Two agriculture organizations have asked the EPA to push back a new worker safety protection rule from Jan. 1, 2017, to Jan 1, 2018. EPA has denied the petition, according to Bloomberg BNA.

Earlier in December, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture sent a joint letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. The groups claim amendments to the worker protection safety (WPS) rule (40 CFR 170), which seeks to strengthen elements of existing regulation, “such as training, notification, pesticide safety and hazard information, use of personal protective equipment, and the providing of supplies for routine washing and emergency decontamination.”

AFBF and NASDA contend EPA failed to meet the requirements of law in promulgating the “designated representative” provision at 40 CFR 170.311(b)(9) (this rule requires an employer to make available to a designated representative information such as safety data sheets and pesticide application information). The groups also say EPA violated its statutory obligations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

“[We] believe that this Rule was promulgated in violation of FIFRA and fails to advance the purpose of furthering the safety of farmworkers,” according to the petition. “More urgently, the Rule’s imminent effective date will result in a serious problem for administration of the Rule’s requirements by NASDA members and the farmers and ranchers who must comply with its terms. We ask EPA to delay the effective date to give NASDA members adequate time to prepare for compliance with the rule and to avoid the unfair and unredressable harm to farmers and ranchers.”

Read the entire petition at: http://src.bna.com/kZl.