Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
You may be potentially affected by this action if you are or intend to become a certified applicator under an EPA Federal certification plan. Certified applicators are included in 3 major industries in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) described as crop production, animal production or exterminating, and pest control services. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:
• Crop Production (NAICS code 111),
• Animal Production (NAICS code 112),
• Exterminating and Pest Control Services (NAICS code 561710),
This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected. The NAICS codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether this action might apply to certain entities. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under
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This proposed rule is issued pursuant to the authority given the EPA
EPA is proposing to amend 40 CFR 171.11(e). This action would synchronize the expiration dates for the EPA Federal and certifying agency certifications of restricted use pesticide applicators. This minor revision does not pose any additional requirement or burden, and is expected to have a beneficial impact on affected entities, without impacting human health or the environment. EPA will benefit through the reduction of administration of Federal certification plans.
Under the provisions of FIFRA section 3(d)(1)(C), EPA shall classify a pesticide for restricted use, if, absent additional regulatory restrictions, the Agency determines that it may generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. RUPs may only be applied by a certified applicator or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator.
Pesticide applicators can be certified either by a certifying agency (a State, Tribe, or non-EPA Federal agency that has an EPA-approved certification plan), or directly by EPA through a Federal certification plan for an area or situation not covered by a certifying agency's plan. Applicators must demonstrate competency to the certifying agency granting the certificate, according to the requirements of that agency's plan. Currently, all 50 States and four tribes are certifying agencies (
Applicator certificates have expiration dates to help ensure that certified applicators maintain their competency. All certifying agencies implement a recertification program for applicators. These programs require certified applicators to continue to meet the competency requirements either through continuing education or examination.
Section 171.11(e) states that an EPA Federal certificate based on a certifying agency's certificate is valid for 2 years for commercial applicators and 3 years for private applicators, or until the expiration date of the original certifying agency certificate, whichever occurs first. The duration of the certification period varies significantly among States, with some currently being shorter and some longer than the Federal certificate maximum of 2 or 3 years. This proposed rule would eliminate the 2 or 3 year maximum for Federal certificates, and allow Federal certification to expire at the same time as the underlying certifying agency certificate. Therefore, applicators who obtain Federal certification using a State certificate that expires in the same time as the current Federal maximum, or shorter time, would not be affected by this proposed rule.
However, the proposed rule would eliminate potential drawbacks to applicators holding a Federal certificate when the underlying State certificate is valid for a longer time period than the maximum 2 or 3 years for the EPA Federal certificate. Under the current regulation, for an applicator certified in such a State to continue a Federal certification, prior to expiration of their Federal certificate they would need to complete a new application form and again provide written evidence of the valid state certification. Federal recertification in this situation becomes an unnecessary, additional paperwork burden for both EPA and the applicator with no additional benefits to human health or the environment since the applicator can reapply for a Federal certificate using the same underlying certificate with no new demonstration of competency.
A potential benefit to Federal recertification occurring more frequently than the State's, is that in checking the current validity of the applicant's underlying State certificate, EPA may discover that the issuing State has modified, suspended, or revoked the certificate, thereby giving EPA the opportunity to deny the recertification application or modify the new Federal certificate. However, EPA expects to learn of modifications, suspensions, or revocations of State certificates independent of the timing of Federal recertification. Given that EPA would make decisions on modifications, suspensions, or revocations of Federal certificates independent of recertification, Federal recertification at a different time from the State recertification would be of no benefit. Federal recertification at the same time as the State recertification, as proposed, would be beneficial in that it would be a recertification based on newly demonstrated competency. In addition, different expiration dates for the Federal certificate and the original certificate may cause unnecessary complication and confusion for applicators and EPA. The added confusion and paperwork lowers the probability of successful compliance by the regulated community.
In accordance with FIFRA section 25(a) and (d), EPA submitted a draft of this proposed rule to the Committee on Agriculture in the House of Representatives, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in the United States Senate, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). The SAP and the Secretary of Agriculture waived review of this proposed rule.
This action proposes to allow EPA to use the same expiration date for the certification it grants, using the expiration date of the valid certification upon which the EPA certification is based. It does not otherwise propose to amend or impose any other requirements. The proposed rule will not otherwise involve any significant policy or legal issues, and will not increase existing costs. In fact, synchronizing the expiration dates can reduce burden because some applicators will have to complete less paperwork by having a reduced frequency of Federal recertification.
As such, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, entitled
Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601
State, local, and tribal governments are not regulated by or affected by this proposed rule, so it is not expected to affect these governments. Accordingly, pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538), EPA has determined that this action is not subject to the requirements in sections 202 and 205 of UMRA because it does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or for the private sector in any 1 year. In addition, this action does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments or impose a significant intergovernmental mandate, as described in sections 203 and 204 of UMRA. For the same reasons, EPA has determined that this proposed rule does not have “federalism implications” as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled
Since this action is not economically significant under Executive Order 12866, it is not subject to Executive Order 13045, entitled
This action does not involve technical standards that would require the consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).
This action does not have an adverse impact on the environmental and health conditions in low-income and minority communities. Therefore, this action does not involve special consideration of environmental justice related issues as specified in Executive Order 12898, entitled
Environmental protection, Indians—lands, Intergovernmental relations, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR chapter I be amended as follows:
1. The authority citation for part 171 continues to read as follows:
7 U.S.C. 136i and 136w.
2. Amend § 171.11 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows: