EPA Finalizes Improvements to Pesticide Application Exclusion Zone Requirements
Posted by: Admin, November 15, 2020
The EPA has announced changes to the requirements for the pesticide application exclusion zone (AEZ), the area surrounding pesticide application equipment that exists only during outdoor production pesticide applications. The AEZ requirements are part of EPA’s agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulations.
- AEZ requirements only apply within the boundaries of the agricultural establishment, removing off-farm responsibilities that were difficult for state regulators to enforce.
- Immediate family members of farm owners are now exempted from all aspects of the AEZ requirements. Farm owners and their immediate family are now able to shelter in place inside closed buildings, giving farm owners and immediate family members flexibility to decide whether to stay on-site during pesticide applications, rather than compelling them to leave even when they feel safe remaining.
- New clarifying language has been added so that pesticide applications that are suspended due to individuals entering an AEZ may be resumed after those individuals have left the AEZ.
- Simplified criteria to determine whether pesticide applications are subject to the 25- or 100-foot AEZ.
No changes were made to the “Do Not Contact” provision that prohibits a handler/applicator and the handler’s employer from applying a pesticide in such a way that it contacts workers or other persons directly or through drift.
To read the rule in full, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/worker-protection-standard-application-exclusion-zone.