Proposed Certification Rule Changes

The Nebraska Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program would like to make you aware of proposed changes to FIFRA/Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule. The goal of this proposed rule is to reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of toxic pesticides and ensure a consistent level of protection among states. EPA has determined that use of restricted use pesticides would be safer with increased supervision and oversight. EPA is proposing stricter standards for people certified to use restricted use pesticides and to require all people who apply restricted use pesticides to be at least 18 years old. Certifications will be renewed every three years. Additional specialized licensing is also proposed for certain methods of application that can pose greater risks if not conducted properly, such as fumigation and aerial application. Individuals working under the supervision of certified applicators would now need training on using pesticides safely. 

State agencies issue licenses to pesticide applicators that need to demonstrate under an EPA-approved program their ability to use these products safely. Many states already have in place some or many of EPA’s proposed changes. The proposed revisions would reduce the burden on applicators and pest control companies that work across state lines. The proposal promotes consistency across state programs by encouraging inter-state recognition of licenses. The public comment period for the proposed changes to the certification rule will run through November 23, 2015.   

The proposed changes listed on page 4 of the rule comparison chart define a Continuing Education Credit as 50 minutes of active training time. Currently NDA does not require a specific time for training but instead requires that each competency be addressed during private and commercial recertification training. The proposed changes require that both private and commercial applicators receive 6 CEUs covering core content (general standards), 3 CEUs for each private category (new categories proposed: aerial, soil fumigation, and non-soil fumigation), and 6 CEUs for each commercial category.