The EPA recently announced a one-year delay in the implementation of the Certification of Pesticide Applicators (CPA) rule, which included new provisions to protect children, farmworkers, and pesticide applicators from exposure to pesticides.
The EPA originally published the revised CPA rule on January 4 of this year, with an effective date of March 6. The new CPA would have ensured that applicators of the most toxic pesticides get adequate training. It establishes a minimum age of 18 for pesticide applicators; requires that applicators be able to read and write; increases the frequency of applicator safety training to every year; and improves the quality of information that workers receive about the pesticides that they apply in agricultural, commercial, and residential settings.
Eve C. Gartner, an attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice said, “We are outraged that EPA has ordered a lengthy suspension of a rule that would provide life-saving information and training for the workers who handle the most toxic pesticides in the country. This is an abuse of the legal process that will jeopardize the health and safety of workers and families.”
When the EPA adopted the rule, it pointed to multiple tragic incidents where children died or were seriously injured when poorly trained applicators misused highly toxic pesticides. One of the key provisions of the rule sets a minimum age for pesticide applicators. This delay means minors can continue to handle some of the most toxic pesticides, putting themselves and others at risk.
This is the third time that the federal government delayed the rule in just four months. EPA offered the public just four days to comment on the latest delay.
Source: Environmental Resource Center