Dr. Lee Townsend
Dept. of Entomology
University of Kentucky
Pesticides provide important benefits when used correctly. However, they can cause serious harm if used improperly. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is the most important law regulating the registration, distribution, sale, and use of pesticides in the US. It gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to oversee the sale and use of pesticides. Commercial applicators can be fined as much as $5,000 for FIFRA violations. Criminal penalties can be as much as $25,000 and/or 1 year in prison. In addition, Kentucky can enact legal requirements that may be more restrictive than federal law.
FIFRA also gives EPA the authority to:
Exceptions to FIFRA
Unless the label specifically prohibits it, you can apply a pesticide
All pesticides are classified according to their potential hazards under the circumstances in which they are to be used. The two main classifications are Restricted Use (RUP) and unclassified or general use. The EPA has officially classified very few pesticides as general use. Most that might be expected to fit into the general-use category currently are unclassified. Normally, general-use pesticides have a lower toxicity than RUPs so they are less likely to harm humans or the environment. The general public can buy general-use pesticides without special permits or restrictions.
The Division of Environmental Services of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) regulates federal and state pesticide laws and regulations, including the Kentucky Fertilizer and Pesticides Storage, Pesticide Use and Application Act of 1996 (KRS 217b). It is responsible for regulating the registration, sale, distribution, proper use, storage, disposal, and application of pesticides in the Commonwealth. The Division strives to educate the pest control industry and consumers about the proper use of pesticides through education and training programs.
KDA personnel give exams to certify and license qualified citizens who wish to apply or to sell pesticides. Field inspectors from the Agricultural Branch inspect facilities of the businesses which sell and/or apply pesticide and review their records. They can impose fines on businesses and/or individuals who neglect to follow federal and state laws concerning the proper storage, containment, sale, distribution, application, record keeping, or disposal of federally registered pesticides. They also investigate pesticide potential application complaints and violations.
You are responsible for learning about and complying with pesticide laws and regulations before making any applications. In addition, you are responsible for any consequences of actions that result from an application. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse for noncompliance or violations.
KRS 217b requires that applicator keep records of applications of general and restricted use pesticides.
USDA and/or KDA representatives have legal access to the records.
Required records must include the following information:
Name and address of person receiving services
Brand or product name of pesticides applied
Date of application
Purpose of application
Size of area treated
Crop, commodity, or type of area treated
Name and certification number of applicator
EPA registration number of the product
Location of the application
Total amount of each pesticide applied
Pesticide applications records:
Commercial and non-commercial pesticide applicators must be both certified and licensed. Both are accomplished by passing a written test (minimum score 70%) administered by the KDA. Your pesticide certification is valid for 3 years, your license is valid for 1 year.
Pesticide dealers who apply pesticides to the lands of others must show evidence of financial responsibility. This can be a surety bond or a liability insurance policy of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) that would protect persons who may suffer legal damages as a result of the applicant.
The Kentuckyy Department of Agriculture (KDA)requires an annual fee of ten dollars ($10) for each piece of ground equipment to be registered, in the business of applying pesticides to the lands of another within the state. All registered equipment must be identified by a license plate or decal furnished by the KDA which must be put on the equipment as indicated by the department.
The KDA may inspect any equipment used for application of pesticides and may require repairs or other changes before it can be used. The registration of any equipment that fails to pass inspection may be revoked or suspended.
Anyone who uses a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling directions and restrictions may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties. Generally, any applicator in violation of FIFRA may be assessed a civil penalty. However, the EPA may issue a warning instead of assessing a penalty. An intentional violation by a private applicator is a misdemeanor and will result in a fine and/or up to 30 days imprisonment. You must use all pesticides exactly according to labeling directions—the label is the law!
1) The ______ is the most important law regulating pesticides in the US.
2) Commercial and non-commercial pesticide operator and applicator licenses are good for ____ year(s).
3) Commercial and non-commercial pesticide applicator certifications are good for ____ year(s).
4) A pesticide is categorized as general use if it can harm humans or the environment even if it is used according to label directions.
5) A minimum score of ___ % is required on the test to become a commercial or non-commercial pesticide applicators.
6) According to state laws and regulations, anyone who is in the business of applying any pesticide to the lands of another is considered to be a pesticide dealer.
7) __________ applicators are people who apply pesticides to lands owned, occupied, or managed by a golf course, municipal corporation, public utility, or other governmental agency .
8) A non-commercial applicator also can use that certification and license to apply pesticides in a private business.
9) A certified commercial or non-commercial pesticide applicator can stay certified by earning ______ continuing education units (CEUs) before their certification expires.
10) According to Kentucky pesticide laws and regulations, commercial and non-commercial applicators must keep records of both general and restricted use pesticide applications.
11) A certified pesticide operator or applicator who fails to renew his/her license before ___________ must take a new examination.
12) Pesticide certification is optional for non-commercial applicators.
13) Pesticide applications must be recorded within _______ from the date of treatment.
14) Pesticide application records must be kept for _________ after application
15) Commercial applicators must give customers a copy of pesticide application information within _______ of treatment.
16) Pesticide dealers who apply pesticides to the lands of others must show evidence of financial responsibility in the amount of ________.
17) Unless the label specifically prohibits it, you can apply a pesticide to control a pest that is not on the label as long as the specific crop or site is listed.