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Diane Schute

CPDA Engages with WSDA in Calling for an Expedient Process that would Allow Alternatives to BIT in Adjuvant Formulations

In related activities surrounding the shortage of BIT, CPDA has been engaged with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in calling for guidance that would set forth a streamlined process allowing registrants of spray adjuvants to substitute alternative preservatives in their products. In a request sent to WSDA’s Registration and Licensing Services Program on September 18th, CPDA Interim President Gary Halvorson emphasized that the BIT shortage is not likely to abate any time soon and he requested that the Department move quickly in providing instructions for the modification of adjuvant registrations of existing formulations.

WSDA in response has specified three steps that registrants are required to take if they choose to revise their adjuvant formulations:

  1. Determine the appropriate revisions to the adjuvant CSF, based on the preservative use limits in 40 CFR 180.910 or .920 (assuming the adjuvant is intended for use on food or feed crops).
  2. Submit a revised adjuvant CSF to WSDA using the secure pesticide registration portal (https://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Pesticides/ProductRegistration.aspx#Secure), and mention in the “Notes” box that the only change is the preservative. Do not submit a CSF by email, since this method is not secure.
  3. Contact the assigned Registration Specialist (https://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Pesticides/ProductRegistration.aspx#RegContacts) and let them know that the registrant is submitting a revised adjuvant CSF.

WSDA has instructed that in lieu of these actions, a revised CSF can be submitted by ground mail or fax. The registrant should include a cover letter explaining that the only change is the preservative in such cases.

EPA’s Office of Inspector General Issues Report on Needed Improvements to FIFRA Section 18 Emergency Exemption Process

On September 25, 2018, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report summarizing the conclusions of its audit of the Agency’s FIFRA Section 18 pesticide emergency exemption process. Section 18 of FIFRA allows the Agency to grant federal and state agencies the authority to approve the limited application of an unregistered pesticide not currently registered for that use in the event of a serious pest problem that jeopardizes production of agricultural goods, the environment, or public health and for which there are inadequate tools to address the situation. The regulations governing implementation of FIFRA Section 18 establish four types of emergency exemptions (specific, quarantine, public health and crisis) with different time periods allowed for each.

In its report, the OIG concluded that while EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) collects human health and environmental data through its emergency exemption process, it does not use this data to capture outcome measures that would demonstrate how well the emergency exemption process maintains human health and environmental safeguards. In addition, the OIG found that OPP does not have comprehensive internal controls to manage the emergency exemption data it collects and cited specific deficiencies in the Agency’s online public database, internal guidance documents, and its annual progress reports to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Congress. Finally, OIG determined that the OPP does not consistently communicate emergency exemption information with its stakeholders.

The OIG recommended that EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention develop outcome-based performance measures; develop or update procedures on data collection, database management and the re-use of data submitted by state lead agencies; and communicate changes to the emergency exemption process in a timely manner. The full OIG report, including EPA’s response to the recommendations contained in the report, may be accessed by clicking here.

CPDA Seeks Solution to Problems Posed by BIT Shortages

CPDA continues to work with EPA and allied industry trade associations urgently seeking a resolution to the shortage of the active ingredient 1,2-benzisothiaxolin-3-one (BIT). Preservative products containing BIT are used in the formulation of hundreds of agricultural pesticide products by many registrants. The precursor chemical o-nitrochlorobenzene, essential to the manufacture of BIT products, is sourced almost exclusively from China. BIT can serve as both an active ingredient or an inert ingredient depending on whether or not it has a pesticidal effect when used in a registered end use product.

Over this past summer, the Chinese government, as part of its anti-pollution Blue Sky initiative, shut down key BIT and BIT precursor manufacturing operations pending the results of ongoing environmental site inspection of these facilities. These closures have led to inventory shortages of BIT and BIT precursor products which has adversely impacted a number of pesticide formulation operations. Some registrants have been notified by their suppliers that they will be unable to fulfill their long-standing supply contracts. CPDA received reports from companies that the BIT shortage is seriously impeding their ability to find alternate sources of these products, thus creating the potential for major manufacturing disruptions as registrants prepare for the 2019 growing season.

In response, CPDA and allied trade associations have engaged with EPA personnel in an effort to address this situation, requesting that the Agency approve a streamlined self-certification process, in lieu of submitting an amended Confidential Statement of Formula (CSF), for impacted end use products for which an alternate supply of BIT is used.  The trade association coalition gathered feedback from their respective member companies in order to develop a list of possible alternatives to BIT for use in pesticide formulations. This has been presented to EPA for review and approval.

On August 23, 2018, EPA sent a letter to the industry coalition agreeing to a time-limited self-certification process, not to exceed 24 months, whereby registrants could notify the Agency of a change in the source of BIT without having to submit an amended CSF. For each end use product in which BIT is used as an active ingredient, registrants are directed to submit a Formulator’s Exemption form (EPA Form 8570-27) as described in PR Notice 98-10. For products where BIT is used as an inert ingredient, EPA will allow notification of the source change to be submitted in the form of a single letter which covers all impacted products. EPA states that at the end of the 24-month period, barring any evidence of continued market instability due to extended BIT shortages, the Agency will require the submission of new or amended CSFs for which the source of BIT has changed from what is listed in the current CSF. Submissions would be required within 90 days of August 23, 2020 or upon the identification of “stable source(s),” whichever is earlier.

While the streamlined process of notification set forth by EPA is limited to seven specific alternate registered sources of BIT as listed in the August 23rd letter, CPDA has learned that this list will likely be expanded and that an update will be released by the Agency shortly. In the meantime, CPDA and other members of the industry coalition continue to collaborate with EPA on this issue in an effort to avert the looming crisis that could unfold during the 2019 growing season in the face of continued shortages of BIT.

CPDA Seeks Delay of WSDA’s Proposal for Functioning Agents in Adjuvant Formulations

On September 21, 2018 CPDA in collaboration with the Far West Agribusiness Association (FWAA) sent a letter to WSDA requesting that the agency temporarily delay the implementation of its proposed plan to establish synonym names for principal functioning agents used in spray adjuvant formulations. WSDA had recently shared with CPDA their intent to develop Principal Functioning Agent text for spray adjuvant ingredients that would be acceptable to both the agency and registrants, with the goal of updating information for all existing ingredients in their database by the end of 2018.

CPDA and FWAA signaled that implementation of this initiative before industry has had an opportunity to thoroughly vet the plan and provide input to the Department would be premature. Both groups cited concerns related to Confidential Business Information (CBI) protections that could possibly be eroded under the Department’s proposed use of synonym names.

In the joint industry letter sent to Kelle Davis of the WSDA Pesticide Management Division, CPDA and FWAA emphasized that the process would force the disclosure of CBI for products registered by WSDA. Both associations urged WSDA to continue the registration of new adjuvants in accordance with current practice, pending industry’s review of the naming proposal so as to avoid a potential backlog of products awaiting Department approval.

CPDA has established a work group to review the WSDA list in order to develop recommendations that would ensure the continued protection of CBI. All CPDA members are invited to participate on this work group. For more information, please contact CPDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Sylvia Palmer (spalmer@cpda.com) or call (202) 386-7407.

The Value of CPDA Membership

CPDA is the preeminent U.S.-based industry trade association supporting the interests of the agricultural adjuvants and inert ingredients industry, and manufacturers, formulators and distributors of post patent pesticides and other agrotechnology products through its robust legislative and regulatory affairs programs.  The core of CPDA’s mission is built on the realization that issue priorities can differ significantly depending on whether your company is a producer, formulator/distributor, or an adjuvant/inert ingredient supplier.  Each of these segments within the agrotechnology industry faces a unique set of challenges in retaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

To better position ourselves for the future, CPDA has charted a new strategic path with the goal of ensuring that the legislative and regulatory issues faced by each of these industry segments – producers, formulators/distributors, and adjuvant/inert ingredient suppliers – continue to be made a priority and receive the attention necessary for these companies to thrive in an ever-changing and competitive market. As a member of CPDA, companies have the opportunity to participate on one or more of three groups being established that will focus on the legislative and regulatory issues and needs germane to each of these individual market segments. This approach will empower member companies by giving them ownership over the issues applicable to the industry segment in which they do business and provide them the means to become “part of the solution.”

This new structure will assist CPDA in more effectively serving as the industry voice and advocate for uniquely challenging issues specific to the agrotechnology industry – issues that other agricultural chemical trade associations simply do not address. Membership in the Council provides companies a “seat at the table” in advocating for policy changes that impact their operations and protect their interests.  When an issue suddenly arises that affects a segment of our membership, CPDA responds by directing staff and member expertise to resolve the problem.  For an individual company to attempt problem resolution, the costs could be prohibitive and the effort ultimately unsuccessful.  As a trade organization, CPDA is well positioned to represent a large group of impacted companies and to speak as one voice for the agrotechnology industry on critical policy matters.  Past experience has proven that the voice of the association has been heard and addressed by the EPA, OSHA and state agencies.

CPDA’s activities in defending the interests of its members focuses on engaging state and federal legislators to shape new or existing legislation to the desired outcome; collaborating with agency personnel to inform the regulatory decision-making process; drafting and submitting comments on proposed rules and legislation; and advocating for favorable public policy. The following are just a few examples of the issue priorities that CPDA has devoted its time and resources to in representing the interests of its members in the federal and state policy arenas:

  • CPDA has engaged extensively with OSHA on advocating for changes to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) that would stipulate that sealed containers in warehouses would not have to be relabeled based on new hazard information if an updated label is transmitted electronically to downstream entities as is allowed for updated safety data sheets.  CPDA has voiced its concerns to OSHA that distributor warehouses are not equipped to safely relabel sealed product containers and that this requirement would subject warehouse workers to unnecessary health and safety risks.

 

  • CPDA continues to work in strong support of enactment of legislation that would provide a long-term reauthorization of PRIA. The PRIA category fees and review timelines important to our member are established under PRIA ensure that decisions on pesticide product and inert ingredient submissions are made by EPA on a timely basis.  This provides companies the certainty they need in planning for the demands of the growing season. CPDA’s efforts played an important role in the inclusion of PRIA as part of the House and Senate Farm Bills. With current Farm Bill programs set to expire on September 30, 2018, the House and Senate majority leadership are hoping to complete work on a conferenced bill very shortly. CPDA is collaborating with its allied trade association partners on the PRIA Coalition to ensure the PRIA language remains in the final Farm Bill.

 

  • CPDA has devoted considerable resources in seeking the elimination of the duplicative Clean Water Act permitting requirement for FIFRA registered pesticides applied in, over or near waters of the United States. The Council was successful in securing the inclusion of language, known as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) provision, in both the current versions of the House and Senate passed Farm Bills that would obviate the need for this redundant permit for the lawful application of pesticides.

 

  • CPDA continues to meet with EPA staff on a variety of pesticide drift issues, and recently developed a set of recommendations on possible changes to the Agency’s Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) verification test protocol, a key component of the star rating aspect of the DRT Program. CPDA remains committed to working with EPA on pesticide drift and educating Agency staff on tank-mix adjuvants and the nature of pesticide formulations.

 

  • CPDA is actively engaged on key state issues including the pending changes to product label warning requirements slated to go into effect at the end of August 2018 under California Proposition 65. CPDA recently joined with several other industry trade associations in submitting comments to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) voicing concerns that the proposed Proposition 65 safe harbor warning requirements conflict with EPA requirements for pesticide labeling under FIFRA. CPDA and the other groups objected that the Proposition 65 warning requirement on a FIFRA-registered product would contradict EPA approved precautionary language and use directions. Moreover, this requirement could serve as a precedent for other states to follow thereby leading to confusion not only within industry, but for consumers and state regulators as well. CPDA continues to work with its allied trade association partners to resolve the dilemma that would be created under the pending Proposition 65 product label warning requirements.

 

  • CPDA continues to collaborate with Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) regulators in expressing the serious concerns of its member companies with the department’s notice to adjuvant registrants regarding inert ingredient disclosure. CPDA has objected that the increased specificity would compromise the identity of many products that adjuvant producers sell.

 

  • In June 2018, CPDA met with representatives of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) to discuss reports received from member companies suggesting that the Agency is routinely failing to meet its PRIA timelines for the review of inert ingredient submissions despite EPA’s assertion to the contrary. CPDA remains fully engaged on this issue and continues to solicit member feedback on their experience with the registration process. The goal is presenting a set of final recommendations to the Agency aimed at facilitating the timely review of inert ingredient applications and reducing the number of renegotiations that are taking place with apparently increased frequency.

 

These are just a few examples of what CPDA is doing on behalf of its members whose businesses are aligned with one or more of the three industry segments described here.  Our goal is to focus on issues and policy germane to our members while collaborating with aligned associations to have a powerful, consistent message to the agencies.

As we strive to effectively advance our industry’s mission and ensure critical regulatory and legislative policies are science based and equitable, we seek to recruit and retain a critical mass of companies looking to succeed in the U.S. agricultural chemical marketplace.  To ensure your voice is heard during the development of new public policy and when current public policy threatens the economic success and viability of your company and the industry, we need your continuing support and the support of others as the resource base for the Council’s work.  Participation and involvement of our members is the bedrock upon which we build our advocacy efforts – whether in the halls of Congress, with key federal and state agencies, or through collaborations with allied partners in the agrotechnology industry.

 

Presentations from CPDA 2018 Summer Conference & Annual Meeting Now Available

The beautiful skyline of downtown Chicago was the backdrop of the 2018 CPDA Summer Conference & Annual Meeting.

CPDA concluded its very successful 2018 Summer Conference & Annual Meeting held July 16-18 at the Omni Chicago Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The highlight of this year’s program was a comprehensive discussion of the “new” CPDA and the value the organization provides to its members, specifically how Council membership enhances the representation of producers, formulators/distributors, and adjuvant/inert ingredient suppliers on state and federal legislative and regulatory issues specific to each of these market segments.

CPDA Interim President Gary Halvorson began the discussion with an overview of how CPDA is well equipped to provide a collective voice to each of these industry segments in responding to the many complex issues brought about by changes in the marketplace over the past two decades. CPDA Board members Tim Stoehr (Albaugh LLC), Tim Dlabaj (Helena Agri-Enterprises), and Scott Tann (Huntsman Performance Products) shared their thoughts with meeting attendees on how the “new” CPDA is uniquely positioned to advocate on legislative and regulatory issues germane to the business operations of generic producers, formulators/distributors, and adjuvant/inert ingredient suppliers, respectively. The CPDA Board members emphasized that membership in the Council provides these companies “a seat at the table” in ensuring their interests are protected on policy matters impacting their operations. They encouraged member company representatives to devote their time and talent through participation on CPDA committee and work groups and to become “part of the solution.”

The CPDA Summer Conference & Annual Meeting speakers program also addressed an array of other important topics including challenges encountered in the inert ingredient approval process under FIFRA, issues surrounding the registration of agricultural adjuvants in the state of Washington, the latest on pending changes to product label warning requirements under California Prop 65, the legislative outlook for the reauthorization of PRIA and the Farm Bill, a discussion of how advancements in adjuvants are helping to mitigate such problems as pesticide drift and weed resistance, as well as other issues of critical importance to the agrotechnology industry.

CPDA Holds Annual Awards Banquet at the Summer Conference & Annual Meeting

On the evening of Tuesday, July 17th, conference attendees gathered at Chicago’s famed Signature Room on the 95th in the John Hancock Building for the annual CPDA Awards Banquet. This is an event held every year during which CPDA recognizes individuals in honor of an achievement, contribution or service provided to the Council or industry. The Awards Banquet is a celebration of the important accomplishments of these individuals that have led to the many important milestones in the agrotechnology industry that exist today. Presiding over this year’s ceremonies was Gary Groves, Solvay.

Jim Reiss, Precision Laboratories (right), congratulates Dr. Donald Penner, recipient of the Warren E. Stickle Lifetime Achievement Award.

Among this year’s award recipients was Dr. Donald Penner from Michigan State University who was given the CPDA “Warren E. Stickle Lifetime Achievement Award.” The award highlighted Dr. Penner’s distinguished academic career, personal development of future weed scientists, patents and revolutionary industry contributions on the effect of adjuvants on the mechanism, and properties, fate and transport of herbicide formulations in the control of weeds.

Gary Groves, Solvay (right), presents the Service to the Council Award to Dr. Joe Gednalske, Winfield United.

The “Service to the Council Award” was bestowed upon Dr. Joe Gednalske, Winfield United, LLC, for his many contributions over the years in support of CPDA’s representation of manufacturers of spray tank adjuvants.

The “Outgoing Chairman Award” was presented to Dave Allen, Stepan Company, for his steadfast leadership, guidance and vision in transitioning the Council to a “new” and stronger CPDA.

Steve Solarski, AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry, LLC, was recipient of the “Service to the Board Award” for his many years of dedicated service as a member of the CPDA Board of Directors.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s CPDA awards honorees!

CPDA Chairmanship Changes Gavels at the Summer Conference & Annual Meeting

Dave Allen (right), passes the Chairman’s gavel to Jim Reiss.

The conclusion of the 2018 CPDA Summer Conference & Annual Meeting Awards Banquet marked the passing of the gavel from Outgoing Chairman Dave Allen (Stepan Company) to Jim Reiss (Precision Laboratories, LLC).

The CPDA staff looks forward to working with Jim in his new role as Chairman over the coming year as we continue to advance the work of Dave Allen and other members of the Board of Directors in building a new and even more robust CPDA.

CPDA Thanks the Sponsors of the 2018 Summer Conference & Annual Meeting!

 CPDA would like to extend its sincere thanks to the sponsors of the 2018 Summer Conference & Annual Meeting. Sponsorship plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality and value of CPDA meetings. Please join us in recognizing the following companies for their generosity in sponsoring this year’s summer meeting:

Diamond Level:  Chemorse; Huntsman Performance Products

Gold Level:  Adjuvants Unlimited, LLC; Albaugh, Inc.; Helena Agri-Enterprises; KALO; Precision Laboratories, LLC; and Stepan Company

Silver Level:  Exacto Inc.; Rosen’s Inc.; and Stillmeadow, Inc.

 

 

Speaker Presentations

The speaker presentations from the 2018 CPDA Summer Conference & Annual Meeting may be accessed by clicking the links below.

“Introducing the New CPDA,” Gary Halvorson, CPDA

“Value of CPDA Membership – Producers,” Tim Stoehr, Albaugh Inc.

“CPDA Value to Distributors,” Tim Dlabaj, Helena Agri-Enterprises

“The Adjuvant and Inert Committee:  Driven by Dynamic Change,” Scott Tann, Huntsman Performance Products

“Challenges in EPA’s Inert Ingredient Approval Process Under FIFRA,” Michael T. Novak, Keller and Heckman LLP

“Concepts for a Spray Quality Program:  A Slight Paradigm Shift,” Greg Grant, Croda

“CPDA Certified ‘DRA’ Program Proposal,” Susan Sun, Croda

“WSDA Adjuvant Registration:  Issues and Actions,” Gary Halvorson, CPDA and Lynn Georges, Brandt

“Volatile Organic Compound Update – California DPR Regulations,” Dave Lawson, Western Plant Health Association

“California Proposition 65 Update,” Dave Lawson, Western Plant Health Association

“Proposed Amendments to California’s Proposition 65 ‘Safe Harbor’ Warning Regulations,” Doreen L. Manchester, CropLife America

“CPDA Legislative Issues,” Don Davis, Esq., CPDA

“New Challenges for Tank Mix Adjuvants,” Joe Gednalske, Winfield United, LLC

“Sundry Studies Related to Weeds at WIU,” Mark Bernards, Western Illinois University

“Dicamba 2018:  Hope Meets Reality,” Bryan Young, Purdue University

 

Scenes from the 2018 CPDA Summer Conference & Annual Meeting

CPDA thanks all those who attended!

CPDA Joins with Allied Industry Partners in Commenting on Proposed Changes to Proposition 65 Product Label Warning Requirements

On July 5, 2018, CPDA joined with CropLife America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), and the Household Commercial Products Association (HCPA) in submitting comments to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) regarding pending changes to product label warning requirements under California Proposition 65. The proposed changes are scheduled to go into effect on August 30, 2018. CPDA and the other groups voiced concerns that the proposed Proposition 65 safe harbor warning requirements conflict with EPA requirements for pesticide labeling under FIFRA and objected that the Proposition 65 warning requirement on a FIFRA-registered product would contradict EPA approved precautionary language and use directions.  The groups argued that the proposed changes do not address the primacy of FIFRA labeling requirements which “foster uniformity in warnings throughout the United States and relieve interstate producers from duplicative burdens to obtain multiple approvals from state and federal agencies.”

Moreover, CPDA and the other groups emphasized that an EPA decision to register a product is “tantamount to a determination that the exposure to a Proposition 65-listed chemical from the use of that product in a manner consistent with the labeling precautions and instructions for use does not reach the level of exposure that would require a Proposition 65 warning.  CPDA and the others pointed out that given the risk-based nature of the FIFRA registration scheme and its label-warning system, a Proposition 65 warning on the label of a product “implicitly contradicts not only the use instructions and precautionary statements that FIFRA requires and U.S. EPA has approved, but also the registration itself.”

The groups also raised concerns that the competing Proposition 65-specific warning requirements could serve as a precedent for other states to follow thereby leading to confusion not only within industry, but for consumers and regulators as well.  CPDA continues to work with its allied trade association partners and provide additional input to California regulators and EPA in seeking to resolve the dilemma that would be created under the pending Proposition 65 product label warning requirements. To access a copy of the joint industry comments, please click here.

House and Senate Passed Farm Bills Contain CPDA Supported PRIA and NPDES Language

On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill, titled the “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” by a vote of 86-11. The Senate vote was held one week after the House passed its version of the legislation, the “Agricultural Nutrition Act of 2018,” on June 21st by a narrow vote of 213-211. The House and Senate passed Farm Bills contain provisions that would reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) and would eliminate the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permitting requirement for FIFRA registered pesticides. As reported previously, CPDA has engaged in extensive lobbying efforts in building a broad base of support in both the House and Senate for inclusion of these provisions in the Farm Bill. In addition to the language on PRIA and NPDES, both measures contain provisions that recognize biostimulant technology and research.

A joint conference committee will now be convened to work out the differences in both the House and Senate passed bills. While it is likely that there will not be any significant opposition to retaining the PRIA and NPDES language in the final Farm Bill, there are larger national issues that could slow progress of the bill in conference – particularly the food stamp work requirements that were adopted as part of the House legislation. CPDA will work with its allied trade association partners on the PRIA Coalition to make sure that these provisions remain in the final Farm Bill while debate over more controversial issues continues. With current Farm Bill programs set to expire on September 30, 2018, the House and Senate majority leadership are hoping to complete work on a conferenced bill by the upcoming Labor Day weekend. CPDA will keep its membership apprised of further developments as they occur.

Lawsuit Filed Against EPA Over Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

On May 30, 2018, the Attorneys General from the states of California, Maryland and New York filed a lawsuit against EPA over the Agency’s delay in publishing a notice of availability of revised training materials that focus on the expanded pesticide safety and application requirements under the Agency’s changes to its 2015 Worker Protection Standard (WPS).  The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserts that EPA’s delay in the publication of a notice of availability of these materials effectively denies farmworkers and pesticide handlers training that can enhance health and safety protections in the application of pesticides.

In November 2015, EPA promulgated a final rule making changes to the WPS among which was a requirement that employers provide training to farmworkers and pesticide handlers covering a list of health and safety topics that were expanded under the revised regulation.  The 2015 rule required employers to comply with the new pesticide safety training provisions within 180 days after EPA published in the Federal Register a notice of availability of the updated training materials.

Subsequently, on December 21, 2017, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it was initiating a proposed rulemaking to revise certain provisions of the 2015 rule pertaining to minimum age for pesticide handlers, the requirement that employers provide pesticide safety and application information to designated farmworker representatives, and application exclusion zone restrictions.  EPA stated that the compliance dates set forth in the 2015 regulation would remain in effect except for the requirement that training of farmworkers and pesticide handlers include the expanded content mandated under the rule.  EPA acknowledged that while training materials pursuant to the requirements of the 2015 rule had been developed and were readily available, the Agency stated it would not publish a notice of their availability until it had completed its proposed rulemaking on the WPS focusing on the minimum age, designated representative, and application exclusion zone requirements.  The Agency explained the delay was necessary “to prevent extra work and costs to developers of the training materials and EPA reviewers.”

In their lawsuit, the Attorneys General maintain that by not committing to a deadline for completing the rulemaking process, the Agency has essentially delayed indefinitely the compliance dates of the enhanced pesticide training requirements promulgated in 2015.  They called the delay “arbitrary and capricious” and argued that it denied farmworkers and pesticide handlers the improved training that would protect their health and safety.  The Attorneys General requested that EPA immediately be made to publish a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the training materials already developed.  A copy of the complaint filed by the Attorneys General may be accessed by clicking here.