29 Oct EPA announces new Paraquat safety measures and opens public comment until Dec. 22, 2020
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposed interim decision for the widely-used herbicide, paraquat. The interim decision meets industry and stakeholders’ requests in previous comments.
As part of the proposed safety measures, EPA is proposing to add language to the Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) statement that will allow truck drivers who are not certified applicators to transport containers of paraquat that have been opened, and provided they are following Directions for Use.
This provision was included after Agricultural Retailers Association brought this potential transportation issue to EPA’s attention because many truck drivers are not licensed commercial applicators and under the current RUP restrictions drivers may not be legally allowed to transport paraquat, including empty containers for recycling, especially from the farm back to the ag retail location.
Other measures include:
- Prohibiting aerial application for all uses and use sites except cotton desiccation;
- Prohibiting pressurized handgun and backpack sprayer application methods on the label;
- Limiting the maximum application rate for alfalfa to one pound of active ingredient per acre;
- Requiring enclosed cabs if area treated in 24-hour period is more than 80 acres;
- Requiring enclosed cabs or PF10 respirators if area treated in 24-hour period is 80 acres or less;
- Requiring a residential area drift buffer and 7-day restricted entry interval (REI) for cotton desiccation;
- Requiring a 48-hour REI for all crops and uses except cotton desiccation; and
- Adding mandatory spray drift management label language.