December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018

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December 11, 2018

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EPA to Publish NOA for WPS Training Materials; Employers Required to Provide Expanded Training within 180 Days

On June 14, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will soon publish in the Federal Register a Notice of Availability (NOA) stating that worker safety training materials, including the expanded subject matter required by the 2015 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers, are available for use.  The prepublication version of the NOA is available on EPA’s website.  The NOA confirms that the publication “triggers the WPS requirement that training programs must include all of the topics specified in the 2015 revisions to the WPS.”  Because the 2015 WPS rule is already in effect, employers must provide expanded training addressing these topics within 180 days of publication.  The expanded training materials that are the subject of the NOA were developed through a cooperative agreement with the Pesticide Education Resources Collaborative (PERC), and are available on PERC’s website.

EPA previously issued a Federal Register notice on December 21, 2017, stating that it “expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in FY 2018 to solicit public input on proposed revisions to the WPS requirements for minimum age, designated representative, and application exclusion zone.”  In this 2017 notice, EPA stated that it did not expect to issue the NOA for  training materials addressing the 2015 WPS rule until after completing a rulemaking concerning these proposed revisions.  This deferral of the NOA would have significantly delayed the expanded training for handlers and agricultural workers contemplated by the 2015 rule.  In the NOA, EPA states that it is still reconsidering the same three requirements, and that “if those requirements are changed through a final rulemaking, training materials may need to be amended to reflect such changes.”

On May 30, 2018, two complaints were filed against EPA in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging EPA’s decision to defer publication of the NOA.  More information on these lawsuits is available in our blog item "Lawsuits Filed in Federal District Court Regarding WPS Training Delay."  Because publication of the new NOA will afford the plaintiffs in these cases all of the substantive relief they were seeking, it appears that these actions will now be moot other than any request for attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the plaintiffs.

©2018 Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

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About this Author

Timothy Backstrom, Bergeson Campbell PC, Endangered Species Act attorney, EPA litigation, FIFRA lawyer, Clean Air regulation legal counsel, FOIA law
Of Counsel

Timothy Backstrom spent some 25 years in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of General Counsel (OGC) working on pesticide, toxic substances, and air quality issues before coming to Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®). He offers an extraordinary understanding of how EPA operates, as well as established relationships with many key players at EPA. He brings substantial litigation experience in both federal courts and administrative adjudications. He served for many years as the OGC’s designated administrative law...

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Lisa Campbell, Bergeson PC, Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act attorney, TSCA lawyer, environmental statutes legal counsel, regulation compliance law
Partner

Lisa Campbell founded Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) with Lynn Bergeson. Today her practice focuses on many aspects of pesticide and chemical regulation. She counsels clients on a wide range of issues pertaining to exposure and risk assessment, risk communication, and related legal and regulatory aspects of pesticide programs under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). She also counsels B&C clients on various chemical-specific programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as well as chemicals regulation and compliance matters under other environmental statutes.

Ms. Campbell offers more than 20 years of experience in addressing pesticide and chemical product approval, defense, and regulatory issues. She assists clients in addressing issues and problems quickly and efficiently, and helps to focus resources on those aspects of an issue that will enable clients to move forward effectively. Ms. Campbell helps coordinate appropriate internal and external expert technical, policy, public relations, and other legal resources and she applies them to client issues so that effective and efficient solutions are developed and implemented. She also assists clients in communicating with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff, managing their products and issues, and brings more than two decades of experience to these matters.

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