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November 9, 2011

EPA Summarizes Pesticide Enforcement Priorities for 2012

The ACTA Group

On November 8, 2011, CropLife America and the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee convened a program entitled “What’s New, What’s Hot in Pesticide Law and Policy.” Rosemarie Kelley, Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Civil Enforcement’s Waste and Chemical Enforcement Division, gave a presentation concerning EPA’s pesticide enforcement priorities. Kelley’s slides are available online.

EPA’s enforcement goals are to pursue aggressively pollution problems that matter to communities and vigorous civil and criminal enforcement. Importantly for pesticide registrants, EPA’s fiscal year 2012 Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) National Program Managers (NPM) Guidance provides two new national focus areas for enforcement of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): imports and supplemental registrations. According to Kelley, EPA is aware that supplemental registrants’ labels are sometimes not consistent with the FIFRA registrants’ label and is now targeting both the registrant and the supplemental registrant (distributor) for enhanced enforcement action.

Kelley also noted that EPA finds numerous violations by analyzing Notices of Arrival (NOA) and conducting inspections. To improve enforcement coordination, EPA joined the Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC), a program administered under the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection program, and has embedded a full-time EPA employee at CTAC. Under the National Program Managers Guidance, Regions are expected to choose an additional area of participation: fumigants/fumigation; worker safety; retail marketing; container/containment. The OECA NPM Guidance is available online.

EPA uses the following tools for FIFRA compliance monitoring and enforcement: coordinating inspections; information request letters (IRL); stop sale, use, or removal orders (SSURO); and hearings. Kelley stated that EPA has begun sending out more IRLs because there is reduced funding for travel, resulting in fewer in-person inspections. According to Kelley, EPA is increasing its use of SSUROs, which are “a quick way to address non-compliance.” EPA expects its use of SSUROs to result in more hearing requests, and EPA will provide Regional offices with data and experts from the Office of Pesticide Programs to serve as witnesses.