Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal with narrow updates to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) pesticide regulation.
The goal is to improve the long-term success of the agency’s Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ) requirements. The Agricultural Retailers Association supports these targeted revisions.
“ARA applauds EPA’s proposal to provide necessary clarifying changes to the Application Exclusion Zone requirements under the WPS. The initial AEZ regulations were impractical and would have severely disrupted normal agricultural pesticide applications,” said ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “These targeted revisions will reduce regulatory burdens, improve industry compliance, and ensure it is feasible for farm owners to implement without incurring a significant adverse economic impact. ARA supports practical regulations designed to protect farm workers from exposure to pesticide applications which can be accomplished with a modified AEZ and pesticides applied following the EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) approved label.”
EPA is issuing this proposed rule that makes “modest, clarifying updates” to the AEZ.
“EPA’s proposal would enhance the agency’s Application Exclusion Zone provisions by making them more effective and easier to implement,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a news release. “In listening to input from stakeholders, our proposal will make targeted updates, maintaining safety requirements to protect the health of those in farm country, while providing greater flexibility for farmers.”
Click to the next page to learn what EPA is specifically proposing.