United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Enforcement
& Compliance Assurance
Washington, DC 20460
September 1998
                                                           A          Jr  Vt ^^\T  *
                                                         Ag Center
                                                                Helping Agriculture Comply with
                                                                Environmental Requirements
        FOCUS    ON
                 Information  Exchange  Between

                 Commercial  Handlers and

                 Growers - Part 3

                 The Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation issued by the U.S.
                 Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 and amended in 1995.  It covers pesticides that are
                 used in the production of agricultural plants on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses. The
                 WPS requires you to take steps to reduce the risk of pesticide-related illness and injury if you (I)
                 use such pesticides, or (2) employ workers or pesticide handlers who are exposed to such

                 This fact sheet will help you understand how to comply with WPS requirements concerning the
                 information that commercial handlers and their customers must provide to each other about
                 pesticide-treated areas. The questions answered here were submitted to the Agency by people
                 seeking clarification on this part of the regulation. The questions and answers were released by
                 EPA's Office of Compliance on March 15, 1995.
                 The WPS requires that commercial
                 handlers (handler employers)
                 provide information to their
                 customers, the farm, forest,
                 nursery, or greenhouse operators
                 (agricultural employers), about the
                                       pesticide before it is applied.  [40
                                       CFR § 170.224],  What provisions
                                       apply if the pesticide cannot be
                                       applied as scheduled?
                                       The WPS requires that specific
                                       'information be provided by the
                                       commercial handler to the grower about
                                       pesticide applications on the agricultural
                                       establishment before the application has
                                       taken place so that the grower can in

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Growers must
protect their
Utorkers, even if the
applicator faik to
provide notice of
tlie application.
  turn provide appropriate protection to
  his/her workers and family. The Agency
  is aware, however, that some
  commercial handlers may on occasion
  not be able to perform pesticide
  applications at a previously scheduled
  time. The "How to Comply" manual
  provided some flexibility on this issue,
  noting that "if the pesticide is not
  applied as scheduled, the agricultural
  employer must be informed of the
  corrected time and date of the
  application. Make the correction before
  the application takes place, or as soon as
  practicable thereafter." Questions have
, i arisen concerning the notification
 I requirements if applications do not take
  place as scheduled, including when and
 " how the employer must be notified of
 •| the change.

  The WPS places certain requirements
  upon growers (agricultural employers).
 : One of the most important requirements
  involves keeping workers out of treated
  areas during applications and while the
  Restricted Entry Interval (REI) remains
  in effect, and providing workers with
  (among other things) information,
  protective equipment, and
  decontamination supplies when they
  enter treated fields within thirty days of
 " expiration of the REI. The requirement
 i;;; for commercial handlers to notify
  gtowefs before an application takes
 ;;:: place must be viewed in light of its
"t central purpose: to provide growers
with information they may need in order
to provide protection to their workers.

The obligation of growers to assure that
workers remain out of treated areas
during applications and while the REI
remains in effect, and to assure that
proper protection are provided when
workers enter treated areas within thirty
days of expiration of the REI, is not
affected by the notification provision;
the obligation of the grower continues
whether or not notification of an application
occurs. The grower should therefore
take whatever steps are necessary to
assure that he/she is informed of an
application before workers might enter
treated areas.

Obviously, notification prior to
application is the best means to assure
that the grower has the necessary
information to provide  protection to
his/her agricultural employees. For this
reason, the WPS requires that
notification take place prior to
applications.  Commercial handlers are
liable under the WPS if they fail to
provide such notification.

EPA recognizes that there may be
circumstances where an application does
not take place when scheduled, and
where communication between
commercial handler and grower may be
                         Ag Center Fact Sheet Series
                         Agrichemicals/WPS - Information Exchange 3
                                                                                                      Page 2


Notification by the
commercial handler
to the grower of the
application must
occur as soon as
practicable after the
application, and
must occur within
24 hours of the
difficult to accomplish. The Agency is
therefore willing to allow some
rescheduled applications to go forward
without requiring prior notification of
the rescheduled application.  This
flexibility is available only in
circumstances where:
•   an application has been previously
    scheduled (including day, date, and
    time) and agreed upon by the
    commercial handler and grower,
•   the prior notification required by the
    WPS has been provided, and
•   the pre-arranged application
    subsequently does not take place as

Commercial handlers and growers must
keep in mind that growers are still liable
if their employees enter fields during the
REI, or within 30 days of expiration of
the REI if any applicable WPS
requirements are not met.  Notification
must either be received by the grower
before workers could be exposed to
pesticide residues resulting from the
application in violation of the WPS or
the commercial handler must have
notified the grower with a form of
notification previously agreed upon by
the commercial handler and grower
which was reasonably calculated to get
information to the grower before
workers could be exposed to residues in
violation of the WPS.
    scheduled applications do not occur
    on time, and
•   how notification of rescheduled
    applications should be

For more information
You can get more facts about
compliance by calling the Ag Center's
toll-free number. Materials can be sent
to you by fax or mail, or you can talk to
an Ag Center representative. For a list
of all publications available from the Ag
Center, request document number
10001, "Ag Center Publications."

The Ag Center welcomes comments on
this document and its other services.
                                                                       National Agriculture Compliance
                                                                       Assistance Center
                                                                       901 N. 5* Street
                                                                       Kansas City, KS 66 101

                                                                               United States Environmental
                                                                               Protection Agency
                                                                               Washington, DC 20460
handlers and
growers should
work out in
advance how the
notification will be
EPA strongly recommends that
commercial handlers and growers work
out in advance between themselves:
•   how notification of regularly
    scheduled applications should be
•   under what circumstances
    applications may take place without
    prior notification if previously
                         Ag Center Fact Sheet Series
                                                                            Page 3

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