Seeing RED On New Fumigant Rules

In July, Florida Grower reported that EPA had released final and revised Re-registration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for methyl bromide, chloropicrin, Vapam (metam sodium, AMVAC), and Kpam (metam potassium, AMVAC). (Read the story here.) Thanks to an outpouring of comments from industry and growers on the proposed changes, the REDs will not be as bad as originally designed. With completion of the REDs, these new changes will be mandated to appear on the fumigant pesticide label within two years. They will include requirements for buffer zones; posting and notification; respiratory protection including OSHA training, fit testing, and medical certification; good agricultural practices; fumigant management plans; fumigant site air monitoring; and emergency response plans, among others.

Better Buffers

FMP Not-So-Short List

It’s not a short list of elements that must be addressed and provided in fumigant management plans upon request of workers, local, state, and federal officials.

• general site information (location, map, proximity to residences, etc.)
• applicator information (name, address, license numbers, training, etc.)
• authorized personnel present
• application procedures(products, rates, equipment, calibration, mulch, etc.)
• measurements taken to verify compliance with good application practices
• how buffers were determined
• worker protection information
• procedures for air monitoring
• posting
• training of applicators supervising fumigations
• communication among key parties
• hazard communication
• record keeping
• site-specific response and management activities
• emergency plans
• procedures for controlling fumigant releases in case of problems during or after the application

As originally proposed, new buffer zones would have been a major impediment for growers, particularly in more populated areas. However, the final REDs are no longer as significant of an issue if typical rates of chloropicrin, Vapam, and Kpam are used. In addition, EPA will provide a 60% buffer-zone reducing credit if growers use virtually impermeable plastic mulches to reduce emissions from the soil, and other opportunities for credits exist for the fumigant.

EPA also determined that buffer zones may overlap as long as 12 hours has passed from one application until the second application. Air monitoring of the field periphery of the buffer zone is still required, with growers expected to determine and record a sensory perception (smell test) of whether pungent odors exist four times a day for the duration of the buffer.

Record-Keeping Nightmare

The REDs will require a fumigant management plan (FMP) to collect and record data to reduce worker risk and confirm that growers are following labels. These reports will have to be kept by growers for two years.

Within 30 days of completing the application portion of the fumigation process, the certified applicator supervising the application must also complete a post fumigation application summary that describes any deviations from the FMP that occurred, measurements taken to comply with good agricultural practices, as well as any complaints and/or incidents that have been reported to him/her.

Respirators And Smell Tests

As a general rule, the new REDs will not initially require formal air testing with expensive monitoring equipment. The new fumigant labels will require certified applicators to decide whether to stop work or demand workers (handlers) put on respirators when sensory irritation is experienced by any handler in the field. The certified applicator cannot ask any handler to wear a respirator unless 1) he or she has received certification for completing an OSHA training course on how to wear a respirator; 2) has received certification for fit testing; and 3) has received medical certification to be able to wear a respirator. If work is stopped, then all handlers must exit the field, and can only return after two consecutive air samples indicate air concentrations of the fumigant are below threshold level. Respirators must be kept on site and fitted to be worn by the applicators and handlers responsible for the application.

More On The Way

While this round of REDs for fumigants turned out to be less restrictive than originally proposed, EPA has announced the next round of fumigant registrations will start in 2013. The bottom-line for growers will be that the new and future RED’s will add more burdens and costs for the grower to bare.
 

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

FruitsSexual Evolution May Bear More Fruit In The Orchard
October 30, 2014
Scientists take a closer look at genes and find new plant breeding possibilities. Read More
Apples & PearsWashington Apples To Restart Shipments To China
October 29, 2014
Agreement reached between U.S. and Chinese governments to reinstate market access after two-year absence. Read More
EquipmentEnter To Win A Kubota At The Washington State Horticultural Association Annual Meeting
October 29, 2014
Attendees have a chance to take home a new utility vehicle courtesy of Wilbur-Ellis and Western Fruit Grower. Read More
CitrusUSDA To Provide $4 Million For Honey Bee Habitat
October 29, 2014
The funds will go toward helping growers implement conservation practices to improve honey bee health. Read More
FruitsHuge California Drought Meeting Planned
October 29, 2014
State, federal officials to meet as forecasts for the coming year look bleak. Read More
PotatoesNew CEO At Black Gold Farms, A Top 100 Grower
October 28, 2014
Eric Halverson takes the reins at the potato operation, while his father Gregg will remain president of the farm’s board of directors. Read More
FruitsValent U.S.A., MGK Enter Into Marketing Agreement
October 28, 2014
Valent U.S.A. to manage the marketing and sales of MGK’s crop protection line of insect control products beginning in April 2015. Read More
VegetablesMultistate Land-Grant University Research Project Contributes To Domestic And International Dry Bean Industry
October 28, 2014
The project began in the 1970s as a Regional Initiative and has since expanded Internationally. Read More
FruitsMichigan State Offers Online Database Of Tree Fruit Diseases, Insects
October 28, 2014
Search engine helps growers identify several issues in the orchard. Read More
Stone FruitStudy Examines How To Keep Sweet Cherries Fresh
October 28, 2014
Canadian researcher says cooling of sweet cherries is key to delivering a quality product. Read More

The Latest

FruitsSexual Evolution May Bear More Fruit In The Orchard
October 30, 2014
Scientists take a closer look at genes and find new plant breeding possibilities. Read More
Apples & PearsWashington Apples To Restart Shipments To China
October 29, 2014
Agreement reached between U.S. and Chinese governments to reinstate market access after two-year absence. Read More
EquipmentEnter To Win A Kubota At The Washington State Horticult…
October 29, 2014
Attendees have a chance to take home a new utility vehicle courtesy of Wilbur-Ellis and Western Fruit Grower. Read More
CitrusUSDA To Provide $4 Million For Honey Bee Habitat
October 29, 2014
The funds will go toward helping growers implement conservation practices to improve honey bee health. Read More
FruitsHuge California Drought Meeting Planned
October 29, 2014
State, federal officials to meet as forecasts for the coming year look bleak. Read More
PotatoesNew CEO At Black Gold Farms, A Top 100 Grower
October 28, 2014
Eric Halverson takes the reins at the potato operation, while his father Gregg will remain president of the farm’s board of directors. Read More
FruitsValent U.S.A., MGK Enter Into Marketing Agreement
October 28, 2014
Valent U.S.A. to manage the marketing and sales of MGK’s crop protection line of insect control products beginning in April 2015. Read More
VegetablesMultistate Land-Grant University Research Project Contr…
October 28, 2014
The project began in the 1970s as a Regional Initiative and has since expanded Internationally. Read More
FruitsMichigan State Offers Online Database Of Tree Fruit Dis…
October 28, 2014
Search engine helps growers identify several issues in the orchard. Read More
Stone FruitStudy Examines How To Keep Sweet Cherries Fresh
October 28, 2014
Canadian researcher says cooling of sweet cherries is key to delivering a quality product. Read More
Protected AgricultureLED Lighting Symposium To Be Held At University Of Ariz…
October 27, 2014
Event to focus on LED lighting technologies for specialty crop production. Read More
Cucurbits11 Cool Cucurbits For Florida’s Climate
October 27, 2014
Leading vegetable seed companies highlight high-performance selections for growers in the Sunshine State. Read More
CitrusModern Agriculture Is A True Centerpiece Of Thanksgivin…
October 27, 2014
FFAA's Mary Hartney says take time during this holiday season to give thanks where thanks is due. Read More
CitrusNOAA’s Winter Weather Outlook Runs Hot And Cold
October 27, 2014
Repeat of last year’s extreme cold and snow events east of the Rockies unlikely. Read More
Leafy Vegetables13 Lovely Leafy Green Varieties [Slideshow]
October 27, 2014
Browse the gallery below for details on 13 leafy greens varieties from leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
FruitsBig Bucks Given To Grow Better Fruit Crops
October 27, 2014
Two projects to be focus of five-year, $10 million grant from USDA. Read More
CucurbitsFight Phytophthora Blight Of Cucurbits
October 25, 2014
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
Varieties & RootstocksPlaying The Citrus Rootstock Market Has Risks And Rewar…
October 24, 2014
Experimental material forcing producers to roll the dice. Read More