Pesticide Recordkeeping Law Amended

News Article

Are you ready to record your restricted use pesticide applications? If you are a private pesticide applicator, you must do so if you apply restricted use pesticides this crop season.

The original recordkeeping regulation (see sidebar) has been revised to include the following, effective May 11, 1995:

  1. Certified private applicators now must record each restricted use pesticide application within 14 days. Previously, the time period was 30 days. The certified applicator also must provide information for medical treatment or first aid, whether or not the written record has been completed.
  2. The location description on the spot application record must now include a concise description of location and treatment. A spot application is any application made on the same day in a total area of less than one-tenth of an acre. For example, a certified applicator who applied pesticides for noxious weeds could record the location and treatment as a spot application, with an explanation such as treated Canada thistle throughout field number 6. Remember this provision excludes greenhouse and nursery applicators, who are required to keep all data elements as listed.
  3. Information provided to the attending licensed health care professional also must be made available to individuals acting under the direction of that professional so they can treat those who have been exposed to a restricted use pesticide.

The following questions and answers should help clarify the recordkeeping requirements and the revisions that become effective on May 11.

When must I record the information? The required information must be recorded within 14 days following the pesticide application, so don't put off completing your application records!

How long must records be saved? Applicators must retain restricted use pesticide records for two years from the date of application. The records must be made available to authorized individuals.

If a private applicator buys a restricted use pesticide so that a commercial applicator can apply it, who creates and maintains the record? The commercial applicator must generate the record if he or she makes the application. The commercial applicator is required both to maintain the record and to provide a copy of the record to the private applicator within 30 days. Note that this time period did not change from earlier requirements.

Is a special form needed? No, the regulation does not require you to use a standardized form. This allows applicators to fit the requirements into their current recordkeeping system.

What are the penalties for violation of the Federal pesticide recordkeeping requirements? Any certified applicator who violates the requirements is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500 in the case of the first offense. Each subsequent violation is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,000, unless the Administrator determines the applicator made a good faith effort to comply.

Recordkeeping requirements of the 1990 Farm Bill

The recordkeeping requirements for private pesticide applicators originally went into effect in May 1993, as a provision of the 1990 Farm Bill. The law required private pesticide applicators to keep records of all restricted use pesticide applications. This is very similar to the recordkeeping requirements for commercial applicators.

    The Bill states that a certified private pesticide applicator must record:
  1. The brand or product name, and the EPA registration number of the restricted use pesticide that was applied.
  2. The total amount of the restricted use pesticide applied.
  3. The location of the application, the size of area treated, and the crop, commodity, stored product, or site to which a restricted use pesticide was applied. The location of the application may be recorded using any of the following:
    1. county, range, township, and section;
    2. an identification system using maps and/or written descriptions that accurately identify location;
    3. an identification system established by a USDA agency that uses maps and a numbering system to identify field locations; or
    4. legal property description.

    4) The month, day, and year when the restricted use pesticide application occurred.

    5) The name and certification number of the certified applicator who applied the restricted use pesticide.

This article originally appeared in the May 12, 1995 issue, pp. 1995 issue, pp. 65-66.