EPA Issues New Certified Applicator Rules

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their new Certification of Pesticide Applicator rules to the public.The regulation sets the minimum standards for the application of restricted use pesticides in all 50 states. However, nothing prevents states from adopting regulations that are more restrictive than the Federal guidelines. As a result, there is significant variance in pesticide application rules and almost every state has a slightly different variation based on the Federal Guidelines.

Because of this, it is difficult to assess how the new standard may impact landscape professionals. We are likely to see some states that already meet or exceed the new EPA threshold where the changes called for under the new rule will have little to no impact. However, it is just as likely that in some states the new minimum standard will exceed their current requirements, in which case their legislators or regulatory agencies will need to act and strengthen their states pesticide laws. This is always a time-consuming process, and it may present opportunities for activists to seek even more stringent restrictions.

For this reason, it is critically important for NALP and our members to work with state landscape associations and other industry stakeholders to monitor the impact of the new rules. As states evaluate whether they need to strengthen their existing pesticide regulations, our best opportunity to manage the impact of the EPA’s new pesticide regulations will occur at the State level. With NALP’s and your state association’s assistance, we need you to remain active in engaging our state elected officials and other decision makers on the issue to help ensure they fully understand how regulatory changes impact your business and the landscape and lawn care industry.

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