EPA proposes stricter rules for certifying RUP applicators


By Deborah Reinhart Brown - Ag update



There is need for action: Rather than “mess it up,” I’ll let Mimi Rose, program director of our Pesticide Education department tell you about a proposed change:

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a minimum age (18) and stricter standards for certifying applicators of restricted use pesticides (RUPs). For commercial applicators in Ohio, there is no distinction between RUP and non-RUP users, hence these new proposals potentially affect the certification and recertification of all licensed commercial pesticide applicators in Ohio whether or not they actually use restricted use pesticides. Private applicators are only required to be licensed in Ohio if they use RUPs.

“Much of what is proposed for the stricter federal standard is already required by Ohio Law; for example, Ohio pesticide applicators already take closed book exams, must recertify on a three-year schedule, and keep pesticide records. The proposed changes would however significantly increase the recertification requirements for Ohio pesticide applicators.

“The EPA has proposed that all applicators will be required to take six units (50 minutes) of core plus three (private) or six (commercial) units per category every three years. An Ohio commercial applicator licensed in one category who is now required to take five hours of recertification would have to attend twelve 50-minute sessions every three years. An Ohio private applicator licensed in one category who now needs three hours of training to recertify would have to attend nine 50-minute sessions every three years. Applicators would be required to present identification at exams and recertification programs. For private applicators, the fumigation category would be split into soil and non-soil fumigation categories. There also would be an annual training requirement and minimum age of 18 for trained servicepersons, who under current Ohio law only require a single, verified training prior to occupational exposure to pesticides.

“The public may comment on the EPA’s proposal through Nov. 23, 2015; there have been formal requests for an extension to the deadline. Comments may be submitted to the EPA at www.regulations.gov in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183. Learn more about the proposal and certification for pesticide applicators: www2.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/epa-proposes-stronger-standards-people-applying-riskiest-pesticides.”

Now, October through November is the prime time for deer vehicle collisions. Deer are often seen during this time for a variety of reasons: breeding season, hunter avoidance, increasing deer populations and lessening of daylight hours. So, what can you do to remain safe and decrease your chances of an accident?

• Be extra alert at dawn (5 to 8 a.m.) and after sunset (5 p.m. to 1 a.m.). November is a “bad” month: This is when the number of accidents peak. However, breeding season for deer runs through December, so be sure to remain vigilant through even then.

• Deer tend to travel in groups. If one deer crosses the road, slow down because there may be more on their way.

• If a deer runs in front of your vehicle, brake firmly but try not to swerve. Swerving can cause the loss of control of your vehicle, which can lead to more damage to you and your car. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that more people are injured trying to avoid hitting a deer than those that hit it.

• Be sure to wear your seatbelt! A deer-vehicle collision cannot always be avoided no matter how vigilant you are. Luckily, most deer vehicle collisions don’t result in human fatalities, but the number of crash deaths is increasing: In a study completed by the Highway Loss Data Institute, 60 percent of the people killed in an animal collision accident were not wearing their seat belts. So, be “sure” to buckle up!

The Fuzzy Kids and Babies are grazing together on the cover crops and doing well!

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By Deborah Reinhart Brown

Ag update

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at brown.1522@osu.edu.

The writer can be reached at the OSU Extension office (937-498-7239) or by email at brown.1522@osu.edu.