Commissioner Quarles praises delay of new EPA rule for pesticide applicators
Action allows time to assess impact on farmers and business
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 12, 2017
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FRANKFORT, Ky. — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles commended the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for delaying implementation of a rule that would impose new rules on states for licensing and testing applicators of restricted-use pesticides.
“We appreciate EPA’s decision to put this rule on hold until we can assess its impact and determine what would need to be done to amend state regulations to comply with the potential new federal requirements,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This delay will give us more time to educate the affected parties about the effects of the rule. We will consider whether the new rule creates a costly and unnecessary burden on our farmers, and we will encourage EPA to withdraw the rule if we find that it does.”
EPA announced on Thursday that it will delay implementation of changes to the Certification of Pesticide Applicators rules for 12 months. Among other things, the new rule requires states to apply competency standards for private (non-commercial) pesticide applicators and establish a mandatory minimum age of 18 for most private and commercial applicators.
Restricted-use pesticides are defined as those pesticides for which all applications must be performed by a certified and licensed applicator.
EPA estimated that the rule, if implemented, could affect more than 800,000 small farms in the U.S. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture wrote in its response to the proposed rule that EPA “significantly underestimates” the impact of the rule on state regulatory agencies, small farms, and the regulated community.