agricultural stakeholders.

9.6 Implementation of FQPA

  • NASDA supports the proper labeling, use, and application of pesticide products.
  • NASDA supports utilizing real world data, wherever possible, for risk calculations.
  • NASDA supports the continued use of and adequate funding for the Pesticide Data Program (PDP) to provide accurate and current use and residue data for risk calculations.

9.7 Reduced Risk Pesticides

  • NASDA supports continued efforts to ease the cost and registration burden for pesticides on minor crops.
  • NASDA supports the development of data necessary to register minor use pesticides as well as the establishment of minor use programs within EPA and USDA to foster coordination on minor use regulations and policy.
  • NASDA supports the goals and objectives of the IR-4 program and calls on EPA and USDA to undertake additional organizational and coordination activities necessary to support and utilize this data development for minor use pesticides.

9.8 Certification and Training

  • NASDA calls on EPA and USDA to continue to work with state departments of agriculture, land grant universities and other agricultural colleges and universities, extension, and the agricultural community to develop and disseminate educational materials on the regulatory framework, registration process, appropriate use, risk and benefits of pesticide products.

9.9 Worker Protection

  • NASDA supports the continued and appropriate approval of emergency exemptions (Sec. 18s).
  • NASDA calls on EPA to clearly communicate the specific data needs necessary for the Agency’s review and approval of these applications.

9.10 Structural Pesticide Control Issues

  • NASDA supports the use of reduced risk pesticides and supports efforts in developing reduced risk solutions to pest control challenges.
  • NASDA supports enhanced review of FIFRA 25(b) products to ensure the efficacy and appropriateness of label claims.

9.11 Introduction

Pesticides are an important component of agriculture/horticultural production systems. Pesticides are utilized in integrated pest management programs and result in the production of abundant and safe food, fiber and ornamental crops which sustain the quality of life we enjoy.

Pesticide laws, regulations and policies ensure that pesticides are used correctly and that adequate protection is provided to applicators, workers, consumers, and the environment. This body of regulations is constantly changing to enhance protection of human health and the environment, and reflect new technology and scientific discovery as well as to improve safety.

9.12 Methyl Bromide

  • NASDA urges EPA to work closely with USDA and the state lead agencies to allow for the continued use of critical use exemptions for all appropriate and necessary uses.

9.13 Pesticide Spray Drift

  • NASDA recognizes minimizing off-target spray drift as an important policy goal.
  • NASDA supports enhanced flexibility for state lead agencies to enforce state laws and regulations.
  • NASDA encourages EPA, states, registrants, and applicators to collaborate on label improvements to ensure pesticide labels include clear, consistent and enforceable instructions and expectations.
  • NASDA supports FIFRA’s risk-based “no unreasonable adverse effects” standard, and NASDA recognizes a small amount of de minimis drift often occurs and that a “zero drift” standard is impractical, if not impossible.
  • NASDA recognizes there may be situations when off-target drift occurs without a corresponding violation of federal law, and NASDA notes there are alternative recourses available in the instance of economic harm.
  • NASDA encourages the adoption of best management practices, effective training and certification, the development of new technologies, and other drift reduction strategies.

9.14 Food Safety

  • NASDA supports the science-based and comprehensive regulatory framework FIFRA provides to pesticide-related environmental and public health protection.
  • NASDA supports state primacy in the enforcement of pesticide activities under FIFRA. 
  • NASDA supports the original intent of Congress that FIFRA be the primary federal statute under which pesticide registration and use is regulated, and pesticide uses reviewed and registered under FIFRA should not be subject to additional requirements (including permit requirements) under other federal statutes.
  • In situations where requirements of other environmental statutes overlap with FIFRA, NASDA supports incorporating those requirements into the FIFRA registration process in a manner that is science-based, transparent, and allows for the full examination of the risks and benefits of the proposed action.

9.15 Section 18's

  • NASDA calls on EPA to work with state departments of agriculture to identify reliable data and ensure realistic, science-based risk estimates are utilized in the Agency’s application of FQPA requirements.
  • NASDA strongly supports efforts to build program capacity within the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and its cooperative partners, to expand pesticide use data collection through statistically valid survey procedures for all pesticide uses supported through the pesticide registration and FQPA process.
  • NASDA encourages continued dialogue with USDA, EPA, the pesticide industry and other agricultural stakeholders to ensure the use of the best available information is collected in the most efficient manner.
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