EPA to Initiate Proposed Rulemakings to Revise WPS and the C&T Rule
On December 14, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was initiating a process to revise (1) certain requirements in the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS); and (2) to revise the minimum age requirements in the Certification of Pesticide Applicators (C&T) rule. The prepublication version of the WPS notice is available here; the prepublication version of the C&T notice is available here.
EPA states that by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, it “expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public input on proposed revisions to the WPS requirements for minimum ages, designated representatives, and application exclusion zones.” The WPS notice states that through the proposed rule, EPA will be soliciting “public input on proposed revisions to the WPS requirements for minimum age [18 years for pesticide handlers and for early-entry workers], designated representative [requirement to provide pesticide application information and safety data sheets to a designated representative of a worker or handler], and application exclusion zone [requirements to keep workers out of certain areas around the pesticide application equipment].” Further, the compliance dates in the revised WPS published on November 2, 2015, remain in effect.
For the C&T rule, EPA expects to “publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public input on proposed revisions to the rule by the end of FY2018,” and it has no plans to change the implementation dates in the January 4, 2017, final rule. The C&T notice states that “EPA has determined that further consideration of the rule’s minimum age requirements is warranted through the rulemaking process” after it considered comments received pursuant to Executive Order 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, revisiting the record, and reviewing the applicable statutory.