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EPA/OCSPP RIN: 2070-AJ20 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Pesticides; Certification of Pesticide Applicators 

The EPA is developing a final rule to revise the federal regulations governing the certified pesticide applicator program (40 CFR part 171). In August 2015, the EPA proposed revisions based on years of extensive stakeholder engagement and public meetings, to ensure that they adequately protect applicators, the public, and the environment from potential harm due to exposure to restricted use pesticides (RUPs). This action is intended to improve the competence of certified applicators of RUPs and to increase protection for noncertified applicators of RUPs operating under the direct supervision of a certified applicator through enhanced pesticide safety training and standards for supervision of noncertified applicators.

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 156    40 CFR 171   
Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq. Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

Change is needed to strengthen the protections for pesticide applicators, the public, and the environment from harm due to pesticide exposure.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

This action is issued under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. sections 136 to 136y, particularly sections 136a(d), 136i, and 136w.


The Agency has developed mechanisms to improve applicator trainers and make training materials more accessible. The Agency has also developed nationally relevant training and certification materials to preserve State resources while improving competency. However, these mechanisms and materials do not address other requisite needs for improving protections, such as requirements for determining competency and recertification. The EPA worked with key stakeholders to identify and evaluate various alternatives and regulatory options during the development of the proposed rule. These are discussed in detail in the proposed rule, and Economic Analysis that was prepared for the proposed rule.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The EPA prepared an Economic Analysis (EA) of the potential costs and impacts associated with the proposed rule, a copy or which is available in the docket, discussed in more detail in unit III of the proposed rule; and briefly summarized here. The EPA monetized benefits based on avoided acute pesticide incidents are estimated at $80.5 million/year after adjustment for underreporting of pesticide incidents (EA chapter 6.5). Qualitative benefits include the following: • Willingness to pay to avoid acute effects of pesticide exposure beyond cost of treatment and loss of productivity. • Reduced latent effect of avoided acute pesticide exposure. • Reduced chronic effects from lower chronic pesticide exposure to workers, handlers, and farmworker families, including a range of illnesses such as non-Hodgkins lymphoma, prostate cancer, Parkinson's disease, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. (EA chapter 6.4 & 6.6) EPA estimated total incremental costs of $47.2 million/year (EA chapter 5), which included the following: • $19.5 million/year for costs to Private Applicators, with an estimated 490,000 impacted and an average cost of $40 per applicator (EA chapter 5 & 5.6). • $27.4 million/year for costs to Commercial Applicators, with an estimated 414,000 impacted and an average cost of $66 per applicator (EA chapter 5 & 5.6). • $359,000 for costs to States and other jurisdictions, with an estimated 63 impacted (EA chapter 5). The EPA estimated that there is no significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. EPA estimated that the proposed rule may affect over 800,000 small farms that use pesticides, although about half are unlikely to apply restricted use pesticides. The estimated impact for small entities is less than 0.1% of the annual revenues for the average small entity (EA chapter 5.7). The EPA also estimated that the proposed rule will have a negligible effect on jobs and employment because most private and commercial applicators are self-employed; and the estimated incremental cost per applicator represents from 0.3 to 0.5 percent of the cost of a part-time employee (EA chapter 5.6).


Applicators are at risk from exposure to pesticides they handle for their work. The public and the environment may also be at risk from misapplication by applicators. Revisions to the regulations are expected to minimize these risks by ensuring the competency of certified applicators.

Action Date FR Cite
Notice  11/14/2014  79 FR 68152   
Notice  11/14/2014  79 FR 68152   
NPRM  08/24/2015  80 FR 51355   
NPRM Comment Period Extended  11/18/2015  80 FR 72029   
NPRM Comment Period Extended  12/23/2015  80 FR 79803   
Final Rule  11/00/2016 
Additional Information: Docket #:EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183. Includes retrospective review under Executive Order 13563.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183-0001  
Sectors Affected: 111 Crop Production; 32532 Pesticide and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing; 5617 Services to Buildings and Dwellings; 9241 Administration of Environmental Quality Programs 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michelle Arling
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
7506P, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:703 308-5891
Fax:703 308-2962

Kevin Keaney
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Mail Code 7506P,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:703 305-7666