[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 53 (Wednesday, March 19, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15443-15531]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04761]



[[Page 15443]]

Vol. 79

Wednesday,

No. 53

March 19, 2014

Part III





Environmental Protection Agency





-----------------------------------------------------------------------





40 CFR Part 170





Pesticides; Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Revisions; Proposed 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 53 / Wednesday, March 19, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 15444]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 170

[EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184; FRL-9395-8]
RIN 2070-AJ22


Pesticides; Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Revisions

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: EPA is proposing updates and revisions to the existing worker 
protection regulation for pesticides. The proposed changes are in 
response to extensive stakeholder review of the regulation and its 
implementation since 1992, and reflect current research on how to 
mitigate occupational pesticide exposure to agricultural workers and 
pesticide handlers. EPA is proposing to strengthen the protections 
provided to agricultural workers and handlers under the worker 
protection standard by improving elements of the existing regulation, 
such as training, notification, communication materials, use of 
personal protective equipment, and decontamination supplies. EPA 
expects the revisions, once final, to prevent unreasonable adverse 
effects from exposure to pesticides among agricultural workers and 
pesticide handlers; vulnerable groups, such as minority and low-income 
populations, child farmworkers, and farmworker families; and the 
general public. EPA recognizes the importance and independence of 
family farms and is proposing to expand the immediate family exemption 
to the WPS.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184, by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to 
be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute.
     Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection 
Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mail code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. In addition, please mail a copy of your 
comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 
Attn: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th St. NW., Washington, DC 20503.
     Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for 
hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the 
instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.htm. Additional 
instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more 
information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathy Davis, Field and External 
Affairs Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-
0001; telephone number: (703) 308-7002; fax number: (703) 308-2962; 
email address: davis.kathy@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you work in or 
employ persons working in production agriculture where pesticides are 
applied.
    The following list of North American Industrial Classification 
System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather 
provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document 
applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:
     Agricultural Establishments (NAICS code 111000), 
establishments or persons, such as farms, orchards, groves, 
greenhouses, and nurseries, primarily engaged in growing crops, plants, 
vines, or trees and their seeds.
     Nursery and Tree Production (NAICS code 111421), 
e.g., establishments or persons primarily engaged in (1) growing 
nursery products, nursery stock, shrubbery, bulbs, fruit stock, sod, 
and so forth, under cover or in open fields and/or (2) growing short 
rotation woody trees with a growth and harvest cycle of 10 years or 
less for pulp or tree stock.
     Timber Tract Operations (NAICS code 113110), 
e.g., establishments or persons primarily engaged in the operation of 
timber tracts for the purpose of selling standing timber. Forest 
Nurseries and Gathering of Forest Products (NAICS code 113210), e.g., 
establishments or persons primarily engaged in (1) growing trees for 
reforestation and/or (2) gathering forest products, such as gums, 
barks, balsam needles, rhizomes, fibers, Spanish moss, ginseng, and 
truffles.
     Farm Labor Contractors and Crew Leaders (NAICS 
code 115115), e.g., establishments or persons primarily engaged in 
supplying labor for agricultural production or harvesting.
     Farm Workers (NAICS codes 11511, 115112, and 
115114), e.g., establishments or persons primarily engaged in providing 
support activities for growing crops; establishments or persons 
primarily engaged in performing a soil preparation activity or crop 
production service, such as plowing, fertilizing, seed bed preparation, 
planting, cultivating, and crop protecting services; and establishments 
or persons primarily engaged in performing services on crops, 
subsequent to their harvest, with the intent of preparing them for 
market or further processing.
     Pesticide Manufacturers (NAICS code 325320), 
e.g., establishments primarily engaged in the formulation and 
preparation of agricultural and household pest control chemicals 
(except fertilizers).
     Farm Worker Support Organizations (NAICS codes 
813311, 813312, and 813319), e.g., establishments or persons primarily 
engaged in promoting causes associated with human rights either for a 
broad or specific constituency; establishments or persons primarily 
engaged in promoting the preservation and protection of the environment 
and wildlife; and establishments primarily engaged in social advocacy.
     Farm Worker Labor Organizations (NAICS code 
813930), e.g., establishments or persons primarily engaged in promoting 
the interests of organized labor and union employees.
     Pesticide Handling in Forestry (NAICS code 
115310), e.g., establishments or persons primarily providing support 
activities for forestry, such as forest pest control.
     Administration of Conservation Programs (NAICS 
code 924120), e.g., government establishments primarily engaged in the 
administration, regulation, supervision and control of land use, 
including recreational areas; conservation and preservation of natural 
resources; erosion control; geological survey program administration; 
weather forecasting program administration; and the administration and 
protection of publicly and privately owned forest lands. Government 
establishments responsible for planning, management, regulation and 
conservation of game, fish, and wildlife populations, including 
wildlife management areas and field stations; and other administrative 
matters relating to the protection of fish, game, and wildlife are 
included in this industry.
     Pesticide Handling on Farms (NAICS code 115112), 
e.g.,

[[Page 15445]]

establishments or persons primarily engaged in performing a soil 
preparation activity or crop production service, such as seed bed 
preparation, planting, cultivating, and crop protecting services.
     Crop Advisors (NAICS codes 115112, 541690, 
541712) e.g., establishments or persons who primarily provide advice 
and assistance to businesses and other organizations on scientific and 
technical issues related to pesticide use and pest pressure.

B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through 
regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the 
information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or 
CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as 
CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the 
specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one 
complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as 
CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information 
claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. 
Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with 
procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.
    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, 
remember to:
    i. Identify the document by docket ID number and other identifying 
information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).
    ii. Follow directions. The Agency may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
    iii. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and 
substitute language for your requested changes.
    iv. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information 
and/or data that you used.
    v. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you 
arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
reproduced.
    vi. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and 
suggest alternatives.
    vii. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of 
profanity or personal threats.
    viii. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.

II. Background

A. Executive Summary

    1. Purpose of the regulatory action. The Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA or the Agency) proposes to revise the existing Worker 
Protection Standard (WPS) at 40 CFR part 170 to reduce the incidence of 
occupational pesticide exposure and related illness among agricultural 
workers (workers) and pesticide handlers (handlers) covered by the 
rule. This regulation, in combination with other components of EPA's 
pesticide regulatory program, is intended to prevent unreasonable 
adverse effects of pesticides among pesticide applicators, workers, 
handlers, the general public, and vulnerable groups, such as minority 
and low-income populations.
    2. Summary of the major provisions. This proposal revises the 
existing WPS in several areas: Training, notification, hazard 
communication, minimum age, and personal protective equipment. The key 
changes are described below.
    For training, the proposal requires employers to ensure that 
workers and handlers receive pesticide safety training every year. The 
content of the training is expanded to include how to reduce take-home 
exposure to pesticides, as well as other topics. Employers are required 
to retain records of the training provided to workers and handlers for 
2 years from the date of training.
    For notification, the proposal requires employers to post treated 
areas when the product used has a restricted-entry interval (REI) 
greater than 48 hours. It also requires that workers performing early-
entry tasks, i.e., entering a treated area when an REI is in effect, 
receive information about the pesticide used in the area where they 
will work, the specific task(s) to be performed, and the amount of time 
the worker may remain in the treated area. Finally, the proposal 
requires employers to keep a record of the information provided to 
workers performing early-entry tasks.
    For hazard communication, the proposal eliminates the requirement 
for a central display of pesticide application-specific information. 
The proposal requires the employer to maintain and make available upon 
request the pesticide application-specific information, as well as the 
labeling and safety data sheets for pesticides used on the 
establishment for 2 years.
    For minimum age, the proposal requires that handlers and workers 
performing early-entry tasks be at least 16 years old. This minimum age 
does not apply to immediate family members working on an establishment 
owned by another immediate family member.
    For personal protective equipment (PPE), the proposal adopts the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act requirements for respirator use by 
handlers, i.e., fit test, medical evaluation, and training. In 
addition, the proposal adopts the existing California standard for 
closed systems.
    3. Costs and impacts. Under section 3(f)(4) of Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735; October 4, 1993), this action is a ``significant 
regulatory action'' because it may raise novel legal or policy issues 
arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the 
principles set forth in the Executive Order. Accordingly, EPA submitted 
this proposed rulemaking to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821; January 
21, 2011), and any changes made in response to OMB recommendations have 
been documented in the public docket for this action.
    EPA has prepared an analysis of the potential costs and impacts 
associated with this rulemaking. This analysis is summarized in greater 
detail in Unit II.G. of this proposal. The following chart provides a 
brief outline of the costs and impacts of this proposal:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Category                 Description             Source
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monetized Benefits Avoided    $5-14 million/year    EA Chapter 6.5.
 acute pesticide incidents.    after adjustment
                               for underreporting
                               of pesticide
                               incidents.
Qualitative Benefits........   Willingness  EA Chapter 6.
                               to pay to avoid
                               acute effects of
                               pesticide exposure
                               beyond cost of
                               treatment and loss
                               of productivity.
                               Reduced
                               latent effect of
                               avoided acute
                               pesticide exposure.
                               Reduced
                               chronic effects
                               from lower chronic
                               pesticide exposure
                               to workers,
                               handlers, and
                               farmworker
                               families, including
                               a range of
                               illnesses such as
                               Non-Hodgkins
                               lymphoma, prostate
                               cancer, Parkinson's
                               disease, lung
                               cancer, chronic
                               bronchitis, and
                               asthma.

[[Page 15446]]

 
Monetized Costs.............  $62-73 million/year.  EA Chapter 5.2.
Small Business Impacts......  No significant        EA Chapter 5.4.
                               impact on a
                               substantial number
                               of small entities.
                               The
                               rulemaking will
                               affect over 300,000
                               small farms,
                               nurseries, and
                               greenhouses and
                               several hundred
                               small commercial
                               entities that are
                               contracted to apply
                               pesticides.
                               Impact less
                               than 0.1% of the
                               annual value of
                               sales or revenues
                               for the average
                               small entity.
Impact on Jobs..............  The rulemaking will   EA Chapter 5.3.
                               have a negligible
                               effect on jobs and
                               employment.
                               The
                               marginal cost of a
                               typical farmworker
                               is expected to
                               increase $5/year.
                               The
                               marginal cost for a
                               more skilled
                               pesticide handler
                               is expected to
                               increase by $60 per
                               year, but this is
                               less than 0.3
                               percent of the cost
                               of a part-time
                               employee.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. What action is the Agency taking?

    The WPS is a regulation intended to reduce the risks of injury or 
illness resulting from agricultural workers' and handlers' use and 
contact with pesticides on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. 
The rule does not cover persons working directly with livestock. The 
existing regulation has provisions for employers to provide workers and 
handlers with pesticide safety training, posting and notification of 
treated areas, entry restrictions, and PPE for workers who enter 
treated areas after pesticide application to perform crop-related 
tasks, as well as for handlers who mix, load, and apply pesticides. The 
rule was promulgated in 1992 and implementation was delayed until 1995.
    The changes in this proposed revision of the WPS are intended to 
address shortcomings in the current regulations, such as:
     Absence of a minimum age for handlers of 
pesticides and agricultural workers engaged in early-entry activities,
     Inadequate hazard communication provisions,
     Insufficient training of agricultural workers 
before they face potential pesticide exposure,
     Unclear requirements regarding the 
decontamination supplies the WPS requires employers to provide, and
     Insufficient recordkeeping to verify compliance 
with regulations.
    EPA believes that the proposed changes offer targeted improvements 
that would reduce risk through protective requirements and improve 
operational efficiencies. EPA expects the proposed changes to:
     Improve effectiveness of worker and handler 
training,
     Improve protections to workers during 
restricted-entry intervals (REIs),
     Improve protections for workers during and after 
pesticide applications,
     Expand the information provided to workers, thus 
improving hazard communication protections,
     Expand the content of pesticide safety 
information displayed, thus improving the display's effectiveness,
     Improve the protections for crop advisor 
employees,
     Increase the amounts of decontamination water 
available, thus improving the effectiveness of the decontamination 
process,
     Improve the emergency response when workers 
experience pesticide exposures,
     Improve the organization of the WPS, thus 
improving employers' ability to understand and comply with the 
provisions,
     Clarify the coverage of the WPS to those 
employed and receiving a salary or wage to ensure protection for 
occupational pesticide workers,
     Protect children by establishing a minimum age 
for handlers and for workers who enter a treated area during an REI 
while maintaining an exemption to the minimum age requirement for 
children working on the establishment of an immediately family member, 
and
     Improve flexibility for small farmers and 
members of their immediate family by expanding the definition of 
immediate family members to be more inclusive and retaining the 
exemptions from almost all WPS requirements for owners and their 
immediate family members.

C. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    This action is issued under the authority of sections 2 through 35 
of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 
U.S.C. 136-136y, and particularly section 25(a), 7 U.S.C. 136w(a).

D. Related Rulemaking

    EPA is also considering a proposed rule to amend 40 CFR part 171, 
titled ``Certification of Pesticide Applicators.'' Since parts 170 and 
171, along with other components of the pesticide program, work 
together to reduce and prevent unreasonable adverse effects to 
pesticides, EPA may use any comments received on the proposed 
amendments to part 171 when formulating a final rule to amend the 
current WPS at part 170.

E. Benefits of the Proposal

    The proposed changes to the current WPS requirements are expected 
to lead to an overall reduction in incidents of unsafe pesticide 
exposure and to improve the occupational health of the nation's 
agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. This section provides an 
overview of the qualitative benefits of the proposal and the estimated 
benefits that would accrue from avoiding acute pesticide exposure in 
the population protected by the WPS. It also provides an estimate of 
the number of chronic illnesses with a plausible association with 
pesticide exposure that would have to be prevented by the proposed 
changes in order for the total estimated benefits to meet the estimated 
cost of the proposal.
    A sizeable portion of the agricultural workforce may be exposed 
occupationally to pesticides and pesticide residues. These exposures 
can pose significant long- and short-term health risks. It is difficult 
to quantify a specific level of risk and project the risk reduction 
that would result from this proposal because workers and handlers are 
potentially exposed to a wide range of pesticides with varying 
toxicities and risks. However, there is strong evidence that workers 
and handlers may be exposed to pesticides at levels that can cause 
adverse effects and that both the exposures and the risks can be 
substantially reduced. EPA believes the provisions in the proposed rule 
would reduce pesticide exposures and the associated risks.
    The estimated quantified benefits from reducing acute worker and 
handler exposure to pesticides total about $11.4 million annually (Ref. 
1). This conservative estimate includes only the avoided costs in 
medical care and lost productivity to workers and handlers and assumes 
that just 25% of acute

[[Page 15447]]

pesticide incidents are reported. It does not include quantification of 
the reduction in chronic effects of pesticide exposure to workers and 
handlers, reduced effects of exposure including developmental impacts, 
to children and pregnant workers and handlers or willingness to pay to 
avoid symptoms of pesticide exposure. Because the chronic effects of 
pesticide exposures are seldom attributable to a specific cause, and 
thus are unlikely to be recorded in pesticide poisoning databases, EPA 
is not able to quantify the benefits expected to accrue from proposed 
WPS changes that would reduce chronic exposure to pesticides. However, 
associations between pesticide exposure and certain cancer and non-
cancer chronic health effects are well documented in the peer-reviewed 
literature, and reducing these chronic health effects is an important 
FIFRA goal.
    Even if the lack of quantitative data impairs the reliability of 
estimates of the total number of chronic illnesses avoided, it is 
reasonable to expect that the proposed changes to the WPS will reduce 
the incidence of chronic disease resulting from pesticide exposure. 
Therefore, EPA conducted a ``break even'' analysis to consider the 
plausibility of the proposed changes to the WPS reducing the incidence 
of chronic disease enough to cause the net benefits of the proposed 
rule to exceed its anticipated costs. Under this analysis, EPA looked 
at the costs associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate cancer, 
Parkinson's disease, lung cancer, bronchitis, and asthma and their 
frequency among agricultural workers, and found that reducing the 
incidence of lung cancer by 0.08% and the incidence of the other 
chronic diseases by 0.8% per year (about 53 total cases per year among 
the population of workers and handlers protected under the WPS) would 
produce quantified benefits sufficient to bridge the gap between the 
quantified benefits from reducing acute incidents and the $62.1 million 
to $72.9 million cost of the proposed rule. Overall, the weight of 
evidence suggests that the proposed requirements would result in long-
term health benefits to agricultural workers and pesticide handlers in 
excess of the less than 1% reduction in just six diseases that 
corresponds with the break-even point for the proposed rule, not only 
by reducing their daily risk of pesticide exposures, but also by 
improving quality of life throughout their lives, resulting in a lower 
cost of health care and a healthier society.
    The proposed changes to the current WPS requirements, specifically 
improved training on reducing pesticide residues brought from the 
treated area to the home on workers and handlers' clothing and bodies 
and establishing a minimum age for handlers and early entry workers, 
other than those covered by the immediate family exemption, mitigate 
the potential for children to be exposed to pesticides directly and 
indirectly. The unquantified benefit to adolescent workers and 
handlers, as well as children of workers and handlers is great; 
reducing exposure to pesticides could translate into fewer sick days, 
fewer days missed of school, improved capacity to learn, and better 
long-term health. Parents and caregivers reap benefits by having 
healthier families, fewer missed workdays, and better quality of life.
    By proposing several interrelated exposure-reduction measures, the 
revised rule is expected to mitigate approximately 56% of reported 
acute WPS-related pesticide incidents. EPA believes the proposed rule 
would substantially mitigate for these workers and handlers the 
potential for adverse health effects (acute and chronic) from 
occupational exposures to such pesticides and their residues. These 
measures include requirements intended to reduce exposure by:
     Ensuring that workers and handlers are informed 
about the hazards of pesticides--the proposed rule changes the content 
and frequency of required pesticide safety training, as well as 
proposing changes to ensure that the pesticide safety training is more 
effective.
     Reducing exposure to pesticides--among other 
things, the proposed rule changes and clarifies the requirements for 
personal protective equipment. It also makes changes to the timing of 
applications when people are nearby. These and other provisions should 
directly reduce exposure in the agricultural workforce.
     Mitigating the effects from exposures that 
occur--some accidental exposures are inevitable. EPA expects the 
proposed rule to mitigate the severity of health impacts by updating 
and clarifying what is required to respond to exposures.
    Further detail on the benefits of this proposal is provided in the 
document titled ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker 
Protection Standard'' which is available in the docket for this 
rulemaking (Ref. 1). The following briefly highlights the anticipated 
benefits:
    1. Reduce incidents of exposure and illness through:
    a. Expanded and more frequent training for workers and handlers. 
EPA's current requirement for training workers and handlers fails to 
address or to highlight the importance of some self-protective 
practices, such as reducing pesticide exposure to workers, handlers, 
and their families by avoiding bringing pesticide residues home on 
clothing, shoes, or skin. The existing regulation requires employers to 
provide training every 5 years. The proposed rule, if finalized, would 
expand the content of the training, increase the frequency of training 
to every year, and set higher standards for trainers. Providing workers 
and handlers with information on reducing pesticide exposure in a 
manner they understand, e.g., in a language they speak and at an 
appropriate education level, and at intervals more likely to result in 
retention of the information, would benefit workers and handlers. Thus, 
EPA believes the proposed rule would reduce overall pesticide exposure 
among workers, handlers, and their families.
    b. Improved posting of pesticide-treated areas. The current WPS 
allows growers to provide either an oral or posted warning to workers 
about which areas have been treated with a pesticide and are under an 
REI unless the pesticide label requires both an oral and posted 
warning. Many of the occupational pesticide illnesses reported to state 
health agencies have occurred when workers entered a treated area 
before the REI expired. The proposed regulation would require posting 
of all treated areas with an REI of greater than 48 hours, providing a 
visual reminder to workers not to enter the specific pesticide-treated 
area without proper protection.
    c. Additional information before entering a pesticide-treated area 
under an REI. As mentioned above, many incidents of pesticide exposure 
among workers result from entering an area while an REI is in effect. 
The proposed rule would require that worker training include 
information about the limited circumstances in which workers may enter 
a treated area under an REI, the hazards workers may face, and that the 
employer must provide the proper PPE. Employers would also have to 
inform workers entering a treated area under an REI about the 
conditions under which they enter the treated area and the maximum time 
they are permitted to stay in the treated area. Providing workers with 
general information about working in a treated area under an REI as 
well as with specific information about the circumstances of each 
instance should make them aware of the elevated risks and the steps 
necessary to protect themselves.

[[Page 15448]]

    d. Access to more information about chemical hazards in the 
workplace. The current WPS requires the employer to maintain records of 
what pesticides have been used or have had an REI in effect on the 
establishment in the last 30 days. The employer must provide the name 
of the pesticide, EPA registration number, and other general 
information at a central location on the establishment. The proposed 
rule would require employers to maintain a copy of pesticide labeling, 
the application records, and the Safety Data Sheet (SDS, formerly known 
as Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS), as well as the information 
currently required under the WPS, for 2 years after the product was 
applied on the establishment. The employer would be required to provide 
this information upon request and to ensure that health care providers 
treating a worker or handler who was exposed on the establishment 
receive a copy of this information. The more specific information 
required, longer retention period, and provision to provide additional 
information to health care providers should assist the health care 
provider in determining the specific types of pesticides to which a 
worker or handler may have been exposed and in more effectively 
treating the injured person.
    e. Strengthened requirements for handlers during applications. The 
risk of illness resulting from exposure to pesticides through drift is 
largely borne by agricultural workers. A recent study estimates that 
37% to 68% of acute pesticide-related illnesses in agricultural workers 
are caused by spray drift (Ref. 2). The proposed rule would require 
handlers to immediately stop an application if, during the application, 
anyone other than a properly equipped handler enters the entry-
restricted area or the area treated with pesticides. This, together 
with the proposal to create entry-restricted areas around the treated 
area for farms, forests and nurseries, is expected to result in reduced 
incidents of worker exposure through unintentional contact during 
application or through drift.
    2. Strengthen protection for children through:
    a. Implementing a minimum age of 16 for handlers and early-entry 
workers. The current WPS does not have a minimum age for handlers or 
early-entry workers. These tasks involve contact with concentrated 
forms of pesticides, applying pesticides, or entering pesticide-treated 
areas before the REI has expired. Children may be more susceptible to 
the effects of pesticide exposure because their systems are developing, 
and research shows that adolescents have not fully developed informed 
decisionmaking skills. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes 
a minimum age of 16 for youth engaged in occupations deemed hazardous 
by the Secretary of Labor (29 U.S.C. 213(c)(2)). This includes persons 
handling toxicity category I and II pesticides in agriculture 29 CFR 
570.71(a)(9). The FLSA prohibits youth under the age of 16 engaged in 
nonagricultural employment from any work involving pesticides. 
Implementing a requirement for handlers and early-entry workers to be 
at least 16 years old would ensure that all persons handling 
pesticides, regardless of the toxicity level, are protected, thereby 
reducing their overall risk of pesticide exposure and illness. Persons 
under the age of 16 working on the establishment owned by an immediate 
family member would be exempt from the proposed minimum age 
requirements.
    b. Improving training for workers and handlers on reducing take-
home pesticide exposure. The current WPS training does not provide 
specific information on how workers and handlers can minimize the 
possibility for transferring pesticide residues from their clothing, 
bodies, and shoes to their homes, vehicles, and family members. 
Although studies documenting the effects of take-home pesticide 
exposure are not conclusive, EPA has a reasonable concern about the 
potential for unreasonable adverse effects caused by exposure to 
workers, handlers, and their families. The proposed modest addition to 
training would educate workers and handlers on how to protect 
themselves and their families from take-home pesticide exposure.
    3. Reduce some burdens on growers by:
    a. Eliminating duplicative respirator requirements. Agricultural 
worker and handler employers may also be subject to regulations issued 
by other federal agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA). The current WPS standard for proper use and 
maintenance of a respirator differs from the standard established by 
OSHA. The proposed rule harmonizes the requirements for agricultural 
employers that may be required to provide a respirator for their 
employees using pesticides under the WPS with those issued by OSHA for 
respirator use in agriculture beyond pesticide use in order to reduce 
the burden on employers to comply with two separate standards.
    b. Providing a national mechanism to verify worker and handler 
training. Under the current WPS employers may be uncertain about what 
measures they must take to verify whether a worker or handler has 
already received the required pesticide safety training on another 
establishment. EPA administers a voluntary training verification 
system, but it is not used nation-wide or consistently. As a result, 
many employers provide pesticide safety training to all new employees. 
The proposed revisions include a provision for the employer to provide 
the worker or handler with a copy of the record of the training, 
including worker or handler name, employer, trainer name, and date of 
training. Workers and handlers can provide this record to their next 
employer as proof of valid training and for the new employer to 
maintain a copy in his or her records. EPA believes a reliable training 
verification system will reduce overall burden on agricultural and 
handler employers.
    c. Streamlining notification requirements between handler employers 
and agricultural establishment employers. Under the current WPS, 
handler employers are required to notify the owner of the agricultural 
establishment about the start and end time of applications, as well as 
changes to the application start time and end time or application 
duration, before the application begins. The proposed changes would 
require handlers or their employers to provide changes to pesticide 
application plans to the agricultural employer within 2 hours of the 
end of the application rather than before the application. Changes to 
the estimated application end time of less than one hour would not 
require notification.
    d. Improving clarity of the regulation. The Agency proposes to 
revise and reorganize the WPS to enhance the ability of employers to 
understand their responsibilities under the regulation, which could 
lead to increased compliance with the rule. The proposed rule, if 
finalized, would reorganize the rule into four sections: (1) General 
requirements, (2) responsibilities of agricultural employers, (3) 
responsibilities of handler employers, and (4) exceptions. Employers' 
greater understanding and compliance with the WPS would ensure that 
workers and handlers are provided with the information and equipment 
they need to protect themselves. In turn, this should contribute to 
reduced incidents of unreasonable adverse effects from pesticide 
exposure.

F. Request for Comments

    The Agency invites the public to provide its views and suggestions 
for changes on all of the proposals in this

[[Page 15449]]

document. Specifically, the Agency requests the public to consider and 
provide input on the following when providing comments:
     The need for, value of, and any alternatives to the 
requirements described in this document.
     The studies and scientific articles used as the basis of 
this proposed rule.
     The clarity of the proposed revisions.
     The ability to effectively enforce the proposed 
regulation.
     The economic analysis of the proposed rule, including its 
underlying assumptions, economic data, high- and low-cost options and 
alternatives, and benefits.
    Additionally, in other parts of this proposed rule, EPA is 
specifically requesting comments on certain issues. EPA welcomes 
comments on these topics of particular interest to the Agency.
    Commenters are encouraged to present any data or information that 
should be considered by EPA during the development of the final rule. 
Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and data 
used in preparing your comments. Explain evaluations or estimates in 
sufficient detail to allow for them to be reproduced for validation. 
Commenters are reminded that the submission of data derived from human 
research should include information concerning the ethical conduct of 
such research, in compliance with the requirements at 40 CFR 26.1303.

G. Reasons for The Proposed Action

    The WPS is more than 20 years old and EPA believes it can be 
improved. Since the late 1990s, EPA has engaged a wide range of 
stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of the WPS and to determine 
if improvements are necessary. EPA met with groups including, but not 
limited to, farmworker organizations, health care providers, state 
regulators, pesticide manufacturers, farmers, organizations 
representing agricultural commodity producers, and crop advisors. 
Through public meetings and federal advisory committees, and as 
individuals and small groups, a broad spectrum of stakeholders provided 
recommendations to EPA. Many of the proposed changes address their 
recommendations and concerns.
    EPA has also reviewed available information about occupational 
pesticide exposure in agriculture. The Agency's review of these reports 
indicates that many incidents might have been avoided if workers and 
handlers had better training, were better notified of treated areas, 
and used PPE properly when required. For example, workers became ill 
after entering a treated area before the REI expired or without wearing 
the proper equipment, and through drift from a nearby pesticide 
application. EPA believes these types of incidents could be 
significantly reduced by enhancing the training for workers and 
handlers and strengthening provisions of the regulation designed to 
keep workers and handlers out of pesticide-treated areas unless they 
have the proper information and PPE.
    The great majority of agricultural workers and handlers are 
disadvantaged. The National Agricultural Worker Survey (NAWS) data 
indicate the median family income range was $12,500-$14,999, many do 
not speak English and are not literate in their native language, and 
workers face challenges accessing health care and housing (Ref. 3). 
Workers and handlers experience risks from occupational pesticide 
exposure that are greater than those faced by the general population 
because workers and handlers work with and around pesticides on a daily 
basis, and language and literacy barriers make effective hazard 
communication a challenge. EPA is paying special attention to the 
disproportionate burden or risk carried by this disadvantaged 
community. The proposed rule as a whole addresses many worker safety 
concerns; throughout this document the environmental justice concerns 
relative to specific changes will be highlighted.
    In conjunction with various non-regulatory programs, the WPS 
requirements are intended, among other things, to reduce the risks of 
illness or injury to workers and handlers resulting from occupational 
exposure to pesticides on agricultural establishments. Broadly 
speaking, the WPS provisions are meant to (1) inform workers and 
handlers about the hazards and risks from pesticides they use or to 
which they come into contact in the workplace, (2) protect workers and 
handlers from occupational exposure to pesticides and the potential 
adverse effects of pesticides, and (3) mitigate the potential adverse 
effects of unavoidable pesticide exposure, including accidents. Within 
these categories, EPA evaluated the costs and benefits of alternative 
requirements and is proposing a set of requirements that, in 
combination, is expected to achieve substantial benefits at minimum 
cost.
    The overall costs of the proposal range from $62.1 to $72.9 million 
annually. These costs would be borne almost entirely by agricultural 
establishments, those who employ workers and handlers and use 
pesticides. Although the cost per establishment will vary by the number 
and type of employees, EPA estimates that the annual cost to large 
establishments would be $340 to $400 per year. Small establishments 
would incur a lower cost of $130 to $150 per year, which amounts to 
less than 0.1 percent of their annual revenue. Presented differently, 
the additional cost of employing a worker is estimated at less than $5 
per year and the additional cost of employing a handler is estimated at 
about $60 per year. EPA does not believe the cost of the regulation 
will have a negative impact on employment.
    The proposal, if finalized, would reduce the disproportionate risks 
associated with occupational pesticide exposure that currently fall on 
workers, handlers, and their families. Agricultural and handler 
employers are the group responsible for, and that benefit from, 
pesticide application on their establishments. Therefore, EPA believes 
it is appropriate for these employers to bear the cost of the 
protections for their employees, rather than to impose the costs on 
workers and handlers themselves. Through the WPS and these proposals, 
EPA seeks to have those responsible for making pesticide use decisions 
and applying pesticides internalize the effects of their decisions. 
This would minimize the externalities, i.e., undesirable or unintended 
consequences of decisions that result in negative consequences for 
other parties, to workers and handlers.
    The benefits of the proposed rule primarily accrue to workers, 
handlers and, indirectly, to their families. EPA estimates the 
quantitative value of avoided acute incidents as a result of the 
proposed rule to be between $1.2 million to $2.8 million annually (Ref. 
1). However, EPA recognizes that this estimate is biased downward by an 
unknown degree. First, pesticide incidents, like many illnesses and 
accidents, are underreported because sufferers may not seek medical 
care, cases may not be correctly diagnosed, and correctly diagnosed 
cases may not be filed with the central reporting database. Also, many 
symptoms of pesticide poisoning, such as a fatigue, nausea, rash, 
dizziness, and diarrhea, may be confused with other illnesses and may 
not be reported by the workers as related to their occupational 
exposure. Studies estimate that underreporting of pesticide exposure by 
workers and handlers ranges from 20 to 90 percent. Adjusting the 
estimate based on a reasonable assumption that only 25% of acute 
incidents are reported

[[Page 15450]]

brings the estimated benefits from reducing acute pesticide incidents 
to $11.4 million annually (Ref. 1).
    Second, EPA's approach to estimating the quantitative benefits of 
the proposal only measures avoided medical costs and lost wages, not 
the willingness to pay to avoid possible symptoms due to pesticide 
exposure, which could be substantially higher. It also does not take 
into account the disenfranchised nature of this population and the 
relative impact that lost work time would have on their incomes and 
family health. An increase in protections across the entire worker 
population would be more beneficial and likely to effect positive 
change than requiring individuals to value and pay for their own 
increase in safety. Workers and handlers may not be able to pay for the 
improvements to their own safety, necessitating intervention by the 
government to ensure these populations are adequately protected.
    Well-documented associations between pesticide exposure and certain 
cancer and non-cancer chronic health effects exist in peer-reviewed 
literature; however, the wide range of employment histories and 
pesticide exposures characteristic of the agricultural workforce 
generally prevents reliable estimates of the full impact of chronic 
pesticide exposure. In order to account for the reduction in chronic 
diseases expected as a result of the proposed WPS changes, OPP used a 
``break-even'' analysis. Based on a literature review, EPA evaluated 
the costs associated with six chronic illnesses that have well-
documented association with agricultural pesticide exposure: non-
Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate cancer, Parkinson's disease, lung cancer, 
bronchitis, and asthma. Owing to the high costs associated with these 
chronic illnesses, improvements to the WPS that could reduce the 
frequency of these illnesses among workers and handlers by less than 1% 
(53 total cases per year) would result in sufficient benefits to bridge 
the gap between the estimated costs of the revisions and the 
anticipated benefits associated with reducing acute pesticide 
exposures. For the reasons identified below, it is reasonable to expect 
that the proposed changes to the WPS will reduce chronic pesticide 
exposures enough to reduce the frequency of chronic illnesses by at 
least 0.08% for lung cancer and at least 0.8% for the other illnesses 
considered.
    EPA believes the qualitative benefits of the proposed rule are 
substantial. The proposals for more frequent, expanded training, better 
identification of treated areas, strengthened requirements for PPE, and 
clarifying the responses and information required in the event of an 
emergency exposure all provide workers and handlers with more 
information and a better ability to protect themselves from risks 
associated with pesticide exposure. The proposals complement each other 
and the resulting benefits are derived from implementation of the whole 
package. Overall, the weight of evidence suggests that the proposed 
requirements will result in both short- and long-term health benefits 
to agricultural workers and pesticide handlers.
    In addition, many of the proposed changes to current WPS 
requirements would specifically mitigate risks to children. The 
proposal would implement a minimum age of 16 for most handlers and 
early-entry workers; the minimum age would not apply to handlers and 
early-entry workers on an establishment owned by an immediate family 
member. EPA believes that these two tasks present a higher risk of 
exposure than do the general tasks assigned to a worker. Since 
children's bodies are still developing, they may be more susceptible to 
these elevated risks and therefore would benefit from strengthened 
protections. In addition, the proposal seeks through additional 
training to reduce the potential for workers to transport pesticide 
residues home to their families. Although studies are inconclusive 
about the effects of pesticides transferred from the treated area to 
the home, EPA believes that providing additional general information to 
workers and handlers about steps that may mitigate any potential risk 
would be prudent. Thus, the proposed changes are expected to reduce 
children's exposure to pesticides.
    In the almost two decades since the 1992 WPS was implemented, EPA 
has learned from the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, National 
Assessment of the Pesticide Worker Safety Program process, meetings 
with state regulators, and other stakeholder interaction, that the 1992 
rule needs improvements. EPA believes that the data available to the 
Agency supports this conclusion. The proposed rule reflects the 
Agency's commitment to pay particular attention to the health of 
children and environmental justice concerns. The proposal also aligns 
with the President's January 18, 2011 Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 
3821), requesting that agencies review existing regulations to improve 
the efficacy of their protection, to balance costs and benefits, and to 
maximize their efficiency.
    In proposing this revision, the Agency is mindful of the effects on 
small business, family farms, and other affected parties. The Agency 
has attempted to keep the costs to the regulated community as low as 
practicable, so that they are reasonably balanced against the 
anticipated risk reduction benefits of the measures proposed below.

H. Summary of Proposed Changes

    EPA proposes to revise the WPS by:
     Amending the existing pesticide safety training content, 
retraining interval (frequency), and qualifications of trainers,
     Ensuring workers receive safety information before 
entering any pesticide treated area by amending the existing ``grace 
period'' and expanding the training required during the ``grace 
period,''
     Establishing a minimum age of 16 for handlers and for 
workers who enter an area under an REI,
     Establishing requirements for specific training and 
notification for workers who enter an area under an REI,
     Restricting persons' entry into areas adjacent to a 
treated area during an application,
     Enhancing the requirement for employers to post warning 
signs around treated areas,
     Modifying the content of the warning sign,
     Adding information employers must keep under the 
requirement to maintain application-specific information,
     Requiring recordkeeping for pesticide safety training and 
worker entry into areas under an REI,
     Ensuring the immediate family exemption includes an 
exemption from the proposed minimum age requirements for handlers and 
early-entry workers,
     Expanding the definition of ``immediate family'' to allow 
more family-owned operations to qualify for the exemptions to the WPS 
requirements,
     Revising definitions to improve clarity and to refine 
terms, and
     Restructuring the regulation to make it easier to read and 
understand.

III. Statutory Authority and Framework

    This unit discusses the legal framework within which EPA regulates 
the safety of those who work with and around pesticides in agriculture.

A. FIFRA

    The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) of 
1947 established a framework for the regulation of pesticide products. 
Major amendments in 1972 by the Federal

[[Page 15451]]

Environmental Pesticide Control Act (7 U.S.C. 136 et. seq.) broadened 
federal pesticide regulatory authority to make it ``unlawful for any 
person to use any registered product in a manner inconsistent with its 
labeling'' (7 U.S.C. 136i (a)(2)(G)). The 1972 amendments provided 
civil and criminal penalties for violations of the Act (7 U.S.C. 136l) 
and authorized the Administrator to provide regulations to carry out 
the Act (7 U.S.C. 136w (a)). The new and revised provisions directed 
EPA to protect humans and the environment from unreasonable adverse 
effects of pesticides.
    The legislative history of the 1972 amendments to FIFRA reflects 
the clear intent of Congress that farmers and agricultural workers were 
among those intended to be afforded protection under FIFRA. In 
discussing the 1972 amendments, the Senate Committee on Agriculture 
noted its intent of FIFRA to protect farmworkers and others from 
contacting pesticides or their residues. (Ref. 4)
    EPA has implemented many protections for workers through use 
instructions on pesticide labeling, which have been legally binding on 
pesticide users since the 1972 amendments. See FIFRA section 
12(a)(2)(G), which makes it unlawful ``to use any registered pesticide 
in a manner inconsistent with its labeling''. In order to expand these 
protective measures without making individual product labeling 
inordinately complex, the Agency decided to consolidate common 
requirements in a single, uniform standard that could be incorporated 
into agricultural pesticide labels by reference, the Worker Protection 
Standard (WPS). In 1992, the Agency issued the WPS, which, where 
mandated on a pesticide label, provides a uniform system of protections 
to workers and handlers on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses 
from occupational exposure to the pesticide product. The WPS 
establishes uniform requirements for practices that minimize exposure, 
regardless of the risks of specific pesticides, and the individual 
pesticide product labeling provides the specific requirements 
appropriate to each pesticide product. The WPS sets basic requirements 
for notification of a treated area, limited entry into a treated area, 
supplies related to decontamination and maintenance of PPE, and access 
to information about pesticides used on the agricultural establishment. 
It also requires that workers and handlers receive basic safety 
training to inform them about ways to minimize their exposure and risk.

B. EPA Regulation of Pesticides

    In order to protect human health and the environment from 
unreasonable adverse effects that might be caused by pesticides, the 
Agency has developed and implemented a rigorous process for registering 
and re-evaluating pesticides. The registration process begins when a 
manufacturer submits an application to register a pesticide. The 
application must contain required test data, including information on 
the pesticide's chemistry, environmental fate, toxicity to humans and 
wildlife, and potential for human exposure. The Agency also requires a 
copy of the proposed labeling, including directions for use, and 
appropriate warnings.
    Once an application for registration of a new pesticide product is 
received, EPA conducts an evaluation, which includes a detailed review 
of scientific data to determine the potential impact on human health 
and the environment. The Agency considers the risk assessments and 
results of any peer review and evaluates potential risk management 
measures that could mitigate risks above the Agency's level of concern. 
Risk management measures could include, among other things, extending 
the restricted-entry interval (REI), the period during which people are 
prohibited from entering the treated area, to allow the pesticide 
residues to reach an acceptable level before worker reentry is 
permitted. They could also require certain engineering controls, such 
as use of closed mixing systems to reduce potential exposure to those 
who mix and load pesticides, or specific PPE, such as respirators, to 
protect users against risks associated with inhalation of the product.
    In the decision-making process, EPA evaluates the application to 
determine whether the proposed use(s) meets the Agency's standards for 
registration. FIFRA is a risk-benefit statute. In evaluating the impact 
of a pesticide on occupational health and safety, EPA weighs the risks 
associated with use of the pesticide (occupational, environmental) and 
the benefits associated with use of the pesticide (economic, public 
health, environmental). FIFRA does not require EPA to balance the risks 
and benefits for each audience. For example, a product may pose risks 
to workers, but risks may nevertheless be reasonable in comparison to 
the economic benefit of continued use of the product to society at 
large.
    If the application does not contain enough evidence to prove that 
the pesticide meets all of these standards, EPA communicates to the 
applicant the need for more or better refined data, labeling 
modifications, or additional use restrictions. Once the applicant has 
demonstrated that a proposed product meets the statutory standards, 
and, if the pesticide is intended to be used on food, a tolerance or 
exemption from the requirement of a tolerance under the Federal Food, 
Drug, and Cosmetic Act can be established, EPA will approve the 
registration, subject to any risk mitigation measures necessary to 
achieve that approval. EPA devotes significant resources to the 
regulation of pesticides to ensure that each pesticide product meets 
the FIFRA requirement that pesticides not cause unreasonable adverse 
effects to the public and the environment.
    When EPA approves a pesticide, the label reflects the risk 
mitigation measures required by the Agency. Since users must comply 
with the directions for use and use restrictions on a product's 
labeling, EPA uses the labeling to establish and convey mandatory 
requirements for how the pesticide must be used to protect people and 
the environment from pesticide exposure. As discussed in Unit III.A., 
above, the labeling for agricultural pesticides requires compliance 
with the WPS, in order that workers, handlers, and their employers have 
a single, uniform set of specific requirements for the protection of 
workers and handlers that complement the product-specific labeling 
requirements.

C. EPA's Pesticide Reregistration and Registration Review Programs

    FIFRA requires EPA to review periodically the registration of 
pesticides currently registered in the U.S. The 1988 FIFRA amendments 
required EPA to establish a pesticide reregistration program. 
Reregistration was a one-time comprehensive review of the human health 
and environmental effects of pesticides first registered before 
November 1, 1984 to make decisions about these pesticides' future use. 
The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 required that EPA establish, 
through rule making, an ongoing ``registration review'' process of all 
pesticides at least every 15 years. The final rule establishing the 
registration review program was signed and published in August 2006. 
The purpose of both re-evaluation programs is to review all pesticides 
registered in the U.S. to ensure that they continue to meet current 
safety standards based on up-to-date scientific approaches and data.
    Pesticides reviewed under the reregistration program that met 
current scientific and safety standards were

[[Page 15452]]

declared ``eligible'' for reregistration. The results of EPA's reviews 
are summarized in Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) documents. 
The last RED was completed in 2008. Often before a pesticide could be 
determined ``eligible,'' certain risk reduction measures had to be put 
in place. For a number of pesticides, measures intended to reduce 
exposure to handlers and workers were needed and are reflected on 
pesticide labeling. To address occupational risk concerns, REDs include 
mitigation measures such as voluntary cancellation; limiting the 
amount, frequency or timing of applications; other application 
restrictions; classification of a product or specific use as a 
``Restricted Use Pesticide'' (RUP); PPE; specific REIs; user safety 
requirements; and improved use directions.
    Rigorous education and enforcement are needed to ensure that these 
mitigation measures are appropriately implemented in the field. The 
framework provided by the WPS is critical for ensuring that the 
improvements brought about by reregistration, including worker risk 
mitigation measures, are realized. The rule changes being proposed in 
this notice are designed to enhance the effectiveness of the existing 
structure.
    In summary, EPA's pesticide reregistration and registration reviews 
assess the specific risks associated with particular chemicals and 
ensure that the public and environment do not suffer unreasonable 
adverse effects from the risks. EPA implements the risk reduction and 
mitigation measures that result from the pesticide reregistration and 
registration review programs through individual pesticide product 
labeling.

D. Existing Worker Protection Standard

    The WPS currently covers pesticide use at establishments engaged in 
the production of agricultural commodities: Farms, forests, nurseries, 
and greenhouses. The WPS does not cover persons working directly with 
livestock. WPS regulations are directed toward the working conditions 
of two types of employees: Workers and handlers.
     Workers perform tasks related to the cultivation and 
harvesting of agricultural products on agricultural establishments. 
Typical tasks include thinning, pruning, and harvesting commodities.
     Handlers mix, load, and apply pesticides, and do other 
activities linked to pesticide application on agricultural 
establishments.
    The WPS defines general protections that cover all workers or 
handlers employed on an establishment that uses a pesticide that 
references the WPS on the label and complements the specific risk 
mitigation measures implemented through individual pesticide product 
labeling. The existing WPS requires agricultural employers to provide 
certain protections to their employees. Agricultural employers are 
required to notify workers of areas treated with pesticides so workers 
may avoid inadvertent exposures. Employers also must provide to all 
workers that may enter a treated area pesticide safety training that 
covers common routes of exposure, how to protect oneself from pesticide 
exposure, information on decontamination, and what to do in an 
emergency. Handlers receive more detailed training on using PPE, 
conducting pesticide application, and following safety principles. A 
central location on the establishment must have a pesticide safety 
poster and information on recent pesticide applications. Handlers and 
workers must be informed of specific requirements on the pesticide 
label related to the WPS.
    The labeling of agricultural pesticides generally specifies REIs (a 
time during which entry into a treated area is strictly limited) for 
areas treated with pesticides. The existing WPS regulation provides 
detailed requirements regarding identifying areas under an REI and 
notifying workers about them, excluding workers and others from the 
treated areas, and the limited circumstances under which early entry 
may occur. The WPS provides detailed information concerning the types 
of PPE necessary for handlers and early-entry workers, if not specified 
on the label, and instruction that employers must provide to workers 
entering under an REI exception. The existing WPS also prohibits 
applicators from applying a pesticide in a way that will expose workers 
or other persons and excludes workers from areas while pesticides are 
being applied. These general requirements serve as a counterpart to the 
product-specific risk reduction measures implemented through the 
pesticide label.
    The WPS also mitigates the risks associated with pesticide exposure 
by requiring agricultural employers to provide workers and handlers 
with water, soap, and towels for routine washing after working in or 
around areas where pesticides have been applied. There are also 
provisions for decontamination in the event of an emergency. The 
employer must provide transportation to a medical care facility for a 
worker or handler who may have been poisoned or injured, and provide 
information to the worker, handler, or medical personnel about the 
pesticide to which the person may have exposed.
    A detailed history of the development of the 1992 WPS and the 
process leading to the proposed rule appears in Unit V.

IV. Overview of EPA's Protection of Pesticide Workers

A. Demographics of Agricultural Workers and Handlers

    The task of protecting workers and handlers from occupational 
exposure to pesticides presents a challenge, given the complexity of 
the science issues involving pesticide use, variability of pesticide 
use patterns, and the diversity of the labor population being served 
and the tasks they perform.
    According to information published by the Department of Labor's 
(DOL) NAWS in 2001-2002, 75% of agricultural workers in the United 
States were born in Mexico and 2% in Central America (Ref. 3 p. 3). A 
majority (81%) of this group speaks Spanish as a native language, but a 
growing percentage speaks languages such as Creole, Mixteco, and 
indigenous languages (Ref. 3 p. 17). Approximately 44% could not speak 
English at all, and 53% could not read any English (Ref. 3 p. 21). Many 
have received minimal formal education; the foreign born workers, on 
average, completed no more than a sixth grade education (Ref. 3 p. 18).
    Approximately 43% of the survey respondents were classified as 
migrant, having traveled at least 75 miles in the previous year to find 
a job in agriculture (Ref. 3 p. 7). Over 20% of respondents lived in 
housing provided by their employer and 58% rented housing from someone 
other than their employer (Ref. 3 p. 43). In general, agricultural 
workers surveyed by NAWS do not use health care facilities. Estimates 
of agricultural workers lacking health insurance range from 77% to 85% 
and estimates from the late 1990s indicate only 20% of those surveyed 
had visited a health care facility in the preceding 2 years (Ref. 5 pp. 
12-13). U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research, based on NAWS 
data, also reports that workers have difficulty entering the health 
care system to receive treatment. Cost was a significant barrier for 
two-thirds of farmworkers, while about a third listed language barriers 
as an impediment to receiving care. The problem is more severe among 
undocumented workers because they fear seeking treatment will lead to 
deportation or other adverse legal action (Ref. 6).
    USDA issued a report indicating that the factors mentioned above 
contribute

[[Page 15453]]

to the disadvantaged status of hired workers in agriculture (Ref. 6). 
Unemployment rates, counting both crop and livestock workers (livestock 
workers are outside the scope of the WPS), are twice that of all salary 
and wage workers. The NAWS found crop workers' average annual income 
was between $10,000 and $12,499, with total family income averaging 
between $15,000 and $17,499 (Ref. 3 p. 47).

B. Incident Data Sources and General Information

    Incident monitoring programs have provided the Agency with a better 
understanding of common types of pesticide exposures and their 
outcomes. In 2007, EPA released a report detailing the coverage of all 
pesticide exposure incident reporting databases considered by the 
Agency (Ref. 7). EPA consults two major databases for information on 
occupational pesticide exposure incidents.
    The first database, the Sentinel Event Notification System for 
Occupational Risk (SENSOR), is maintained by the Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Institute for Occupational Safety 
and Health (NIOSH). SENSOR covers all occupational injuries and has a 
specific component for pesticides (SENSOR-Pesticides). EPA uses SENSOR-
Pesticides to monitor trends in occupational health related to acute 
exposures to pesticides, to identify emerging pesticide problems, and 
to build and maintain state surveillance capacity. SENSOR-Pesticides is 
a state-based surveillance system with eleven state participants. The 
program collects most poisoning incident cases from:
     Department of Labor workers' compensation claims 
when reported by physicians,
     State Departments of Agriculture, and
     Poison control centers.
    A state SENSOR-Pesticides contact specialist follows up with 
workers and obtains medical records to verify symptoms, circumstances 
surrounding the exposure, severity, and outcome. Using a standardized 
protocol and case definitions derived from poison center reporting, 
SENSOR-Pesticides coordinators enter the incident interview description 
provided by the worker, medical report, and physician into the SENSOR 
data system. EPA believes that SENSOR-Pesticides provides the most 
comprehensive information on occupational pesticide exposure, but 
coverage is not nationwide and a majority of the data comes from 
California and Washington State.
    The American Association of Poison Control Centers maintains the 
National Poison Data System (NPDS), formerly the Toxic Effects 
Surveillance System (TESS). NPDS is a computerized information system 
with geographically specific and near real-time reporting. While the 
main mission of Poison Control Centers (PCC) is helping callers respond 
to emergencies, not collecting specific information about incidents, 
NPDS data help identify emerging problems in chemical product safety. 
Hotlines at 61 PCCs nationwide are open 24 hours every day of the year. 
There are many bilingual PCCs in predominantly Spanish speaking areas. 
Hotlines are staffed by toxicology specialists to provide poisoning 
information and clinical care recommendations to callers with a focus 
on triage to give patients appropriate care. Using computer assisted 
data entry, standardized protocols, and strict data entry criteria, 
local callers report incidents that are retained locally and updated in 
summary form to the national database. Since 2000, nearly all calls in 
the system are submitted in a computer-assisted interview format by the 
61 certified PCCs, adhering to clinical criteria designed to provide a 
consistent approach to evaluating and managing pesticide and drug 
related adverse incidents. Information calls are tallied separately and 
not counted as incidents. The NPDS system covers nearly the entire 
United States and its territories, but the system is clinically 
oriented and not designed to collect detailed occupational incident 
data.
    Three studies showing undercounting of poison control data indicate 
the magnitude of the problem. The studies each focus on a specific 
region and compare cases reported to poison control with those 
poisonings for which there are hospital records. In all three cases, 
the studies indicate a substantial underreporting of poisoning 
incidents to poison control, especially related to pesticides (Ref. 8) 
(Ref. 9) (Ref. 10). Underreporting of pesticide incidents is a 
challenge for all available data sources for a number of reasons, as 
discussed below.
    Symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning are often vague and mimic 
other causes, leading to incorrect diagnoses, and chronic effects are 
difficult to identify and track. The demographics of the worker 
population also contribute to underreporting of incidents. Many 
incident reports lack useful information, such as the exact product 
that was the source of the exposure, the amount of pesticide involved, 
or the circumstances of the exposure. There may not be enough 
information to determine if the adverse effects noted were in fact the 
result of pesticide exposure and not another contributing factor. A 
more complete discussion of the underreporting and its effect on 
pesticide incident reporting is located in the Economic Analysis for 
this proposal (Ref. 1).
    The data available do provide a snapshot of the illnesses faced by 
workers and handlers in the field and the likely avenues of exposure. 
Review of these data sources shows that workers and handlers continue 
to face avoidable occupational pesticide exposure. The most common 
types of incidents are related to pesticide drift and unpermitted entry 
into an area under an REI (Ref. 11). Often handler exposure occurs when 
handlers are using PPE and do not wear the PPE properly or the PPE 
malfunctions. Generally, reports on the data note that many of the 
incidents could be prevented with strengthened training for handlers 
and workers and improved notification when an application is occurring 
or a treated area is under an REI (Ref. 11).

C. Other Worker Protection Programs

    EPA's Pesticide Worker Safety Program is comprised of three major 
components: protections for agricultural labor through the WPS (40 CFR 
part 170), described in Unit III.D.; certification of RUP applicators; 
and the National Strategies for Health Care Providers: Pesticides 
Initiative (Health Care Providers Initiative). EPA uses its field 
programs and cooperative agreements to distribute information on the 
risks associated with pesticides, developing technology, and self-
protection to avoid pesticide exposure. All three field programs 
solicit feedback from the regulated and affected communities to EPA 
about the effect of the pesticide labeling and mitigation measures. To 
implement these programs, the Office of Pesticide Programs works with 
an extensive network of partners, including state and tribal pesticide 
regulatory agencies; USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture 
(NIFA) (formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education, and 
Extension Service (CSREES)); university cooperative extension services; 
farmworker groups; and the regulated community. EPA funds collaborative 
field projects and activities through grants with governmental and non-
governmental organizations with the goal of improving the health of 
workers, handlers, applicators, the public, and the environment.
    Under the Certification of Pesticide Applicators rule, 40 CFR 171, 
EPA establishes standards for the

[[Page 15454]]

competency of applicators who use RUPs. The rule requires applicators 
to demonstrate competency to become certified to apply RUPs. Part 171 
also has a section outlining the requirements for states, federal 
agencies, and tribes to administer a program to certify applicators in 
their jurisdictions. All states and several tribes, territories, and 
federal agencies administer their own applicator certification 
programs. EPA provides funding through an interagency agreement with 
USDA to support the training of applicators using RUPs through the 
cooperative extension services in each state.
    The third prong of the Pesticide Worker Safety Program is the 
Health Care Providers Initiative, aimed at improving the training of 
health care providers in the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of 
occupational pesticide poisonings. EPA collaborated in the development 
of a manual for health care providers called ``Recognition and 
Management of Pesticide Poisonings'' (Ref. 12). This resource outlines 
the health effects associated with different classes of pesticides and 
suggests treatments based on the suspected exposure.
    Under this initiative, EPA also works closely with the Migrant 
Clinicians Network, an organization of health care providers serving 
the migrant community, on a project to improve pesticide education and 
awareness and to train health care providers to recognize and treat 
pesticide-related conditions. This project also includes the 
development of relevant resources and tools that health care providers 
can use to deal effectively with pesticide-related health conditions, 
and the distribution of these products through training sessions, the 
Internet, and continuing education opportunities.

D. EPA-OSHA Relationship

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 29 U.S.C. 651 et. seq., 
grants the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
authority to promulgate regulations to mitigate significant risks that 
may occur in the occupational setting. Under its statutory authority, 
OSHA promulgated a Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR 
1910.1200) to protect employees from general chemical hazards in the 
workplace. OSHA also establishes industry, chemical, and process-
specific standards to address workplace hazards that warrant additional 
regulatory measures to ensure employees' occupational safety and 
health.
    Except as limited by section 4(b)(1) of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act, which prohibits OSHA from regulating working conditions or 
hazards where other federal agencies exercise statutory authority to 
prescribe or to enforce standards for occupational safety and health, 
OSHA's HCS covers all industries in which an employee may be exposed to 
a chemical hazard in the workplace. OSHA based the HCS on employees' 
right to know about chemical hazards in the workplace in order to make 
informed decisions about their work practices, to better protect 
themselves, and to reduce their chances of illness or injury from a 
workplace accident. OSHA determined that employees are at a significant 
risk of experiencing adverse health effects in the absence of knowledge 
of workplace hazards. Among other things, the HCS requires employers to 
provide the following protections in the workplace:
     Develop, implement, and maintain a written hazard 
communication program;
     Maintain a written list of all hazardous chemical products 
and substances known to be present;
     Ensure labeling of all chemical containers;
     Provide employees with effective information and training 
on chemical hazards; and
     Maintain a copy of the safety data sheet (SDS, formerly 
known as Material Safety Data sheet, or MSDS) containing the chemical 
and physical hazard information for each hazardous chemical, and ensure 
that SDSs are readily accessible to employees when they are at the 
workplace.
    To address the statutory limitation in section 4(b)(1) and to 
ensure workplace protections of agricultural workers and handlers, OSHA 
and EPA formed a working group to discuss the jurisdictional overlap 
between OSHA's authority over workplace safety and health and EPA's 
mandate to protect those who work with and around pesticides from the 
risks associated with exposure. OSHA and EPA sought to coordinate 
regulations related to workplace safety and health and to ensure that 
they were within the scope of each agency's statutes. EPA and OSHA 
agreed that OSHA's Field Sanitation Standard addresses general sanitary 
standards, while EPA's WPS decontamination requirements are specific to 
pesticide hazards. EPA stated that the intended reach of the WPS was 
limited to occupational safety for pesticides and that OSHA was not 
preempted from regulating any non-pesticide chemical or other workplace 
hazards in agriculture. OSHA established a policy not to cite employers 
covered under the WPS for pesticide-related HCS standards. The policy 
also defers to EPA's regulatory authorities for pesticide labeling and 
use, certification of pesticide applicators, and protection of handlers 
and workers on establishments covered by the WPS (Ref. 13).

V. Sources of Information for Improvement of Worker Protection

A. History of the WPS Regulation

    In 1974, EPA promulgated the first version of the WPS (39 FR 16888; 
May 10, 1974). The regulation provided health protections for workers 
exposed to pesticides from hand labor activities during and after 
applications. The 1974 regulations contained four basic elements:
     A prohibition against spraying workers,
     Specific reentry intervals for 12 pesticides and a general 
reentry interval for all other agricultural pesticides, prohibiting 
entry until sprays had dried or dusts had settled;
     A requirement for protective clothing for any worker who 
had to reenter treated areas before the specific reentry interval had 
expired; and
     A requirement for ``appropriate and timely'' warnings.
    A 1983 review of the WPS concluded that the 1974 regulation did not 
adequately protect workers (49 FR 32605; August 15, 1984). New 
information was becoming available about the use of pesticides and the 
impact on occupational safety and health. OSHA had promulgated 
occupational health standards for workers in non-agricultural 
industries that provided greater protections than those contained in 
the WPS. The OSHA Standards included requirements for notifying workers 
of workplace chemicals to which they are exposed, personal protective 
equipment to mitigate risks of exposure, hygiene facilities, medical 
surveillance, worker training programs, and recordkeeping. EPA 
considered the addition of similar protections to the WPS.
    In addition to the shortcomings of the protections in the 1974 
rule, there were legal issues with respect to the enforcement of the 
protections. EPA realized that the four existing requirements of the 
WPS were not typically included on the pesticide labeling. Without a 
reference to the regulation on the labeling, the requirements were not 
legally enforceable. Moreover, the regulation itself did not clearly 
assign responsibility for compliance with the requirements; for 
example, workers were prohibited from entering treated areas, but 
nobody was charged with

[[Page 15455]]

communicating the prohibition to the workers or ensuring that they did 
not enter.
    The Agency also wanted to expand the scope of the regulation to 
cover sites that had been exempted but were similar to farms, i.e., 
forests, nurseries, and greenhouses, and to add another group of people 
facing occupational pesticide exposure in agriculture--handlers who 
mix, load, or apply pesticides. Handlers' occupational exposure profile 
is distinct from that of workers protected by the initial WPS. When 
mixing, handlers may face exposure while pouring the concentrated 
pesticide or stirring the diluted mix. Loaders and applicators handle 
many gallons of the diluted pesticide and may experience exposure while 
transferring the pesticide mixture into the application equipment or 
making the application. The Agency believed that expanding the WPS to 
include the additional sites and adding specific protections for 
handlers was necessary.
    In 1984, the Agency published an Advance Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (49 FR 32605; August 15, 1984), announcing its intention to 
revise the 1974 rule for the reasons outlined above and soliciting 
public comment. EPA also initiated a process of regulatory negotiation 
with parties interested in or affected by the WPS. Stakeholders with 
competing interests worked to resolve issues through collaboration and 
compromise. EPA convened a Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) 
workgroup, ``The Advisory Committee on WPS for Agricultural 
Pesticides,'' that had members representing a spectrum of stakeholder 
perspectives from 25 entities. Certain labor representatives 
discontinued their participation early in the process. As a result, the 
full committee did not participate in decision making; therefore, a 
consensus on proposed changes to the regulation could not be reached.
    The public comments helped the Agency refine the areas for proposed 
change. In 1988, EPA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) 
(53 FR 25970; July 8, 1988) that proposed significant changes to the 
then existing WPS, including the following:
     Expansion of the scope of establishments covered;
     Revision of reentry intervals to correlate with risks 
posed by each pesticide;
     Revision to the PPE requirements;
     Improvement to worker notification provisions; and
     Strengthening compliance with the regulation by 
designating specific responsibilities of agricultural employers.
    Following the publication of the NPRM, EPA held public meetings 
across the country, primarily in major agricultural areas, to explain 
the proposed rule and to respond to questions. EPA received 380 written 
comments from the public on the proposed rule.
    After review and careful analysis of the public comments, the 
Agency promulgated the final rule, revising the WPS and adding Subpart 
K (Labeling Requirements for Pesticides and Devices) to 40 CFR part 156 
in August 1992 (57 FR 38101; August 21, 1992). Shortly after 
publication of the final rule, agricultural groups raised concerns 
related to the availability of materials necessary to implement the 
rule and insufficient numbers of qualified trainers. Based on these 
concerns, Congress enacted legislation delaying implementation of the 
final rule. In response to the concerns raised, EPA worked with 
stakeholders to develop training materials that were tested with focus 
groups to ensure that they were appropriate for the language and 
literacy level of the target training audiences. In response to 
identified training needs, EPA has developed training materials in many 
languages, including Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Tagalog, Haitian 
Creole, Hmong, Ilocano, Khmer, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, and 
Vietnamese. EPA's revisions to the WPS were fully implemented in 1995. 
The expanded regulation provided protections for agricultural workers 
from pesticide exposure on farms and in forests, nurseries, and 
greenhouses; included agricultural handlers; and held agricultural 
employers and pesticide applicators responsible for complying with 
specific portions of the regulation.
    Since promulgating the WPS in 1992, EPA has made several minor 
amendments. In 1995, EPA published a series of Federal Register 
notices: (1) Reducing the grace period for agricultural employers to 
provide pesticide safety training to workers from 15 days to 5 days (60 
FR 21943; May 3, 1995), (2) establishing a 5-year retraining interval 
for workers and handlers (60 FR 21943; May 3, 1995), (3) exempting 
certain persons performing crop advisor tasks from WPS provisions 
except for pesticide safety training, (60 FR 21948; May 1995), and (4) 
creating exceptions to the WPS to allow workers to enter pesticide-
treated areas during an REI under specified conditions to perform 
irrigation tasks (60 FR 21960; May 3, 1995) and tasks that involve 
limited contact with pesticide-treated surfaces (60 FR 21955; May 3, 
1995).
    In 1996, EPA amended the regulation to: (1) Reduce the number of 
days employers must provide to workers decontamination supplies (soap, 
water, paper towels) after application of pesticides that are low risk 
and have REIs of four hours or less (61 FR 33207; June 26, 1996), (2) 
allow substitution of the language commonly spoken and read by workers 
for the Spanish portion of the warning sign (61 FR 33202; June 26, 
1996), and (3) allow the use of smaller signs in nurseries and 
greenhouses (61 FR 33202; June 26, 1996).
    Lastly, in 2004, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register 
revising the WPS glove requirements. This notice allowed all early-
entry workers and handlers to wear disposable glove liners under 
chemical-resistant gloves and eliminated the requirement for aerial 
applicators to wear chemical-resistant gloves when entering and exiting 
aircraft that have been used to apply pesticides unless required by the 
labeling (69 FR 53341; September 1, 2004).
    During the course of the states' implementation of the 1992 WPS 
regulation, regulatory partners, the regulated community, and other 
stakeholders raised numerous policy and enforcement questions. EPA 
addressed most of these questions through reference to the official 
rule text or the Agency's responses to public comments on the proposed 
rule. Some questions, however, raised interpretive issues that required 
the Agency to develop and issue interim guidance. EPA coordinated the 
development of guidance through an interpretive guidance workgroup 
(IGW) using a collaborative process that included all relevant and 
affected EPA offices, and state regulatory partners from the Florida 
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the New Mexico 
Department of Agriculture. The State FIFRA Issues Research and 
Evaluation Group nominated the state participants on the IGW.
    The IGW addressed the questions raised by stakeholders. The final 
IGW guidance clarified definitions for terms used in the rule, the 
scope of the WPS exceptions, and the intended scope and/or limits of 
provisions. The final IGW guidance has been compiled into a document 
available to the public (Ref. 14).
    Although the IGW document provided answers to many of the issues 
raised by stakeholders to EPA, it is only guidance. Therefore, the IGW 
document is not legally binding on EPA, workers, handlers, agricultural 
establishments, and others. EPA proposes to codify

[[Page 15456]]

certain of the elements in the IGW guidance document, as discussed in 
Units VII through XVIII.
    At the same time EPA published the 1992 WPS, the Agency also 
published an NPRM on a Hazard Communication/Right-to-Know program for 
agricultural workers (57 FR 38167; August 21, 1992). This NPRM 
responded to comments received in response to the 1992 proposed rule 
noting that protections for agricultural workers could not be 
considered complete until workers were provided with specific hazard 
information. Many comments called for EPA to adopt requirements 
parallel to those imposed by OSHA rules. In the 1992 proposed rule, EPA 
proposed options for providing written information about the specific 
hazards posed by pesticides in the workplace, for alleviating confusion 
about possible conflict and duplication between EPA and OSHA regulation 
of occupational safety and health in pesticides, and for supporting 
states in developing their own hazard communication programs. EPA never 
promulgated a rule finalizing a Hazard Communication/Right-to-Know 
program for agricultural workers because Agency resources were diverted 
to develop training and compliance assistance materials to implement 
the WPS as mandated by Congress. The Agency also wanted to solicit more 
stakeholder feedback about states' experiences implementing different 
approaches to hazard communication before moving forward with a final 
regulation.

B. Stakeholder Engagement

    Over the last 20 years, the Agency has repeatedly engaged the 
public and particularly affected stakeholders in the assessment of the 
1992 WPS and its implementation. This stakeholder engagement process 
has provided EPA with a deep appreciation of the complex challenges 
facing federal, state and tribal authorities, agricultural employers, 
and workers and handlers in the ongoing effort to ensure pesticide use 
is safe.
    Immediately following full implementation of the 1992 WPS, EPA 
began the Pesticide Dialogue Process. From 1996 to 2000, EPA held 
public meetings across the country for open dialogue on rule 
implementation, challenges in compliance, and perceived effectiveness. 
The meetings were open to the general public.
    The Agency initiated the National Assessment of EPA's Pesticide 
Worker Safety Program (National Assessment) in 2000. Through this 
process, EPA convened stakeholder meetings in Texas, California, and 
Florida. Participants included representatives from farmworker 
organizations, cooperative extension services, commodity organizations, 
state regulatory agencies, federal agencies, pesticide manufacturers 
and distributors, and individual workers, handlers, and growers. 
Stakeholders provided information about the strengths and weaknesses of 
the WPS's protections and implementation. EPA established three 
workgroups: general training (Ref. 15), train-the-trainer (Ref. 16), 
and hazard communication. Each of the workgroups met apart from the 
public meetings to assess specific aspects of the WPS and to recommend 
improvements. EPA held a final meeting in Washington, DC at which the 
workgroups presented their findings to EPA.
    The assessment concluded in 2005 with the presentation of the 
``Report on the National Assessment of EPA's Pesticide Worker Safety 
Program'' (Ref. 17). The opinions and suggestions made during the 
course of the assessment centered on a few broad improvement areas: the 
expansion and upgrade of applicator competency and worker safety and 
promotion of safer work practices, improved training of and 
communication with all pesticide workers, increased enforcement efforts 
and improved training of inspectors, training of health care providers 
and monitoring of pesticide incidents, and finally, program operation, 
efficiency, and funding (Ref. 17 p. 1). While EPA addressed some of the 
recommendations through grants, program guidance, and other outreach, 
others required regulatory change (Ref. 17 p. 26).
    During the initial stages of the framing of this proposal, EPA's 
Federal Advisory Committee, the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee 
(PPDC), formed a workgroup in 2006 to provide feedback to EPA on 
different areas for change. The workgroup had over 70 members 
representing a wide range of stakeholders. EPA shared with the 
workgroup suggestions for regulatory change identified through the 
National Assessment and solicited comments. The workgroup convened for 
a series of meetings and conference calls to get more information on 
specific parts of the regulation and provided its thoughts to the 
Agency. The workgroup never reached consensus; it focused on evaluating 
possible changes under consideration by EPA providing feedback from 
each member's or organization's perspective. Comments from the PPDC 
workgroup members have been compiled into a single document and posted 
in the docket.
    EPA convened a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel on 
potential revisions to the WPS in 2008. The SBAR Panel was convened 
under section 609(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act as amended by 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act (SBREFA). As 
part of the SBAR Panel's activities, EPA consulted with a group of 
Small Entity Representatives (SERs) from small businesses and 
organizations that could be affected by the potential revisions. EPA 
provided the SERs with information on the WPS and potential revisions 
and requested feedback on the proposals under consideration. EPA asked 
the SERs to offer alternate solutions to the potential proposals 
presented to provide flexibility or to decrease economic impact for 
small entities while still accomplishing the goal of improved safety.
    The SERs provided feedback on the following areas: Requiring all 
treated areas to be posted, requiring pesticide safety training more 
frequently than every 5 years, eliminating the grace period between 
hiring a worker and providing pesticide safety training, and requiring 
showers on establishments that employ handlers. EPA compiled the 
responses from the SERs in an Appendix to the final Panel Report and 
posted the full report and appendix in the docket (Ref. 18). EPA 
considered the input from the SERs as part of the evaluation of 
available options for this rulemaking, and where appropriate, feedback 
from the SERs is discussed in various descriptions of proposed changes 
in this preamble.
    In addition to formal stakeholder outreach, EPA met with numerous 
individual stakeholders when requested to discuss concerns and 
suggestions in detail. Stakeholders included farmworker organizations 
(Farmworker Justice, Migrant Clinicians Network, and El Comit[eacute] 
de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agr[iacute]colas [Farmworker Support 
Committee]); the National Association of State Departments of 
Agriculture (NASDA); the Association of American Pesticide Control 
Officials (AAPCO); Crop Life America (CLA); and others.

C. GAO Audits

    In 1992, prior to the promulgation of the amended WPS, the General 
Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office; GAO) 
published ``Hired Farmworkers: Health and Well-Being at Risk'' (Ref. 
19). The report discussed a number of services, such as social 
security, housing, field sanitation, job training and employment 
programs, children's education, and other issues that the government 
would need to

[[Page 15457]]

address to provide better conditions for farmworkers.
    The 1992 report noted that at that time, EPA lacked an 
understanding of the health risks for many older pesticides, placing 
workers at risk from potentially unsafe exposure. The report also noted 
that the 1974 rule requirement to limit worker entry into treated areas 
was difficult for workers to follow. It prohibited reentry until 
``sprays have dried or dusts have settled,'' language that involved 
subjective judgments. The 1992 amendments to the WPS partially 
addressed these issues by requiring interim protective intervals for 
worker entry into treated areas based on the acute toxicity of the 
product. Since that time, EPA's reregistration program, through which 
EPA reviewed and assessed older pesticides to ensure they continue to 
meet the FIFRA regulatory standard, has been completed. See Unit III.C. 
Through that process, chemical-specific protective reentry intervals 
have replaced the interim intervals.
    In 2000, GAO issued another report, ``Pesticides: Improvements 
Needed to Ensure the Safety of Farmworkers and Their Children,'' (Ref. 
20). In this report, GAO focused more specifically on the potential 
risks to children of entering a pesticide-treated area. It noted that 
children under 12 years old may have a higher risk of adverse effects 
related to pesticide exposure and should be protected adequately. It 
also cited EPA data on WPS enforcement, noting the lack of consistency 
and involvement by EPA in monitoring the inspections and the need to 
have target numbers of inspections. The report recommended that EPA 
``mitigate the potential adverse effects of pesticide exposure on 
children below the age of 12 who work in agriculture or are otherwise 
present in pesticide-treated fields'' (Ref. 20 p. 24). It also 
suggested that EPA improve oversight of state-level WPS enforcement and 
set standard guidance for inspections.

D. Environmental Justice

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629; February 16, 1994) established 
federal executive policy on environmental justice. It directs federal 
agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to 
make environmental justice part of their missions by identifying and 
addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on 
minority and low-income populations in the United States. The Executive 
Order establishes four areas for action:
     Promote enforcement of all health and environmental 
statutes in areas with minority populations and low-income populations;
     Ensure greater public participation;
     Improve research and data collection relating to the 
health and environment of minority populations and low-income 
populations; and
     Identify differential patterns of consumption of natural 
resources among minority populations and low-income populations. In 
addition, the environmental justice strategy shall include, where 
appropriate, a timetable for undertaking identified revisions and 
consideration of economic and social implications of the revisions.
    EPA's goal is to promote environmental justice for all communities 
and persons across the United States, regardless of race, color, 
national origin, or income. Ensuring environmental justice means not 
only protecting health and the environment for everyone, but also 
ensuring that all people are treated fairly and are given the 
opportunity to participate fully in the development, implementation, 
and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. 
Consistent with the Executive Order, the Agency's environmental justice 
policies promote environmental protection by focusing EPA's attention 
and efforts on addressing environmental risks among minority 
populations.
    As discussed above in Unit IV.A., most workers and handlers 
intended to be protected by the WPS face significant disadvantages. 
Most agricultural workers and handlers belong to minority groups. 
Agricultural workers tend to have low literacy in any language and very 
limited skills in English. Very often workers do not have permanent 
housing and generally reside close to agricultural areas where 
pesticides are applied. Many workers and handlers are not residents or 
legal aliens in the United States. The low literacy rates, range of 
non-English languages spoken by workers and handlers, economic 
situation, geographic isolation, difficulty accessing health care, and 
immigration status of workers and handlers pose challenges for 
communicating risk management information and ensuring that these 
groups are adequately protected.
    Occupational tasks performed by workers and handlers create a 
significant risk of pesticide exposure, which is increased by the 
communication barriers discussed above. In addition to potential 
exposure through work duties, studies show that workers and handlers 
face a greater risk of exposure to pesticide drift from neighboring 
areas than does the general population (Ref. 21). Pesticide exposure 
can also come through residues transferred by workers and handlers on 
their clothing and body from the treated areas to their cars and homes, 
and from the proximity of the housing to agricultural areas treated 
with pesticides (Ref. 21) (Ref. 22) (Ref. 23) (Ref. 24). Finally, 
pesticide exposure may occur from the consumption of treated foods in 
the treated area or washing hands in pesticide contaminated water (Ref. 
25) (Ref. 26) (Ref. 27 p. 25).
    Throughout the development of this proposed rule, the Agency has 
continued to use research on the demographic characteristics, work 
habits, and culture of the worker and handler populations to revise the 
WPS to ensure it provides effective protection. Information for the 
assessment and development of the rule was gathered through field 
research and interaction with workers, handlers, worker and handler 
representatives, and stakeholders. EPA extensively engaged farmworker 
representatives, and when possible, worked directly with workers and 
handlers, to solicit their feedback on the current regulation and ideas 
for improvement.
    With this stakeholder input, the Agency identified areas where the 
existing WPS does not provide an appropriate level of protection and 
evaluated the potential impact of various options for strengthening the 
WPS for the worker and handler populations. That analysis identified 
areas for improvement to the rule, such as expanding training to 
provide information on how to minimize worker and handler exposure and 
that of their families from pesticide residues carried from the treated 
area to the home. The Agency's efforts to address environmental justice 
through this rulemaking were reviewed repeatedly during the development 
of the rule and its supporting documents. EPA believes that the 
proposed changes would improve the health of workers and handlers by, 
for example, increasing the frequency of training, enhancing training 
content to include ways to minimize pesticide exposure to children and 
in the home, adding posting of treated areas near worker and handler 
housing to prevent accidental entry, and establishing a minimum age for 
pesticide handlers and early-entry workers.

E. Children's Protection

    An Executive Order issued in 1997 (62 FR 19885; April 23, 1997) and 
modified in 2003 (68 FR 19931; April

[[Page 15458]]

23, 2003) requires federal agencies to identify and assess 
environmental health risks that may disproportionately affect children. 
In response to this mandate, EPA established the Children's Health 
Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC) to advise and make 
recommendations to EPA on issues related to children's environmental 
health. The CHPAC recommended that EPA ``re-evaluate the worker 
protection standard in order to determine whether it adequately 
protects children's health'' (Ref. 28). In a Federal Register Notice 
issued on February 3, 1999, EPA committed to conducting an assessment 
of the implementation and enforcement of the WPS (64 FR 5277; February 
3, 1999).
    Children face risks from exposure to agricultural pesticides mainly 
through work in pesticide-treated areas. A 2003 study by Calvert, et 
al. identified 531 children under 18 years old with acute occupational 
pesticide-related illnesses over a ten-year period (Ref. 29). The same 
study raised concerns for chronic impacts: ``because [the] acute 
illnesses affect young people at a time before they have reached full 
developmental maturation, there is also concern about unique and 
persistent chronic effects'' (Ref. 29).
    Although no conclusive data exist, studies have been conducted to 
evaluate whether children of agricultural workers and handlers may face 
elevated potential for exposure from pesticide residues brought to the 
home by their parents (Ref. 30) (Ref. 31). Studies have also been 
conducted to evaluate whether this exposure scenario may have 
contributed to negative health or developmental effects (Ref. 32). 
Higher concentrations of pesticide residues combined with the 
susceptibility of children to the effects of pesticide exposure may 
increase the likelihood that children will be adversely impacted. EPA 
recognizes the need for more conclusive data on exposure to children 
from pesticide residues brought into the home by agricultural workers. 
However, given EPA's commitment to protecting children and to the 
principles of environmental justice, EPA believes the cost of adding a 
few minutes to pesticide safety training is reasonable when compared to 
the benefit of reducing the potential risk.
    The FLSA's child labor provisions, which are administered by the 
Department of Labor, permit children to work at younger ages in 
agricultural employment than in non-agricultural employment. Persons 12 
and 13 years old may work in agriculture outside of school hours in 
nonhazardous jobs if they are either working on the same farm as a 
parent or person standing in the place of a parent, or working with 
parental permission. 29 U.S.C. 213(c)(1)(B). Children under 16 years 
old are prohibited from doing hazardous tasks, including handling or 
applying pesticides that are classified as toxicity category I or II 
but can apply pesticides that are classified with a lower acute 
toxicity. (29 CFR 570.71(a)(9))
    In summary, children working in agriculture and children of 
agricultural workers and handlers may be at a higher risk of pesticide 
exposure and illness; EPA believes these potential risks warrant 
careful consideration in light of the provisions of the Executive Order 
on children's health (EO 13296). EPA believes that the proposed changes 
could protect children from many of the risks they may face.

F. Regulatory Review

    In 2005, EPA reviewed the WPS pursuant to section 610 of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 610). The purpose of the review 
was to determine whether the rule should be continued without change, 
amended, or rescinded to minimize economic impacts on small entities 
while still complying with the provisions of FIFRA. EPA solicited 
comment on the continued need for the WPS; the complexity of the WPS; 
the extent to which it overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other 
federal, state, or local government rules; and the degree to which 
technology, economic conditions or other relevant factors have changed 
since the WPS was promulgated. See EPA Docket ID number OPP-2003-0115 
at www.regulations.gov. The Agency received no comment on the action 
and concluded that the rule needs no revisions to minimize impacts on 
small entities while still complying with FIFRA.
    While EPA found that no changes were necessary to minimize the 
impacts on small entities, EPA believes that the WPS should be updated 
for the reasons discussed in the previous sections. Through the 
assessment process, EPA reviewed the 1992 WPS to determine whether the 
requirements were effective, sufficiently protective, and unduly 
burdensome on employers. As discussed in Unit V.B., EPA engaged in a 
substantial stakeholder engagement process, apart from the 2005 review 
mentioned in the previous paragraph, to review the effectiveness of the 
current regulatory requirements, to identify gaps in protection, and to 
determine flexible approaches to compliance for the regulated 
community. EPA engaged with small business representatives to explore 
flexible options for compliance. EPA believes the proposed changes 
reflect the current understanding of the risks faced by workers and 
handlers, thereby substantially improving the protections afforded to 
workers and handlers under the WPS and decreasing the overall burden 
associated with compliance for employers.

VI. Overview of Proposed Revisions to Part 170

    Earlier Units of this preamble describe the various ways that 
workers, handlers, and their families can be exposed to pesticides. The 
stakeholder engagement described in Unit V.B. resulted in many 
recommendations for EPA to revise the regulation. Through the SBAR 
panel, SERs raised the need for EPA to be mindful of the burden the WPS 
imposes on small business and to reduce it wherever possible (Ref. 18).
    As discussed earlier in this document, EPA has imposed requirements 
on the use of pesticides with the intent of averting unreasonable 
adverse effects to human health and the environment. These requirements 
include the WPS and pesticide-specific use restrictions found on 
product labeling. In spite of these protections, worker and handler 
illnesses resulting from pesticide exposure are documented, and the 
Agency believes they are underreported. Peer-reviewed studies, based on 
pesticide illness reporting and surveillance initiatives show evidence 
of illnesses to workers and handlers. For example, one study finds that 
acute pesticide poisoning incidents in the agriculture industry 
``continues to be an important problem'' (Ref. 11). This study examined 
pesticide poisoning incidents among agricultural workers from 1998-
2005, and analyzed 3,271 cases. Illness rates varied by category, but 
across agricultural worker categories, risks of poisoning were an order 
of magnitude higher than for almost all non-agricultural workers, which 
include farmers, processing/packing plant workers, and other 
miscellaneous agricultural workers. A study conducted by Das, et al., 
identified 486 pesticide illness cases among California farmworkers for 
1998-1999, based on a surveillance program with mandatory reporting by 
physicians. The study found that about half of all acute pesticide-
related illness cases in the California surveillance system affected 
agricultural workers (Ref. 33). Over a quarter of the poisonings were 
to those mixing, loading or applying pesticides. The most common 
symptoms were dermatological (about 44%),

[[Page 15459]]

neurological (about 39%), and gastrointestinal (about 38%), and the 
most common route of exposure was skin contact, followed by inhalation 
and eye contact.
    A 2008 report indicates that from 1998 to 2005 the major causes of 
occupational pesticide exposure were off-target drift, early reentry 
into a treated area, and pesticide use in conflict with the labeling 
(Ref. 11). Studies have been conducted to evaluate whether worker and 
handler families are exposed to pesticides because workers and handlers 
bring pesticide residues home on their body, shoes, and clothing (Ref. 
23) (Ref. 24) (Ref. 34). These studies recommend that workers and 
handlers receive more specific information on how to protect their 
families and avoid exposure in the workplace (Ref. 23) (Ref. 24) (Ref. 
34).
    EPA believes the proposed changes address the specific avenues of 
occupational exposure and recognize the specific needs of the worker 
and handler population. Units VII. to XX. describe the proposed changes 
and alternative options considered by EPA. The presentation is 
generally structured to provide, where appropriate:
     A concise statement of the proposed change;
     The current WPS requirements;
     Stakeholder feedback and research supporting the proposed 
change;
     A detailed description of the proposed change and the 
rationale for the change;
     An estimated cost;
     A description of significant alternatives considered by 
EPA and the reasons for not proposing them; and
     Specific questions on which the Agency seeks feedback.
    For purposes of discussion, EPA groups the proposed changes and 
considered alternatives as follows:
     Unit VII: Changes to the training for workers and 
handlers, including new recordkeeping requirements, multiple changes to 
the content of the training, and trainer qualifications.
     Unit VIII: Changes to the worker and handler notifications 
including posted and oral notifications and revisions to the warning 
sign content.
     Unit IX: Hazard communication materials.
     Unit X: Information that handlers and agricultural 
employers must exchange.
     Unit XI: Handler restrictions including minimum age 
requirements for handlers.
     Unit XII: Expansion of entry-restricted areas, minimum age 
requirements for workers entering a treated area under an REI, and 
clarification of the REI exceptions.
     Unit XIII: Pesticide safety information display, including 
location and content required.
     Unit XIV: Decontamination requirements for handlers and 
early entry workers.
     Unit XV: Emergency assistance.
     Unit XVI: Personal protective equipment, including the use 
of closed systems.
     Unit XVII: Monitoring handler exposure to cholinesterase-
inhibiting pesticides.
     Unit XVIII: Exemptions for immediate family and crop 
advisors and exception to requirement for workers to be fully trained 
before entering a pesticide-treated area.
     Unit XIX: General revisions to the WPS.
     Unit XX: Implementation.

VII. Training for Workers and Handlers

    The current WPS allows employers to utilize a ``grace period'' to 
provide workers with basic training before entering the treated area 
and before the 6th day that workers begin working in an area covered by 
the WPS to provide the full pesticide safety training discussed below. 
This provision is considered an exception to the training requirements; 
therefore, the current ``grace period'' and proposed amendments are 
discussed in Unit XVIII.C.

A. Shorten Retraining Interval for Workers and Handlers

    1. Overview. The WPS currently requires employers to ensure that 
workers and handlers are trained once every five years. EPA proposes to 
establish an annual retraining interval for workers and handlers in 
order to improve the ability of workers and handlers to protect 
themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires agricultural and 
handler employers to ensure that handlers and workers receive pesticide 
safety training once every five years (40 CFR 170.130(a) and 
170.230(a)). This retraining time period was initially implemented to 
minimize burden on employers when pesticide safety training was first 
introduced, due to the limited number of trainers available at the 
time. Worker and handler trainings, as discussed in Unit VII.E., 
provide information on protecting oneself and family from pesticide 
exposure, recognizing and avoiding dangers in the workplace, and steps 
to take in the event of pesticide exposure.
    3. Summary of the issues. Many stakeholders have commented that a 
5-year retraining interval is too long for workers and handlers to 
retain the safety information (Ref. 17) (Ref. 28) (Ref. 35) (Ref. 15) 
(Ref. 36) (Ref. 37). Through the National Assessment, letters to the 
Agency, and feedback from PPDC on proposed options, various 
stakeholders have recommended shortening the current interval in order 
to improve workers' and handlers' understanding and recall of the 
material covered. The General Training Issues Workgroup, with 
representatives from across the agricultural community, recommended 
shortening the retraining interval for workers and for the Agency to 
base the standard on retraining intervals for other similar professions 
(Ref. 16).
    Research has indicated the importance of repetition in an 
individual's retention of information (Ref. 38). Stakeholders, 
particularly pesticide safety educators, have noted that ``repeating 
basic safety messages increases adoption of improved safety 
practices.'' (Ref. 39) Providing training more frequently than the 
current requirement of every five years may be especially beneficial 
for workers and handlers with limited knowledge of English or another 
widely used language, e.g., Spanish, or who have recently started 
working in an agricultural job, who may need additional review to fully 
understand the material. Worker advocacy groups and educators have 
repeatedly noted that more frequent training is important for the 
worker community.
    Additionally, a 2007 report for the EPA by JBS International titled 
``Hazard Communications for Agricultural Workers'' reported that 
workers who were interviewed wanted more frequent training on pesticide 
safety (Ref. 40). Workers requested training to occur at least once a 
year.
    The DOL's NAWS provides information on the nature of worker 
employment and turn-over rate. The most recent report available notes 
that ``[i]n 2001-2002, crop workers, including foreign-born newcomers, 
had been employed with their current farm employer an average of four 
and a half years. Thirty-five percent had been working for their 
current employer for one year or less, and 12 percent had been employed 
at their current farm job for ten or more years (Ref. 3).
    Agricultural employers that provided information to EPA during the 
SBAR panel process on the WPS stated that they already provide annual 
pesticide training, since verification of previous training can be 
difficult to achieve and the employers want to ensure they comply with 
the WPS to avoid liability. EPA has heard similar statements in

[[Page 15460]]

discussions with farmers in other venues, but recognizes that all 
employers may not provide annual training. The Panel recommendations 
recognized the value of retraining, and specifically its ability to 
emphasize and remind the worker of important safety principles (Ref. 
18). State and federal enforcement agents have also noted the 
difficulty in determining if a worker or handler has been trained, when 
relying on his recall of the training material over a long time period, 
e.g., 5 years.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to 
establish an annual retraining interval for workers and handlers. 
Accordingly, this would reduce the maximum time between trainings for 
workers and handlers from 5 years to 1 year.
    EPA believes that more frequent repetition of the protective 
principles outlined in the pesticide safety training is particularly 
important given the demographics of the worker population. As data 
cited earlier show, workers generally have low literacy and limited 
understanding of English. Therefore, it is important for workers and 
handlers to receive the information in a manner they understand and 
with sufficient frequency to ensure they retain the information.
    Research shows that adults remember only about 10% of what they 
hear and 50% of information that they see and hear (Ref. 41). EPA 
expects the more frequent review of pesticide safety information, in 
combination with the proposal for expanded display of pesticide safety 
information at decontamination sites [see Unit XIII.A.], would improve 
retention of safety principles and hygiene practices critical to self-
protection, reinforce the importance of protecting families from 
pesticide exposure, encourage handlers' adherence to label 
requirements, and remind workers and handlers of the obligations of 
their employers under the rule.
    This proposed rule reflects previously established training 
requirements for similar occupational hazards. Federal agencies already 
require annual training when hazardous substances may be encountered in 
the workplace in many other industries. OSHA regulations require 
employers to provide annual training to protect employees from chemical 
hazards in the workplace including lead (29 CFR 1962.62(l)(1)), 
asbestos (1926.1101(k)(9)), and cadmium (29 CFR 1926.1127(m)(4)). Under 
the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA requires 
personnel at hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal 
facilities to have annual training as well (40 CFR parts 264 and 265). 
The risks from pesticide exposure through agricultural work are similar 
to the threats posed by hazardous chemicals in other industries, and 
the Agency believes training requirements to protect agricultural 
workers and handlers should be comparable to those required by OSHA. In 
addition, agricultural and handler employers may already be required to 
keep records of annual training required by other regulations, such as 
those listed above. EPA believes that agricultural and handler 
employers would track an annual requirement for WPS training along with 
required OSHA trainings and employment records, such as those required 
by the Department of Labor.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning shorter retraining 
intervals for workers and handlers appears in Sec. Sec.  170.101(a) and 
170.201(a), respectively, of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of the requiring 
employers to provide pesticide safety to training workers annually 
would be $8.7 million per year. Training its workers would cost each 
agricultural establishment about $22 per year. EPA estimates the cost 
to employers to provide pesticide safety training to handlers annually 
would be $3.5 million per year. The average cost of training handlers 
would be about $17 per year for agricultural establishments and $66 per 
year for commercial pesticide handling establishments. For a complete 
discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the 
``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    While EPA can estimate the costs of this proposed change, 
quantifying the benefits is more difficult. Nonetheless, based on the 
information and expert views described in this section, it is 
reasonable to expect that more frequent training would lead to better 
retention of information by workers and handlers, ultimately resulting 
in fewer incidents of pesticide exposure and illness in workers and 
handlers, reduced take-home exposure, and better protection of 
children. The Agency concludes that the estimated costs are reasonable 
when compared to the anticipated benefits resulting from the additional 
training.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. The Agency 
considered three alternative approaches to the retraining interval for 
workers and handlers. The first alternative was recommended by the SBAR 
panel, based on a comment from one of the SERs. This option would 
require annual retraining and offer small establishments, those with 
fewer than 10 employees, the option to provide training less frequently 
for workers (Ref. 18). A small establishment requesting flexibility 
would be required to maintain documentation to show that (1) no 
additional workers were hired within the retraining interval, (2) no 
new or different pesticide applications were made from the previous 
year, and (3) they provided training for the specific workers on the 
establishment previously. If the establishment added any new employees, 
it would not be eligible to provide less frequent training. The 
estimated cost for this option would be about $7.5 million annually, or 
$60 for large agricultural establishments and $12 for small 
agricultural establishments. The Agency agrees that this option could 
reduce the burden on small entities of providing annual training, but 
it would also reduce the benefit workers would receive from annual 
retraining. Moreover, EPA notes that implementation of such an 
exception would increase recordkeeping burdens on all small 
establishments that would offset, to some degree, the savings for some 
establishments from not having to provide training. The additional 
recordkeeping costs were not quantified. Under this exception, those 
small entities that added a new employee or applied a different 
pesticide during the year would actually have higher costs, even though 
the overall burden on small entities might be somewhat smaller. Based 
on the marginal cost reduction, increased recordkeeping burden, and 
potential risk to workers who would not receive training annually, the 
Agency thinks that requiring all establishments to provide annual 
training is more appropriate.
    EPA also considered a 2-year retraining interval for all 
establishments. EPA estimates that biennial training for workers would 
cost about $3.2 million per year, or about $8 per agricultural 
establishment per year. Biennial training for handlers would cost about 
$1.6 million per year, or $8 per agricultural establishment and $27 per 
commercial pesticide handling establishment per year. While biennial 
training would provide more protection to workers and handlers than the 
current 5-year retraining interval, EPA believes the longer timeframe 
would not improve retention to the extent expected from annual 
training. Employers are already required to provide and track OSHA 
trainings and to maintain employment records, such as those required by 
the Department of Labor, on an annual basis; requiring pesticide safety 
training every 2 years could

[[Page 15461]]

increase the burden on agricultural and handler employers to track the 
WPS training on a different schedule. Representatives on the SBAR panel 
indicated that many employers already provide training on an annual 
basis as part of their hiring process (Ref. 42 p. 2). EPA believes that 
even with a biennial training requirement, many employers would 
continue to provide training annually. Therefore, the burden on 
employers would not be significantly reduced by a biennial training 
requirement. EPA believes the costs of more frequent annual training 
are reasonable when compared to the anticipated benefits, particularly 
when combined with the stakeholder reports that annual training is 
already provided in many cases.
    Finally, EPA considered requiring a written test to gauge the 
workers' or handlers' knowledge about the topics covered in training to 
ensure that they have the information needed for self-protection. The 
Agency, however, was dissuaded from this alternative due to concerns 
for the ability of workers and handlers to successfully complete an 
exam, even when they have been adequately trained, on account of 
literacy and language challenges among workers and handlers. Some 
stakeholders have indicated that noncertified applicators, who have 
similar demographic profiles to workers and handlers, may find it 
difficult to pass a written examination due to literacy and language 
barriers; the Agency believes workers and handlers may have similar 
difficulty (Ref. 36) (Ref. 37). Concerns exist for the perceived burden 
on employers for providing the time for needed training and exam-
taking, and for the potential reduction in workforce when workers or 
handlers cannot pass the exam, despite being aware of the training 
content (Ref. 36) (Ref. 37). While testing might be a useful approach 
in some situations, the Agency believes that in this context a testing 
requirement is less likely than annual retraining to produce the 
desired improvements in workers' and handlers' understanding of 
pesticide safety. Therefore, EPA is not proposing testing as an 
alternative to annual training.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Should EPA consider different pesticide safety training 
timing? If so, what timeframe and why?
     Do you have information concerning the relationship 
between the frequency of training of workers and handlers and the 
frequency of incidents of pesticide exposure or illness? If so, please 
provide.
     Are there other ways EPA could ensure that workers and 
handlers retain the information presented in pesticide safety training 
so the retraining interval can be longer than one year?
     Are there other burdens or benefits associated with a 2-
year retraining interval that EPA has not considered?
     What would be the impact of a 1- or 2-year retraining 
interval on states and tribes?
     Should EPA consider retaining the current 5 year 
retraining interval for workers and handlers and adding a requirement 
for annual refresher training? Please provide information on the 
relative benefits to and burdens on employers, workers, and handlers. 
EPA currently envisions that, if adopted, the annual refresher training 
for workers would include the topics proposed at 170.309(e), the grace 
period training (see Unit XVIII for a full discussion of the proposed 
points for training workers under the grace period). The annual 
refresher training for handlers would include a review of information 
necessary for handlers to protect themselves, their families, workers, 
and the environment from pesticide exposure. EPA anticipates that the 
refresher training would be slightly shorter in duration than the 
proposed full pesticide safety training, but seeks comment on the 
duration of such refresher training. Retaining the current 5 year 
retraining interval and adding a requirement for annual refresher 
training would necessitate additional recordkeeping by the employer. 
The employer would maintain training records for workers and handlers 
as discussed in Unit VII.B. below, as well as records containing the 
same information for the refresher training.

B. Establish Recordkeeping Requirements To Verify Training for Workers 
and Handlers

    1. Overview. The existing WPS does not establish any mandatory 
mechanism for verifying that a worker or handler has received pesticide 
safety training. To improve compliance with the WPS training 
requirements and to address the absence of documentation of worker and 
handler training, the Agency proposes to eliminate the voluntary 
training verification card system and to require employers to maintain 
records of WPS worker and handler training for two years. In addition, 
the employer would be responsible for providing a copy of the record to 
each worker or handler upon completion of the training. EPA believes a 
requirement for employers to maintain the training roster, an official 
record, of employees' training would address current enforcement 
difficulties in verifying whether a worker or handler has received 
training. The requirement to provide workers and handlers with a copy 
of the training record would allow a subsequent employer to verify that 
the worker or handler had received training and to copy the training 
verification record for the subsequent employer's own files.
    2. Existing WPS requirements. Presently, the WPS does not require 
agricultural employers to document that they provided the training 
required under the WPS for workers or handlers. The WPS also does not 
require trainers or employers to record who they trained, what training 
they provided, or when they provided pesticide safety training. 
However, a voluntary program was established that allowed states, 
tribes, and agricultural employers to use verification cards to 
identify workers and handlers trained in accordance with the WPS. 
Participating states, territories, and tribes have opted to distribute 
cards printed by EPA or to generate agency-specific cards. States, 
territories, and tribes allow distribution of the cards by trainers 
qualified under the WPS or under stricter requirements. A few entities 
require trainers of workers or handlers to submit the names of those 
trained to the state regulatory agency; however, EPA does not maintain 
such a list. Under the current voluntary training verification card 
program, an agricultural or handler employer who hires workers and 
handlers with valid training verification cards does not need to 
provide training until the expiration date listed on the card. At least 
20 states, territories, or tribes continue to use the voluntary 
training card system (Ref. 43).
    3. Summary of the issues. Since 1998, EPA has received considerable 
feedback from stakeholders, including state regulatory partners, 
regarding the difficulty of enforcing the training provisions of the 
WPS rule, primarily due to a lack of recordkeeping (Ref. 17) (Ref. 18). 
Inspectors have noted that they cannot consult a record to determine if 
the workers and handlers on the establishment have been trained. Their 
primary method for evaluating compliance with training requirements is 
to interview workers and handlers regarding the content of training 
received or whether any training has occurred. Stakeholders, including 
state inspectors and farmworker organizations, have indicated that 
interview results may be compromised as workers and handlers may not 
recall the training they received, may not connect the questions with 
the training information, and may not be able to communicate with the 
inspector in a

[[Page 15462]]

language that both are comfortable speaking. Some workers and handlers 
may feel intimidated and provide inaccurate responses due to a lack of 
anonymity. Some states and territories, including AZ, CA, HI, NV, NH, 
NJ, PA, and PR, have addressed the issue through requiring a form of 
recordkeeping for worker and/or handler training, such as training 
records maintained by the employer, training records submitted to the 
state, or making mandatory the voluntary training verification card 
system. California has implemented a requirement for employers to 
maintain records of handler training for 2 years (3 CCR 6724(e)).
    Some stakeholders voiced strong support for improved recordkeeping 
as discussed in reports from the National Assessment of EPA's Pesticide 
Worker Safety Program (Ref. 44). The General Training Issues Workgroup, 
convened as part of the National Assessment, recommended that all 
trainers be required to maintain records of trained workers for the 
duration of the retraining interval, and suggested that EPA offer a 
variety of methods for employers to demonstrate compliance (Ref. 15). 
Farmworker organizations as well as other stakeholders have repeatedly 
emphasized the need to improve enforcement and compliance verification 
capabilities in order to assure greater protection for workers (Ref. 
17) (Ref. 35).
    States, territories, and tribes have noted that the voluntary 
training verification card system is undermined by fraudulent cards. 
They cite instances of workers, handlers, and labor contractors 
illegally exchanging cards and altering the expiration date. Without an 
expiration year printed on each card and annual reprinting of current 
verification cards, it is difficult to assess the validity of the card. 
Without any requirement for creating and maintaining records of 
training, it is virtually impossible to verify who has been trained. 
States have informed the Agency that workers perceive the card as a 
credential that potential employers may use to determine their 
employability. As a result, state agencies have reported that falsified 
cards are common because workers and handlers want to show that they 
are employable. The Agency believes, based on information gathered 
since the implementation of the training verification card system, that 
the current system of voluntary training verification cards has proven 
to be an unreliable method of tracking and identifying trained workers 
(Ref. 37) (Ref. 45) (Ref. 46).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to 
require agricultural and handler employers to keep records of all 
workers and handlers who receive pesticide safety training for 2 years 
on the agricultural establishment. Required information for the record 
of worker and handler training would include the trained worker's or 
handler's name, signature, date of birth, the date of training, the 
trainer's name, proof of trainer's qualification to train, the 
employer's name, employer's phone number or phone number of the 
establishment, and which EPA-approved training materials were used. EPA 
also proposes to require employers to provide a copy of the training 
record to each worker and handler upon completion of the training.
    EPA believes these new recordkeeping requirements would address 
some of the difficulties in effectively enforcing the existing rule 
raised by regulatory and farmworker advocacy stakeholders. This 
proposal would allow inspectors to verify training through records 
retained by the employer and maintained by the workers and handlers 
themselves rather than solely through interviews with workers and 
handlers. The Agency's proposal is flexible in that it would allow 
paper or electronic recordkeeping, so an employer could scan the 
training records with employees' signatures and maintain electronic 
files.
    The recorded date of birth would be used to verify that the minimum 
age for handlers and early-entry workers has been met. [See Units XI.B. 
and XII.A.] Retaining the trainer's proof of qualification to train 
would allow the inspector to determine if the trainer met the criteria 
to be a trainer. [See Unit VII.D]
    EPA recognizes the importance of maintaining some mechanism for 
workers and handlers to change employers without repeating pesticide 
safety training each time they enter an establishment. EPA believes 
that the proposed option would meet the need for employers to verify 
that workers and handlers have received appropriate training by 
providing an official record rather than the voluntary training 
verification card. The proposal to require employers to maintain 
specific records of worker and handler training and to provide a copy 
of the training record to each trained worker and handler would make 
the voluntary training verification card program obsolete, redundant, 
and unnecessary. An employer could consider a worker or handler trained 
if either the employee or prior employer presents a copy of the 
training record. EPA believes requiring employers to provide a record 
of the training to workers and handlers would allow workers and 
handlers to show future employers they have received WPS training. In 
addition, future employers could maintain a copy of the workers' or 
handlers' record in their files to comply with the requirement to 
ensure the employees have received the appropriate training.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the recordkeeping 
requirements to verify training for workers and handlers appears in 
Sec. Sec.  170.101(d) and 170.201(d), respectively, of the proposed 
rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring 
employers to maintain records of worker training for 2 years would be 
$1.6 million annually and about $4 per agricultural establishment per 
year. The cost for employers to maintain records for handler training 
for 2 years would be $160,000 annually, or less than $1 per 
agricultural establishment and about $3 per commercial pesticide 
handling establishment per year. For a complete discussion of the costs 
of the proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of 
Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost 
Analysis (Ref. 1).
    Although EPA cannot quantify the benefits of this specific proposed 
option, EPA believes that requiring records of worker and handler 
training would improve employers' compliance with the training 
requirements. Improved compliance would increase the likelihood that 
workers and handlers perform WPS tasks with the information necessary 
to mitigate exposure to pesticides for themselves and their family 
members.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. First, EPA 
considered an option to require the employer or trainer to provide 
every trained worker and handler with a wallet-sized verification 
record (similar to the current voluntary training verification card) 
that contains the proposed recordkeeping information, instead of the 
proposal to provide a photocopy of the training recordkeeping form. 
Distribution of the training verification cards would be limited to 
trainers who meet the proposed qualifications. [See Unit VII.D.] The 
cards would be issued by EPA on an annual basis and would indicate a 
date after which the card would no longer be valid, i.e., a 2015 card 
would state that it would not be considered a valid verification of 
training after 12/31/2016. The annual card issuance by EPA and clear 
statement of the card's longest potential

[[Page 15463]]

validity could help cut down the issues of fraudulent use raised by 
states and other stakeholders.
    This alternative would increase the burden on trainers, employers, 
and EPA and states, territories, and tribes. Instead of providing a 
copy of the training record, the trainer would be required to copy the 
information onto each individual training verification card. Subsequent 
employers would need to verify the information on the card with the 
original trainer or employer and to obtain a copy of the original 
training record for their files. EPA would be responsible for printing 
cards annually. EPA and states, territories, and tribes would be 
responsible for distributing cards to approved trainers and tracking 
who received the cards. EPA estimates that a mandatory training 
verification card program for workers would add about $640,000 to the 
cost of training records, increasing the total cost to about $2.2 
million. Based on the increased burden to trainers, employers, and 
states, territories, and tribes without significantly different 
anticipated benefits to workers, handlers, trainers, and employers, EPA 
decided not to propose this option.
    Second, EPA also considered requiring agricultural and handler 
employers to submit worker and handler training records to EPA or to 
the state, territory, or tribal regulatory authority. The agency 
responsible at the federal or state, territory, or tribal level would 
then maintain a database of trained workers and handlers. The Agency 
believes that it is adequate for employers to maintain the records, 
making them available to inspectors upon request. The submission of 
training records to a central repository might benefit EPA and others 
wishing to verify a worker's or handler's status. However, employers 
would still bear the cost of either creating a record of the training 
in the central repository or verifying a worker's or handler's 
eligibility in the system. Since most workers and handlers have one or 
two employers per year, the burden on employers to report to and check 
with a central repository of information may not be justified. The 
proposed rule would require that the employer maintain records on-site 
for inspection purposes.
    Third, EPA also considered an option to require trainers, rather 
than or in addition to employers, to retain records of those trained. 
EPA is not pursuing this option because the WPS focuses on the 
responsibilities of agricultural and handler employers. Trainers are 
not responsible for the use of the pesticide on the establishment and 
therefore cannot be legally responsible for following the labeling and 
complying with the WPS requirements. Ultimately, the agricultural or 
handler employer is responsible for ensuring that workers and handlers 
receive training and for tracking that training. Inspections focus on 
compliance of the agricultural or handler employer with the provisions 
of the WPS, not the trainer. The WPS would not prohibit the creation of 
training records by the trainer; however, the agricultural or handler 
employer would have to maintain a copy of the records.
    Finally, the Agency considered establishing a 5-year interval for 
the record retention cycle, which would coincide with the statute of 
limitations for civil violations (28 U.S.C. 2462). The estimated cost 
of this requirement would be $2 million for worker training records and 
$290,000 for handler training records. The incremental cost between 
record retention for two or five years would be negligible. However, 
EPA believes based on state programs (e.g., California and Florida) and 
stakeholder feedback that a requirement to keep records for 2 years is 
sufficient. Therefore, EPA decided not to propose a 5-year interval for 
record retention.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Would a requirement for employers to report worker and 
handler training information to the state or federal government for 
compilation in a central repository have benefits? If so, please detail 
the potential benefits and cost.
     Should the Agency reconsider any of the alternate options 
presented in developing a final rule? If so, why? Please provide data 
to support your position.
     Are there changes that would make the training 
verification card program more effective and less prone to falsified 
cards? If so, please provide detailed suggestions for improving the 
system.
     Should EPA consider a performance standard to evaluate 
worker and handler training (asking questions based on the training 
content) rather than recordkeeping? Are there benefits or drawbacks to 
this approach that the Agency has not considered?
     Would employers rely on training records provided by the 
worker or handler as verification that the worker or handler had 
received pesticide safety training?

C. Require Employers To Provide Establishment-Specific Information for 
Workers and Handlers

    1. Overview. The existing WPS does not require employers to provide 
to workers and handlers establishment-specific information on the 
location of decontamination supplies as part of their pesticide safety 
training. In order to allow workers and handlers to adequately protect 
themselves in the event of an unexpected exposure that could occur 
through spills, being sprayed, or other unusually high exposure 
situations, the Agency proposes that in addition to required general 
training employers must provide establishment-specific information 
about the location of decontamination supplies and pesticide safety and 
hazard information, as well as how to obtain medical assistance. 
Agricultural and handler employers would be required to provide this 
establishment-specific information to all workers and handlers, 
including those previously trained on other establishments. The Agency 
expects this change will equip workers and handlers with the knowledge 
and capability to assist in better protecting themselves from adverse 
effects of pesticide exposure.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. Sections 170.135(e) and 170.235(e) 
require the employer to notify workers and handlers respectively about 
the location of the pesticide safety poster and the emergency medical 
information. Presently, part 170 has no requirement for employers to 
provide information on the location of decontamination supplies or 
hazard information to workers and handlers.
    3. Summary of the issues. Farmworker organizations have raised to 
EPA the need for workers and handlers to receive establishment-specific 
information even if the employer can verify that the workers and 
handlers have already received pesticide safety training. The pesticide 
safety training covers general self-protection principles. 
Establishment-specific information on where to find, among other 
things, decontamination supplies, emergency contact information, and 
pesticide application information, is not consistent across 
establishments. While the workers and handlers may have received 
general information on how to protect themselves, without knowledge of 
where the necessary supplies are located or how to obtain emergency 
medical assistance they would not be able to use the knowledge to 
protect themselves.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to 
require employers to provide establishment-specific pesticide safety 
training for workers and handlers when they enter the establishment and 
before beginning WPS tasks. Content for the establishment-specific 
information

[[Page 15464]]

would include the location of pesticide safety information, the 
location of pesticide application and hazard information, the location 
of decontamination supplies, and how to obtain emergency medical 
assistance. Employers would be required to provide this training prior 
to the handler performing handler activities or the worker performing 
worker activities orally in a manner that the handler or worker can 
understand, such as through a translator. Lastly, this training would 
be required even if the employer can verify that the worker or handler 
has already received pesticide safety training on another 
establishment.
    EPA acknowledges that some of this information is already required 
under the current rule. However, EPA believes that consolidating the 
requirements for establishment-specific training would make them easier 
for employers to find and comply with, resulting in a higher likelihood 
that workers and handlers would receive the necessary information.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the requirement for 
employers to provide location-specific information to workers and 
handlers appears in Sec. Sec.  170.103 and 170.203(b) of the proposed 
rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. The estimated cost of this proposal is 
included in the cost of expanded training discussed in Unit VII.E. EPA 
assumes that employers cover this information as part of routine 
pesticide safety training and therefore including the establishment-
specific information would add negligible time and cost.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. EPA did not 
consider any significant alternatives to the proposed option.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following question:
     To what extent do employers already provide this 
information to all workers and handlers when they first arrive at the 
establishment, for example, during the hiring process?
     The current rule requires employers to ensure that the 
workers and handlers receive information in a manner they understand. 
Are there any issues with the current requirement for employers? If so, 
please describe and provide data to support this position.

D. Establish Trainer Qualifications

    1. Overview. The current rule allows workers and handlers to be 
trained by a variety of persons, including certified applicators and 
handlers. In order to ensure that the pesticide safety training 
received by workers and handlers is provided in a manner conducive to 
adult learning and provided in a language and manner in which they can 
understand, the Agency proposes to require trainers of workers to have 
completed an EPA-approved train-the-trainer program or be designated by 
EPA or an appropriate state or tribal agency as trainers of certified 
applicators. Certified applicators would no longer be automatically 
considered qualified to train workers. The Agency proposes to retain 
the existing qualifications for handler trainers, namely that in order 
to be a trainer of handlers, one must be a certified applicator under 
40 CFR part 171 at the time of the training, to have completed train-
the-trainer program, or be designated by EPA or an appropriate state or 
tribal agency as a trainer of certified applicators and to limit 
approval of train-the-trainer programs to EPA. In addition, EPA 
proposes to require trainers to be present throughout the training and 
to ensure that there are no distractions, e.g., background videos, loud 
machinery, or other instructions, competing for the worker's or 
handler's attention.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The existing WPS designates the 
following groups as qualified to be pesticide safety trainers for 
workers:
     Applicators certified according to 40 CFR part 171 
(private and commercial applicators of RUPs);
     Persons designated as trainers of certified applicators, 
or pesticide handlers by the appropriate state, federal, or tribal 
agency;
     Individuals who have completed an approved pesticide 
safety train-the-trainer program; or
     Persons who have completed WPS handler training.
    The existing WPS designates the following groups as qualified to be 
pesticide safety trainers for handlers:
     Applicators certified according to 40 CFR part 171;
     Persons designated as trainers of certified applicators or 
pesticide handlers by the appropriate state, federal, or tribal agency; 
and
     Individuals who have completed an approved pesticide 
safety train-the-trainer program.
    The current WPS also requires trainers to be present to answer 
questions but does not require that they be present for the entire 
length of the training.
    3. Summary of the issues. When EPA proposed what would become the 
1992 WPS (53 FR 25970; July 8, 1988), stakeholders, specifically USDA 
and farmer organizations, raised concerns about the need for adequate 
numbers of qualified WPS trainers. To ease the burden of transition for 
agricultural employers during the implementation of the rule, EPA made 
approved criteria for trainers in the final rule (57 FR 38102, 38128-
29; Aug 21, 1992) intentionally broad. Since that time, the pool of 
qualified trainers has expanded due to the increase and availability of 
train-the-trainer programs. EPA has supported the Association of 
Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) ``Serving America's Farmworkers 
Everywhere'' AmeriCorps project for over ten years. This project 
connects trainers with farmworker communities to build training 
capacity and to provide free training services to agricultural and 
handler employers. In addition, EPA has developed a train-the-trainer 
handbook for worker training (Ref. 47). Many states have also increased 
the number of qualified trainers through train-the-trainer programs and 
other mechanisms.
    Farmworker organizations and pesticide safety educators have raised 
to EPA the importance of pesticide safety trainers having expertise 
both in the subject matter covered and in adult education for low-
literacy audiences. The Hazard Communications for Agricultural Workers 
Report by JBS International found that workers want to receive 
pesticide safety training from trainers who are knowledgeable and 
certified (Ref. 40). In order to convey information about routes of 
pesticide exposure, potential accidents and how to mitigate pesticide 
exposure, and avoiding exposure through basic hygiene, the trainer must 
have a strong knowledge of the subject matter. A person can obtain this 
knowledge in several ways. First, a person who has gone through a 
train-the-trainer program would become versed in the specific 
information to be conveyed to the training audience. Second, a person 
who is qualified, as a university professor or cooperative extension 
agent, to conduct training for a broad range of pesticide users, would 
have a working knowledge of the potential pesticide risks faced by 
workers and handlers. Lastly, handlers and applicators learn the 
subject matter in the training and certification programs, which cover 
the concepts presented in pesticide safety training in more detail.
    Research and stakeholder input have highlighted the need for 
trainers to have specific skills to reach this type of audience. 
Farmworker organizations and pesticide educators expressed concern 
about the ability of individuals without knowledge of adult education 
practices to conduct effective pesticide safety training (Ref. 39) 
(Ref. 46) (Ref. 48). Stakeholders have also informed EPA that training 
may be presented

[[Page 15465]]

simultaneously with other information, preventing workers and handlers 
from focusing completely on the safety information presented.
    Stakeholders have raised concerns that trainers lacking skills in 
adult education may be ineffective in communicating necessary pesticide 
safety information to workers (Ref. 35) (Ref. 36) (Ref. 48) (Ref. 46) 
(Ref. 39). Farmworker organizations have supported limiting eligibility 
of trainers of workers and handlers to those completing a train-the-
trainer program ``covering methods of conducting an informal adult 
participatory education session for low literacy learners, with limited 
English proficiency'' (Ref. 35). A pilot train-the-trainer program in 
Washington State showed that participants who learned training 
techniques applicable to the worker population were more successful in 
communicating with their target audience than they had been prior to 
training, indicated by improved performance of the audience on a post-
training evaluation of knowledge (Ref. 17).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require 
trainers of workers to complete a pesticide safety train-the-trainer 
program approved by EPA or to be designated as a trainer of certified 
applicators by EPA or a state or tribal agency responsible for 
pesticide enforcement. The proposal would delete the option for 
certification under 40 CFR part 171 or training as a WPS handler to 
serve as sufficient qualifications for a person to be a trainer for 
workers.
    Additionally, the Agency proposes to require trainers of workers 
and trainers of handlers to be present during the entirety of a 
training session and to answer questions. Trainers must also ensure 
that the training is presented in a manner free of distractions.
    EPA proposes to retain the existing categories for trainers of 
handlers and to add a requirement that the train-the-trainer program be 
approved by EPA.
    Under a cooperative agreement with the NASDA Research Foundation, 
EPA has developed the National Worker Safety Trainer Handbook (Ref. 
47). This manual outlines the necessary pesticide safety information 
for workers, as well as describing adult education principles and how 
to communicate across languages and cultures. In addition to the 
National Worker Safety Trainer Handbook, EPA also supports the training 
of pesticide safety trainers of workers by AFOP. Both of these programs 
would serve as models for an EPA-approved train-the-trainer program. 
Using these models, EPA would develop guidance to describe the 
necessary elements of a train-the-trainer program and the process for 
seeking EPA approval. EPA anticipates that any interested 
organizations, including non-profit organizations, universities, state 
regulatory agencies, and the pesticide industry, could seek approval 
for and administer a train-the-trainer course that meets EPA's 
standards.
    EPA proposes to retain the options for persons designated as 
trainers of certified applicators or handlers by EPA or a state or 
tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement because either EPA 
or the state or tribe has recognized that they have the subject matter 
expertise and qualifications necessary to convey the pesticide safety 
information to workers or handlers. Many cooperative extension services 
(part of land grant universities) have experts on pesticide safety that 
work with agricultural employers to provide information on safe 
pesticide use. EPA believes that in their role as educators and with 
knowledge of adult education, pesticide application, and safety 
principles, these persons are qualified to provide the information to 
workers and handlers. State regulatory agencies also hire or contract 
with adult educators to provide pesticide safety training to workers or 
handlers. Rather than increase the burden on the state or tribal lead 
agency by requiring that all persons complete a pesticide safety train-
the-trainer course, EPA believes that state and tribal lead agencies 
would ensure that persons they designate as trainers can appropriately 
convey the information required under the proposed regulation to 
workers and handlers.
    EPA proposes to eliminate the automatic authorization of certified 
applicators and WPS handlers to train workers. Although certified 
applicators have demonstrated competency in pesticide application and 
safety, they may not possess skills as trainers, particularly for low-
literacy, non-English speaking, adult audiences. Handlers may possess 
pesticide safety knowledge and may have cultural and language abilities 
in common with workers, but they may lack teaching skills or sufficient 
technical knowledge needed to effectively convey the information. For 
training to make the most impact, trainers need to be competent not 
only in their knowledge of pesticide risks but also in communicating 
with adult learners with educational challenges. Trainers may have 
difficulty conveying the abstract concept of pesticide risk, due to 
barriers such as the limited English language skills, cultural 
differences, and low educational levels of many workers and handlers. 
EPA believes that there are sufficient qualified trainers to meet the 
proposed requirements now, as opposed to when the 1992 WPS was 
implemented, based on trainers qualified by AFOP initiatives and the 
publication and dissemination of an EPA train-the-trainer handbook.
    EPA proposes to retain the option for certified applicators to 
train handlers. While the Agency has some concern regarding the ability 
of certified applicators to provide effective training for workers 
because worker trainers need to have specific capability to deliver 
basic information to an audience that may have a low education level 
and limited literacy and English skills, EPA thinks this group can be 
successful as trainers for handlers. There is a large overlap between 
the roles of applicators and handlers, which allows applicators to draw 
on their personal knowledge and skills needed to correctly and safely 
perform handler tasks. In addition, in the revisions to part 171, EPA 
is proposing to require certified applicators to provide training that 
mirrors the WPS handler training to noncertified applicators applying 
RUPs under their direct supervision. EPA believes that the certified 
applicators are appropriately qualified to convey the proper pesticide 
application techniques and importance of protecting oneself from 
pesticide exposure to handlers that will be performing similar tasks in 
areas that have been treated with pesticides.
    EPA believes that increasing the qualifications of trainers will 
increase the value of training sessions by improving the quality of the 
training. Workers will benefit by improved understanding of the 
learning objectives and an increased ability to protect themselves and 
their families.
    To ease implementation and ensure a sufficient cadre of qualified 
trainers is available, EPA proposes to continue allowing certified 
applicators to conduct worker training until two years following the 
effective date of the final rule. This transition period would allow 
time for applicators and other persons that do not meet the current 
requirements and who wish to conduct worker training to qualify as 
trainers under the proposed requirements, either by attending an EPA-
approved train-the-trainer program or seeking designation as an 
approved trainer of workers from EPA or the state or tribe, and for all 
trainers to become familiar with new training materials developed as a 
result of the finalized rule.
    EPA plans to support the development of training materials for 
workers and handlers that reflect the

[[Page 15466]]

new training requirements such as manuals and videos. EPA will work 
with stakeholders to develop these materials when the amendments to the 
rule are finalized and plans to have them ready for distribution when 
the revised training requirements go into effect.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning trainer qualifications for 
workers and handlers appears in Sec. Sec.  170.101(c)(4) and 
170.201(c)(4) respectively of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs. EPA estimates the cost of revising the standards for 
worker trainers would be $1.1 million annually, or about $3 per 
agricultural establishment. For a complete discussion of the costs of 
the proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed 
Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis 
(Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the precise benefits associated with this 
proposal; however, EPA believes requiring trainers to have the ability 
to convey the pesticide safety information, along with knowledge of 
adult education principles and how to communicate with low-literacy 
audiences, would increase overall understanding and retention of the 
pesticide safety training by workers. This improvement would increase 
the likelihood that workers and handlers adopt the principles outlined 
in the pesticide safety training and reduce the potential for exposure 
to themselves and their family members.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
several options regarding categories of qualified trainers. One option 
considered by the Agency was to continue to consider applicators 
certified under 40 CFR part 171 and handlers as qualified to train 
workers. EPA does not think, however, that a certified applicator's 
knowledge of pesticide safety and application principles alone is 
sufficient to qualify the certified applicator as an educator for basic 
safety principles for workers. As discussed above, teaching an adult 
population, especially individuals with low-literacy skills, differing 
cultural norms, and a variety of primary languages, requires trainers 
with skills in reaching this type of audience. After considering this 
alternative in light of the demographics of workers and the importance 
of providing safety information in manner workers can understand, EPA 
does not consider it reasonable to assume that certified applicators 
and handlers necessarily have the adult education skills to adequately 
perform WPS training for workers. Certified applicators and handlers 
may become trainers if they complete a train-the-trainer course or are 
designated as trainers by the EPA or a state or tribal agency.
    EPA also considered an option to restrict trainer eligibility to 
only trainers who have completed a train-the-trainer program. The 
Agency believes that allowing trainers of applicators and those having 
completed a train-the-trainer course to train workers, as well as 
allowing certified applicators to train handlers, will offer continued 
flexibility for agriculture and result in less burden than restricting 
the qualifications to a single type of trainer. EPA has confidence that 
trainers designated as qualified by EPA or the states or tribes would 
have knowledge of adult education and the safety principles that 
workers need to know. Requiring all worker and handler trainers to 
complete a train-the-trainer program would limit the number of eligible 
trainers and as a result there might not be sufficient numbers to meet 
employers' training needs.
    EPA also considered implementing a test to determine the 
eligibility of trainers. Though examination would provide a method of 
evaluating knowledge, safety educators and advocate groups maintained 
that trainers need skills that cannot readily be assessed by an 
examination. For example, it would be difficult to assess, through an 
exam, whether a person has skills in communicating with low-literacy, 
adult audiences. EPA believes that train-the-trainer courses in which 
trainers learn and practice interactive and engaging training 
techniques, in addition to the necessary pesticide safety information, 
would be more effective than a written exam to prepare educators for an 
audience of workers and handlers.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Are there other programs that would prepare trainers to 
convey pesticide safety information to workers and handlers? Please 
describe the program and the feasibility of its implementation for 
affected establishments.
     Should EPA consider requiring trainers of workers and 
handlers to refresh their qualifications periodically, such as 
requiring attending a train-the-trainer program every 5 years? Please 
provide data in support or opposition.
     The current rule requires employers to ensure that the 
workers and handlers receive information in a manner they understand. 
Are there any issues with the current requirement for trainers? If so, 
please describe and provide data to support this position.

E. Expand the Content of Worker and Handler Pesticide Safety Training

    1. Overview. The WPS currently requires employers to provide 
pesticide safety training covering specific content to workers and 
handlers. EPA proposes to expand the information required to be covered 
in worker and handler pesticide safety training so that workers and 
handlers can better protect themselves from adverse effects of 
pesticide exposures.
    Additional content in worker pesticide safety training would 
include, among other things, information on: how to reduce pesticide 
take-home exposure, the requirements for early-entry notification, the 
requirement for emergency assistance for workers, and the availability 
of hazard communication materials for workers, and informing workers of 
the obligations of agricultural employers and what workers can expect.
    Additional content in handler pesticide safety training would 
include the handlers' requirement to cease application if he or she 
observes a person other than another trained and properly equipped 
handler in the area under treatment or entry restricted area, and a 
requirement for OSHA-equivalent training on respirator use, fit-testing 
of respirators, and medical evaluation for respirator users.
    EPA expects this additional information provided in the proposed 
expansions to worker and handler pesticide safety training to better 
protect workers and handlers from risks associated with pesticides.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. Under 40 CFR 170.130(d)(4), worker 
pesticide safety training must include, at a minimum, the following 11 
basic safety training points:
     Where and in what form pesticides may be encountered 
during work activities.
     Hazards of pesticides resulting from toxicity and 
exposure, including acute and chronic effects, delayed effects, and 
sensitization.
     Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.
     Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.
     Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.
     How to obtain emergency medical care.
     Routine and emergency decontamination procedures, 
including emergency eye flushing techniques.
     Hazards from chemigation and drift.
     Hazards from pesticide residues on clothing.
     Warnings about taking pesticides or pesticide containers 
home.

[[Page 15467]]

     Requirements of the WPS designed to reduce the risks of 
illness or injury resulting from workers' occupational exposure to 
pesticides, including application and entry restrictions, the design of 
the warning sign, posting of warning signs, oral warnings, the 
availability of specific information about applications, and the 
protection against retaliatory acts.
    Under 40 CFR 170.230(c)(4), handler pesticide safety training must 
include, at a minimum, the following 13 basic safety training points:
     Format and meaning of information on the product label, 
including safety information.
     Hazards of pesticides from toxicity and exposure.
     Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.
     Signs and symptoms of pesticide poisoning.
     Emergency first aid for pesticide poisoning.
     How to get emergency medical care.
     Routine and emergency decontamination procedures.
     Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
     Heat-related illness issues.
     Safety requirements for handling, transporting, storing, 
and disposing of pesticides.
     Environmental concerns.
     Warnings about taking pesticides or pesticide containers 
home.
     Training on the requirements of the regulation related to 
handling.
    3. Summary of the issues. The stakeholder engagement process 
produced many comments on the content of pesticide safety training for 
workers and handlers. [See Unit V.B.] Recommendations to improve worker 
pesticide safety training in the ``Report on the National Assessment of 
EPA's Pesticide Worker Safety Program'' included adding elements to 
training on potential sources of pesticide exposure and preventing 
family exposure, such as specific information on the need to wash work 
clothes separately from other clothing (Ref. 17) (Ref. 15). 
Additionally, farmworker organizations support expansion of the worker 
pesticide safety training to include general information about 
pesticide hazards, ways to reduce take-home exposure, and worker 
rights. In contrast, other stakeholders raised concerns for extending 
the length of training, increasing the burden on employers, or making 
the training tedious for workers who may not be paid for time spent in 
training. Many stakeholders also requested that EPA be mindful when 
revising the WPS of the burdens faced by workers and some handlers, due 
to their low income, low literacy, and limited English language skills.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA is proposing a number of 
new provisions to be included in the content for worker and handler 
safety training. Each of these is discussed in greater detail in this 
section. Where some proposed changes only clarify or enhance an 
existing training topic, rather than substantially altering the content 
of the topic, EPA does not discuss the proposed modifications in as 
great detail as the proposed modifications to existing language that 
substantially alter the content of the training topic.
    EPA proposes to add the following topics to both worker and handler 
training: protection from pesticide take-home exposure, enhanced 
emergency assistance provisions in the WPS, and the availability of 
hazard communication materials.
    Additional worker safety training topics would add about 15 minutes 
to the training and would include, in addition to the points in the 
current WPS: Handler tasks that employers must not direct or allow 
workers to do, early-entry notification requirements including age 
restrictions, hazards of pesticide exposure to children and pregnant 
women, how to report suspected violations, and the prohibition of 
employer retaliation for reporting suspected violations or attempting 
to comply with 40 CFR part 170.
    The proposed revised regulation for worker training at Sec.  
170.101(c)(2) through (3) would require the following training content:
     Agricultural employers' obligation to provide workers with 
information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide 
exposures and illnesses. This includes providing pesticide safety 
training, pesticide safety and application information, decontamination 
supplies, and emergency medical assistance, and notifying workers of 
restrictions during applications and on entering pesticide treated 
areas.
     How to recognize and understand the meaning of the warning 
sign used for notifying workers of restrictions on entering pesticide 
treated areas on the establishment.
     How to follow directions and/or signs about keeping out of 
entry restricted or pesticide treated areas.
     Where and in what form pesticides may be encountered 
during work activities and potential sources of pesticide exposure on 
the agricultural establishment. This includes pesticides drifting from 
nearby applications, and that pesticide residues may be on or in 
plants, soil, irrigation water, tractors, application equipment, or 
used personal protective equipment.
     Potential hazards from toxicity and exposure that 
pesticides present to workers and their families, including acute and 
chronic effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.
     Potential hazards from chemigation and drift.
     Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.
     Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.
     Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.
     Routine and emergency decontamination procedures, 
including emergency eye flushing techniques.
     Wash immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides 
are spilled or sprayed on the body and as soon as possible, shower, 
shampoo hair, and change into clean clothes.
     How and when to obtain emergency medical care.
     When working near pesticides or in pesticide treated 
areas, wear work clothing that protects the body from pesticide 
residues and wash hands before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or 
tobacco, or using the toilet.
     Wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and 
change into clean clothes as soon as possible after working near or in 
pesticide treated areas.
     Potential hazards from pesticide residues on clothing.
     Wash work clothes before wearing again.
     Wash work clothes separately from other clothes.
     Do not take pesticides or pesticide containers used at 
work to your home.
     Agricultural employers are required to provide workers 
with pesticide hazard information.
     Agricultural employers must not allow or direct any worker 
to mix, load or apply pesticides or assist in the application of 
pesticides unless the worker has been trained as a handler.
     There are minimum age restrictions and notification 
requirements for early-entry activities.
     Potential hazards to children and pregnant women from 
pesticide exposure.
     Keep children and nonworking family members away from 
pesticide treated areas.
     Remove work boots or shoes before entering home.
     After working near pesticides or in pesticide treated 
areas, remove work clothes and wash or shower before physical contact 
with children or family members.

[[Page 15468]]

     How to report suspected pesticide use violations to the 
state or tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement.
     Agricultural employers are prohibited from intimidating, 
threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any worker for the 
purposes of interfering with any attempt to comply with the 
requirements of this part, or because the worker has made a complaint, 
testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, 
proceeding, or hearing pursuant to this part.
    Additional handler training topics would add about 15 minutes to 
the existing training and would include: proper removal of PPE; the 
requirement for handlers to cease application if persons are in the 
treated area or entry restricted area; the requirement that handler 
employers must ensure handlers have received respirator fit-testing, 
training, and medical evaluation if required to wear a respirator; and 
the minimum age requirement for handlers.
    The proposed revised regulation for handler training at Sec.  
170.201(c)(2) through (3) would require the following training content:
     Employers' obligation to provide handlers with information 
and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide exposures and 
illnesses. This includes providing pesticide safety training, pesticide 
safety and application information, decontamination supplies, and 
emergency medical assistance, and notifying handlers of restrictions 
during applications and on entering pesticide treated areas.
     How to recognize and understand the meaning of the warning 
sign used for notifying workers of restrictions on entering pesticide 
treated areas on the establishment.
     How to follow directions and/or signs about keeping out of 
entry restricted or pesticide treated areas.
     Where and in what form pesticides may be encountered 
during work activities and potential sources of pesticide exposure on 
the agricultural establishment. This includes pesticides drifting from 
nearby applications, and that pesticide residues may be on or in 
plants, soil, irrigation water, tractors, application equipment, or 
used personal protective equipment.
     Potential hazards from toxicity and exposure that 
pesticides present to workers and their families, including acute and 
chronic effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.
     Potential hazards from chemigation and drift.
     Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.
     Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.
     Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.
     Routine and emergency decontamination procedures, 
including emergency eye flushing techniques.
     Wash immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides 
are spilled or sprayed on the body and as soon as possible, shower, 
shampoo hair, and change into clean clothes.
     How and when to obtain emergency medical care.
     When working near pesticides or in pesticide treated 
areas, wear work clothing that protects the body from pesticide 
residues and wash hands before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or 
tobacco, or using the toilet.
     Wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and 
change into clean clothes as soon as possible after working near or in 
pesticide treated areas.
     Potential hazards from pesticide residues on clothing.
     Wash work clothes before wearing again.
     Wash work clothes separately from other clothes.
     Do not take pesticides or pesticide containers used at 
work to your home.
     Agricultural employers are required to provide handlers 
with pesticide hazard information.
     Agricultural employers must not allow or direct any worker 
to mix, load or apply pesticides or assist in the application of 
pesticides unless the worker has been trained as a handler.
     Early-entry workers must be at least 16 years of age to 
perform early-entry activities and workers must receive notification 
prior to conducting early-entry activities.
     Potential hazards to children and pregnant women from 
pesticide exposure.
     Keep children and nonworking family members away from 
pesticide treated areas.
     Remove work boots or shoes before entering home.
     After working near pesticides or in pesticide treated 
areas, remove work clothes and wash or shower before physical contact 
with children or family members.
     How to report suspected pesticide use violations to the 
state or tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement.
     Employers are prohibited from intimidating, threatening, 
coercing, or discriminating against any handler for the purposes of 
interfering with any attempt to comply with the requirements of this 
part, or because the worker has made a complaint, testified, assisted, 
or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or 
hearing pursuant to this part.
     Information on proper application and use of pesticides.
     Requirement for handlers to follow all pesticide label 
directions.
     Format and meaning of all information contained on 
pesticide labels and in labeling.
     Need for and appropriate use and removal of all personal 
protective equipment.
     How to recognize, prevent, and provide first aid treatment 
for heat-related illness.
     Safety requirements for handling, transporting, storing, 
and disposing of pesticides, including general procedures for spill 
cleanup.
     Environmental concerns, such as drift, runoff, and 
wildlife hazards.
     Handlers must not apply pesticides in a manner that 
results in contact with workers or other persons.
     Handler employers are required to provide handlers with 
information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide 
exposures and illnesses. This includes providing, cleaning, 
maintaining, storing, and ensuring proper use of all required personal 
protective equipment; providing decontamination supplies; and providing 
specific information about pesticide use and labeling information.
     Handlers must cease or suspend a pesticide application if 
workers or other persons are in the treated area or the entry-
restricted area.
     Handlers must be at least 16 years of age.
     Handler employers must ensure handlers have received 
respirator fit-testing, training, and medical evaluation if they are 
required to wear a respirator.
     Handler employers must post treated areas as required by 
this rule.
    i. Protection from Pesticide Take-Home Exposure. Although the 
current training instructs workers and handlers not to take home 
pesticide containers and that clothing can carry pesticide residue, the 
Agency proposes to expand the existing sections to include more 
specific information in the worker and handler pesticide safety 
training on ways to reduce take-home pesticide exposure. Specifically, 
the expanded training content would include the following: Instructions 
on washing before touching family members, removing soiled work boots 
or shoes before entering the home, washing clothes that may have 
pesticide residues

[[Page 15469]]

on them before wearing them again and separately from other family 
clothes, and keeping family members away from treated areas, as well as 
information on the potential risks to children and pregnant women from 
pesticide exposure.
    Workers and handlers may be exposed to pesticides at work; 
additionally, they and their families may be exposed to pesticide 
residues brought into their homes from the workplace. ``Take-home'' 
exposure is the movement of agricultural pesticides from the workplace 
to the home via contact with pesticide-contaminated clothing, dirt 
tracked into the home, or other pathways. This type of exposure has 
generated concern among health care professionals and worker advocates. 
A 1995 study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on worker's home 
contamination found, in multiple industries, that hazardous chemical 
contamination of workers' homes is a worldwide problem, resulting in 
injury and at times, death (Ref. 49 pp. vii, 17-19).
    Although EPA does not have conclusive data about the impact of 
pesticide residue transfer from a worker or handler to his or her home, 
car, and family members, the Agency recognizes that workers and 
handlers are exposed to chemicals in the workplace and should be 
educated on minimizing the transfer of these chemicals to non-work 
locations. Some studies have been conducted to evaluate whether non-
working children in agricultural families may have greater exposure to 
agricultural chemicals than children of non-agricultural families from 
the presence of pesticide residue in their home (Ref. 50). 
Contamination of the home from agricultural pesticides can come from 
numerous sources, including soil, dust, or other residue on clothing 
and vehicles and contaminated storage containers (Ref. 49) (Ref. 51). 
Additionally, agricultural pesticides introduced into the home may 
persist longer than in outdoor areas, due to the lack of degradative 
environmental processes, such as those furthered by rain and sun. Peer-
reviewed studies have concluded that ``farmworker and all rural 
families must be educated about drift and how to reduce exposure'' 
(Ref. 52 p. 1259) (Ref. 53) and that ``pregnant farmworkers and those 
living with farmworkers need to be educated to reduce potential take-
home pesticide exposure'' (Ref. 34 p. 491).
    Studies have focused on the presence of agricultural pesticides in 
the homes of workers. Centers for Children's Environmental Health and 
Disease Prevention Research were established to explore ways to reduce 
children's health risks from environmental factors. The program is 
jointly funded by EPA and the National Institute of Environmental 
Health Sciences (NIEHS) and also collaborates with the Centers for 
Disease Control (Ref. 54). Two of the centers, the University of 
California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the University of Washington, 
have a number of studies which focus on agricultural pesticides and 
children, some with a primary outcome of pesticide exposure reduction 
strategies. The Center for the Health Assessment of Mother and Children 
of Salinas (CHAMACOS) Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study of 
children in the Salinas Valley, California, is the largest study 
administered by UC Berkeley's Children's Center (Ref. 55). California 
Department of Health Services tested dust in worker and non-worker 
homes and concluded that there is a greater presence of pesticide 
residue in the homes of workers (Ref. 56). Additional studies apart 
from the UC Berkeley activities have also examined the transfer of 
pesticide residues from pesticide-treated areas to the home and 
automobiles, i.e., the take-home pathway (Ref. 23) (Ref. 50) (Ref. 51) 
(Ref. 57) (Ref. 58).
    Effective methods of reducing take-home exposure exist. CDC's 1995 
study identified worksite behaviors, such as minimizing workplace 
exposures, storing clean clothes in uncontaminated areas of the 
worksite, changing work clothes prior to returning home, and showering 
before leaving the workplace, that are effective means to reduce take-
home exposure (Ref. 49). The report also identified methods in the home 
to reduce contamination, such as laundering work clothes separately 
from family laundry, preventing family members from visiting the 
workplace, and informing the workers of risks to family members and how 
to minimize their exposure. Workers and their families should be 
familiar with how behaviors such as hand washing, proper laundering, 
and removing work clothes before entering the home can reduce risk of 
exposure (Ref. 34).

ii. Training on Reporting Violations and Employer Retaliation 
Prohibition

    EPA proposes to require that worker and handler pesticide safety 
training include information on how to report suspected pesticide use 
violations. EPA also proposes to include a training point explaining 
that agricultural employers are prohibited from retaliation against 
workers and handlers for attempting to comply with the WPS or reporting 
suspected violation of the WPS. Including this information in the 
worker and handler training would increase the effectiveness of the 
existing WPS protections against retaliations.
    Under the current 40 CFR 170.7(b) employers are prohibited from 
taking ``any retaliatory action for attempts to comply with this part 
or any action having the effect of preventing or discouraging any 
worker or handler from complying or attempting to comply with any 
requirement of this part.'' The existing Sec.  170.130(d)(4)(xi) 
requires employers to provide training on protections against 
retaliatory acts. Similar protection against retaliation for handlers 
is covered in Sec.  170.230(c)(4)(xiii).
    Farmworker advocacy organizations recommend including in the worker 
and handler pesticide safety training information on the rights of 
workers and handlers under the WPS (Ref. 36). The Agency agrees that 
workers and handlers should be aware of WPS provisions on how to report 
violations and the prohibition on retaliation by the agricultural 
employer. Farmworker advocacy organizations indicate that workers and 
handlers informed of their employers' requirements and the process to 
report violations and pesticide exposure incidents are more likely to 
report them. This can lead to a clearer understanding of circumstances 
leading to WPS violations and pesticide exposure issues by enforcement.
    EPA believes it is important for workers and handlers to understand 
that the WPS provides protections for their safety and that if their 
employers do not provide the required protections, the government can 
assist them. By incorporating this information into the WPS training, 
it is more likely that workers and handlers will understand the 
information and be aware of the resources available to them in the 
event of a suspected act of retaliation or noncompliance with the WPS.
    Farmworker organizations requested that WPS worker and handler 
training include contact information for legal representation (Ref. 
35). EPA, however, does not agree. EPA does not consider it appropriate 
to recommend particular attorneys or legal representatives. Moreover, 
while legal representation may be helpful for a worker or handler who 
experiences retaliation or a serious pesticide exposure, it is not 
clear that requiring the requested notification would significantly 
contribute to the goals of FIFRA.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning training in regard to 
reporting suspected violations and employer prohibition against 
retaliation

[[Page 15470]]

appears in Sec. Sec.  170.101(c)(3)(viii) through (ix) and 
170.201(c)(3)(v) of the proposed rule.
    iii. Training on Hazard Communications Materials for Workers and 
Handlers. EPA proposes to require agricultural and handler employers to 
provide workers and handlers with access to the expanded pesticide 
application information, the SDS, and the pesticide product labeling 
upon request for up to two years. [See Unit IX.] EPA proposes to 
include an overview of the new hazard communication requirements and 
materials (expanded application information, SDS, and product labeling) 
in the pesticide safety trainings for workers and handlers.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning hazard communication 
content of worker and handler pesticide safety training appears in 
Sec. Sec.  170.101(c)(3)(i) and 170.201(c)(3)(v) of the proposed rule.
    iv. Training on Early-Entry Notification for Workers. EPA is 
proposing to add to the worker pesticide safety training points about 
the minimum age restriction and notification requirements for early-
entry work. Workers would learn that entry into a treated area under an 
REI would be limited to workers 16 years of age or older and what 
notification requirements must be provided prior to being directed to 
perform early-entry tasks. EPA expects that providing this information 
to workers during training would make workers aware of their 
agricultural employer's obligation to provide information on the 
protections required when asked to perform early-entry work. EPA 
believes that workers should be made aware of employer obligations in 
their training so they will understand the significance of (and, if 
they fail to receive it, notice the absence of) the information 
employers would be required to provide. For a complete discussion of 
the proposed amendments to the early-entry requirements, see Unit XII. 
The proposed regulatory text concerning early-entry notification and 
minimum age content of worker and handler pesticide safety training 
appears in Sec. Sec.  170.101(c)(3)(iii) and 170.201(c)(3)(v) of the 
proposed rule.
    v. Handler Responsibilities. EPA proposes that a handler be 
required to cease application if the handler observes a person other 
than another trained and properly equipped handler in the area under 
treatment or associated entry-restricted area. EPA believes that either 
the handler would have prior knowledge that another handler would be in 
the area during treatment, or would cease application until he or she 
could verify whether the person(s) in the treated area met the standard 
as a trained and properly equipped handler. This new requirement would 
impose additional responsibility on handlers. [See Unit XI.] Therefore, 
EPA proposes to add to the handler training requirements a point on 
this specific handler responsibility.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the cessation of 
application content of handler pesticide safety training appears in 
Sec.  170.201(c)(3)(i) of the proposed rule.
    vi. Respirator Fit-Testing and Medical Evaluation for Handlers. 
Unit XVI.E. discusses EPA's proposal to adopt the OSHA standard (29 CFR 
part 1910) for respirator use. The OSHA standard requires employers and 
users to take steps to ensure respirators are used safely, including 
fit testing the handler's respirator, conducting medical evaluation, 
and training handlers on proper respirator use.
    EPA proposes to require that handler training inform handlers of 
the new obligations of handler employers regarding proper respirator 
use. Handler training content is proposed to inform handlers that their 
employer must ensure they have received respirator fit-testing, 
training and medical evaluation if they are required to wear a 
respirator; only those handlers who would use a respirator would need 
to receive the full OSHA training on respirators. EPA expects this 
change would inform handlers of the new requirements for respirator use 
and their importance.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning adding to the training the 
employer's responsibility to provide handlers using respirators with 
respirator training, fit-testing, and medical evaluation appears in 
Sec.  170.201(c)(3)(iii) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs. The proposed expansions to training content would expand 
worker training from approximately 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and 
handler training from 45 minutes to 60 minutes. The Agency believes 
that the expanded training is necessary for workers and handlers to 
better protect themselves.
    EPA estimates the cost of expanding pesticide safety training for 
workers would be $4.3 million annually or about $11 per agricultural 
establishment per year. The cost to expand pesticide safety training 
for handlers would be $660,000 annually, or about $3 per agricultural 
establishment and $15 per commercial pesticide handling establishment 
per year. For a complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and 
alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the 
Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the specific benefits associated with this 
proposal. However, EPA believes that adding information to worker and 
handler training would assist workers and handlers to mitigate 
pesticide exposure to themselves and their families. EPA believes this 
would result in a lower number of occupation-related pesticide 
exposures and reduce chronic and developmental effects from pesticide 
exposure.
    6. Alternate options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
various combinations of the additional training content discussed 
above. For example, EPA considered simply clarifying the training 
required under the current rule to be more specific about the 
information to be covered. EPA also considered not adding the 
information about employers' responsibilities to provide training to 
early-entry workers and to handlers using respirators in order to 
shorten the total duration of a training program; however, given the 
importance of communicating the additional information to workers and 
handlers to ensure they have the information necessary to protect 
themselves and their families from pesticide exposure and the 
relatively low burden associated with extending the training to cover 
the content, EPA believes that all of the aforementioned points should 
be added to the training.
    While a shorter training program with fewer points would reduce the 
cost of the proposal slightly, EPA believes the benefits of providing 
the proposed additional training topics to workers and handlers are 
reasonably balanced against the cost.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Are there any training points listed above that EPA should 
consider not including in the final proposal? If so, which points and 
why?
     Are there points that EPA should consider adding to the 
training content? If so, what points should be added? Please provide a 
rationale for why the additional content would benefit workers and/or 
handlers.

F. Retain Audiovisual Presentations as Permissible Methods for 
Pesticide Safety Training

    1. Overview. The existing WPS allows trainers to train workers and 
handlers using a variety of methods, including an EPA-approved video or 
DVD. EPA recognizes concerns raised by stakeholders that the video/DVD 
may not be an adequate training tool when

[[Page 15471]]

used as a stand-alone training, but EPA has decided to retain the video 
as a training method and to add requirements for the trainer to be 
present throughout the presentation, to answer all questions from those 
participating in the training, and to ensure that the training is 
reasonably free of distractions.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires trainers to present 
the pesticide safety information ``either orally from written materials 
or audiovisually'' (40 CFR 170.130(d)(1) and 170.230(c)(1)). EPA 
developed a variety of training materials, including training videos 
covering the pesticide safety points specified in 40 CFR 170.130 and 
170.230. A worker training video, ``Chasing the Sun Pesticide Safety 
Training'' runs for approximately 30 minutes, and a handler training 
video, ``Pesticide Handlers and the WPS'' runs for approximately 50 
minutes. Each video covers the current training points and both are 
available in English and Spanish.
    3. Summary of the issues. Farmworker organizations have voiced 
opposition to maintaining a video as the training device (Ref. 35), 
instead recommending that EPA require employers to provide training 
using methods with greater interaction to better communicate with 
workers (Ref. 36). A report from EPA's National Assessment of the 
Worker Protection Program recommended that training materials encourage 
interaction and participation, and be both culturally and 
linguistically appropriate (Ref. 15).
    The Agency recognizes the passive nature of video training and 
understands that some stakeholders believe that a lack of worker or 
handler engagement during video training may prevent effective 
transmission of pesticide safety information. Focus-group research, 
however, indicates that workers prefer to receive training information 
in a video or provided orally along with simple drawings on paper as 
visual aids rather than an oral presentation without any visual aids 
(Ref. 40). Additionally, research has shown that comprehension of 
pictorials for safety-related information is significantly enhanced 
when accompanied by even brief trainer involvement (Ref. 59).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to continue to 
allow audiovisual training tools, and to add requirements for the 
trainer to be present during the training, to answer questions from 
trainees, and to ensure that the training is reasonably free from 
distractions. [See Unit VII.D.] Combined with more qualified trainers 
familiar with the principles of adult education, EPA expects that use 
of EPA-approved video would enhance, rather than diminish, 
comprehension of training objectives.
    Based on feedback received directly from the affected community of 
workers, EPA decided to retain the option for trainers to use 
audiovisual materials, including but not limited to videos, DVDs, and 
PowerPoint presentations, as part of the training program. EPA believes 
that allowing use of audiovisual training tools provides flexibility to 
trainers and employers by allowing them to be present to monitor the 
audience, to stimulate discussion, and to answer questions, while the 
video presents the major concepts of the training. This would help 
small establishments that conduct infrequent trainings to ensure that 
the training covers all of the major points. In addition, EPA 
recognizes that some employers and trainers are more comfortable 
utilizing audiovisual materials as part of training because widely used 
videos employ actors portraying workers to communicate the messages, 
which can be more convincing to the training audience.
    The proposed regulatory text requiring the trainer to be present 
throughout the training for workers and handlers appears in Sec. Sec.  
170.101(c)(1) and 170.201(c)(1), respectively, of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA does not estimate any costs associated 
with this proposal because it retains an existing provision of the 
rule.
    6. Alternate options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
eliminating the option for trainers to present material audio visually. 
Based on the rationales discussed above, EPA believes that allowing 
trainers to use audiovisual training materials and adding a requirement 
for the trainer to be present and answer workers and handlers' 
questions would adequately address the concerns raised by farmworker 
groups while allowing trainer's flexibility in how they communicate 
with workers and handlers.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following question:
     Please provide any additional information on the efficacy 
of different methods used to conduct worker and handler training.

G. Eliminate Exception to Handler Training Requirements

    1. Overview. Currently, an employer does not have to provide 
handler training to a person performing handler tasks if the handler 
has satisfied the training requirements under the Certification of 
Pesticide Applicators Regulation (40 CFR part 171). In order to ensure 
handlers receive the information necessary to understand WPS 
protections, EPA proposes to eliminate this exception. EPA expects 
removal of this exception would ensure all handlers receive complete 
information to protect themselves in situations specific to WPS 
establishments.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. Under 40 CFR 170.230, pesticide 
handlers currently are required to be trained on pesticide safety. 
Under 40 CFR 170.230(b)(2), employers may be excepted from the 
requirement to provide handler training when their handlers have 
satisfied the training requirements in 40 CFR 171. Part 171, however, 
does not include specific training requirements relevant to WPS; 
therefore, the exception allows handlers to qualify without learning 
about part 170 requirements, such as REIs and the prohibition against 
spraying when anyone is in the treated area.
    3. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to eliminate the 
exception for handler training for a handler who has been trained in 
accordance with the requirements in 40 CFR part 171. In essence, this 
change would require persons who apply pesticides under the direct 
supervision of a certified applicator to receive handler training under 
the WPS. As explained in Unit II, the Agency is considering separate 
revisions to 40 CFR part 171 that could include specific training 
requirements for persons applying RUPs under the supervision of a 
certified applicator. Although the training requirements in these two 
proposed rules overlap substantially (e.g., safe application 
techniques, understanding label requirements, safe storage and 
disposal), the training EPA is considering to require under 40 CFR part 
171 does not include specific information on WPS requirements, handler 
responsibilities, and reducing take-home exposure specifically in 
agriculture. WPS information is critical for handlers so they can 
protect themselves, their families, workers, the environment, and 
bystanders.
    4. Alternative options considered but not proposed. While EPA 
considered proposing identical training requirements for both Sec.  
170.201 and part 171, many RUP users never apply agricultural 
pesticides, and would not need to know all the detailed requirements 
related to the WPS protections, such as warning sign postings and 
specific handler responsibilities. EPA believes the WPS-

[[Page 15472]]

specific information is critical to equip a handler to avoid risk of 
exposure and illness in agricultural situations. Therefore, the Agency 
does not intend to impose the same training requirements for 
noncertified applicators under 40 CFR part 171.
    5. Cost. EPA believes the cost for this requirement would be 
negligible. Those employers that intend to provide training under 40 
CFR part 171 for their handler employees would be able provide the 
proposed WPS handler training and satisfy the requirements of both 
regulations. The estimated training burden for the two requirements is 
substantially similar.
    6. Request for comment. EPA requests feedback on the following:
     Should the proposed training under 40 CFR part 171 include 
a requirement for expanded training on the WPS?
     How would the benefits to employers from giving a single 
training that would apply to both WPS handlers and applicators using 
RUPs under the direct supervision of a certified applicator compare to 
the costs of requiring agricultural applicator training for all 
applicators using RUPs under the direct supervision of a certified 
applicator?

VIII. Notifications to Workers and Handlers

A. Posted Notification Timing & Oral Notification

    1. Overview. The current rule allows employers to provide to 
workers either oral or posted warnings about areas where an REI 
(regardless of its length) has been in effect within the last 30 days 
unless required to provide both oral and posted warnings by the 
specific pesticide label. For farms, forests, and non-enclosed 
nurseries (what EPA is proposing to define as ``outdoor production''), 
EPA proposes to require that agricultural employers post warning signs 
regarding the application of a pesticide that has an REI greater than 
48 hours, and proposes to allow the option of oral warning or posted 
notification for products with REIs of 48 hours or less. For 
greenhouses and indoor nurseries (what EPA is proposing to define as 
``enclosed space production''), EPA proposes to require that 
agricultural employers post warning signs according to the current 
posted warning requirements when the product applied has an REI greater 
than 4 hours, and proposes to allow the option for oral or posted 
notification where the product applied has an REI of 4 hours or less. 
EPA expects the changes to improve worker protection by increasing 
workers' awareness of treated areas and reminding them to take required 
precautions and to avoid pesticide exposure, leading to an overall 
reduction in occupational pesticide-related illnesses.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. Under 40 CFR 170.120, agricultural 
employers are required to notify workers about pesticide applications 
and areas on the agricultural establishment subject to an REI. 
Notification is required when workers or handlers are on the 
establishment during application or the REI and will pass within one 
quarter (1/4) mile of the treated area. In greenhouses and some 
enclosed nurseries, the agricultural employer must post warning signs. 
On farms, and in forests and non-enclosed nurseries, the agricultural 
employer may choose either to post warning signs at the usual points of 
entry around the treated area or to notify workers orally about 
applications that will take place on the establishment. Both posted and 
oral worker notification must inform workers about the location of the 
application and treated areas under REIs so workers do not enter. In 
cases where the product labeling requires both written and oral 
notification of workers, the WPS also requires this ``double 
notification.'' Part 170 does not currently require the agricultural 
employer to keep a record of oral warnings.
    3. Summary of the issues. In 2006, Farmworker Justice sent a letter 
to the EPA Administrator, signed by more than 50 different farmworker 
groups, suggesting revisions for making the WPS more protective. The 
letter states, ``Restricted-entry intervals (REIs) are . . . intended 
to provide a physical barrier, reducing worker exposure to pesticides 
when and where the risk is greatest. But workers are not effectively 
warned to keep out of recently treated areas.'' (Ref. 35) Farmworker 
organizations noted three problems with the current requirement: 
Workers may not remember REI details that span multiple days, oral 
warnings may not be adequately provided by the employer in the 
appropriate language or understood and retained by the worker, and 
compliance with the oral warning requirement is difficult to verify. 
Farmworker Justice recommended posting areas treated with a pesticide 
with an REI longer than 72 hours and requiring recordkeeping of oral 
notifications to workers.
    The Farmworker Justice comments are consistent with research 
showing that oral instruction alone may not be an effective method of 
safety instruction.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. For ``outdoor production,'' 
EPA proposes to require that agricultural employers post warning signs 
where the pesticide to be applied has an REI greater than 48 hours, and 
to allow the option of oral warning or posted notification for products 
with an REI of 48 hours or less. For ``enclosed space production,'' EPA 
proposes to require posting of warning signs where the product applied 
has an REI greater than 4 hours, and to allow the option of oral 
warning or posted notification for products with an REI of 4 hours or 
less.
    EPA believes that under the current rule agricultural employers 
most commonly opt to provide oral notification to their workers because 
this is less costly and less burdensome than physically posting treated 
areas. However, workers may not recall oral notifications when REIs are 
longer than a few days. Adults remember only about 10% of what they 
hear, but when the information is seen and heard retention improves to 
about 50% (Ref. 41). Entry into a treated area during an REI presents 
an elevated risk of pesticide exposure and EPA believes that ensuring 
that workers are adequately notified of treated areas in a manner they 
can recall and understand would result in fewer entries into treated 
areas during the REI without appropriate protection.
    A 2008 SENSOR-Pesticides/California Department of Pesticide 
Regulation publication cites reentry into pesticide-treated areas prior 
to the end of the REI as the second leading factor contributing to 
reports of acute occupational pesticide poisoning cases in agricultural 
workers (Ref. 11). One reason workers may be entering pesticide-treated 
areas is their lack of awareness that the area has been treated with a 
pesticide and is under an REI, which EPA believes can be addressed by 
more robust posting of treated areas.
    Because workers face challenges with literacy and understanding 
English, EPA believes that reducing the reliance on spoken messages to 
protect workers and increasing reliance on a clear, graphic, posted 
warning would better protect workers from the risks of entering a 
treated area before the REI expires without proper protection. The 
posted warning signs will serve as physical reminders for workers to 
avoid areas in which the REI has not expired. During pesticide safety 
training, workers would be informed of the requirement for agricultural 
employers to provide oral or posted notification for treated areas, in 
addition to the current requirement to describe the warning signs, 
which would increase workers' likelihood of noticing and complying with 
entry restriction signs. [See Unit VII.E.]

[[Page 15473]]

Treated areas under an REI pose elevated risk of exposure; thus, by 
keeping workers out, negative health effects of pesticide exposure may 
be avoided. EPA expects the proposed requirement to increase the number 
of areas posted on agricultural establishments across the nation, 
thereby increasing the number of workers who are aware of the REI and 
avoid entering, and ultimately leading to a reduction of incidence of 
pesticide illnesses related to unintentional entry into treated areas 
under an REI.
    The protective effect of increased posting requirements through 
subsequent reduction of pesticide illnesses has been shown in Monterey 
County, California. In response to a series of worker exposure 
incidents, Monterey County required agricultural employers to post 
areas treated with a pesticide with an REI of 24 hours or longer. Since 
its implementation, this county-specific requirement has led to a 
significant reduction in pesticide-related illnesses caused by entering 
a treated area before the expiration of an REI (Ref. 60). California 
cannot provide specific data on the percent reduction, but a 2001 
report from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation noted 
stakeholder consensus on and support for the requirement, stating: 
``All participants strongly believe that field posting prevents workers 
from early reentry. Monterey County participants support their 24-hour 
posting regulations, even though compliance is costly, because field 
posting prevents both application and reentry errors'' (Ref. 60).
    EPA believes the proposed posting requirement may also foster 
compliance and facilitate enforcement because WPS inspectors could 
readily view posted warning signs. Inspectors who see workers in a 
treated area while the posted warning signs were displayed could 
investigate whether the workers received proper early entry 
protections.
    EPA believes posting all treated areas would be a very effective 
method for ensuring that workers are notified about what areas are 
under an REI. However, the burden on employers to post all treated 
areas subject to an REI would be substantial. To treat an area with an 
REI of 24 hours, the employer would have to post the area, make the 
treatment, and retrieve the signs the following day. EPA believes that 
it is reasonable to expect workers to remember oral warnings related to 
treated areas under REIs for at most 2 work days, or about 48 hours.
    EPA is proposing to allow oral or posted warnings for areas in 
greenhouses treated with an REI of 4 hours or less. Greenhouse 
production is much more compact than outdoor production. In a row of 
planting tables, there could be many applications. EPA recognizes the 
need for workers to have information about the different risks they 
face; however, EPA also believes that products with an REI of 4 hours 
or less generally pose lower risks than products with longer REIs.
    As noted, EPA believes that workers can retain warning information 
provided orally for up to 48 hours. However, greenhouses and other 
enclosed space production establishments have significantly more 
applications in a smaller space. EPA believes it is unreasonable to 
expect workers to remember all of the information provided orally about 
treated areas when each different planting tray could have different 
requirements, therefore EPA is proposing a lower threshold for posting 
notification of treated areas on establishments where multiple 
applications may be conducted in a small area. EPA believes allowing 
employers the option to provide oral or posted notification of treated 
areas for a small subset of pesticides provides employers with 
flexibility while ensuring workers receive the information necessary to 
protect themselves.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning notification appears in the 
following sections of the proposed rule: outdoor production--Sec.  
170.109(a)(1)(i) and enclosed space production--Sec.  
170.109(a)(1)(ii).
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring 
employers to post all treated areas with an REI longer than 48 hours 
would be $11.1 million annually, or about $28 per establishment per 
year. EPA estimates that the proposed changes to notification in 
greenhouses would save about $10,000 per year, or $14 per small 
greenhouse. For a complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and 
alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the 
Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the benefits associated with this specific 
proposal; however, EPA believes requiring employers to post treated 
areas under an REI of greater than 48 hours would provide workers with 
more reliable information on treated areas and when to stay out. EPA 
expects this would result in fewer workers entering treated areas under 
an REI and therefore reduce the number of pesticide-related illnesses 
attributable to this cause.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed.--i. 
Alternatives to Posting Timeframe. EPA considered the Farmworker 
Justice recommendation for EPA to require posted warning signs in 
treated areas with REIs greater than 72 hours. This option would 
provide more protection than the current regulation, but not as much as 
the proposed option which would require the same posting, but for REIs 
greater than 48 hours. Given the importance to the worker of 
understanding which areas are under an REI, EPA believes that posted 
notification for products with REIs over 72 hours would not adequately 
warn workers to take precautions. EPA believes that it would be 
unreasonable to expect a worker to retain the information about what 
areas were treated and when REIs expire for longer than a two day 
period. EPA estimates the cost of this proposal would be about $7.9 
million, or $20 per establishment.
    EPA also considered requiring agricultural employers to post 
warning signs in treated areas with an REI of 24 hours or longer, 
similar to the requirement in Monterey County, California. EPA 
recognizes the impact of Monterey's posting requirement in reducing 
exposure to workers. However, EPA also recognizes the need to balance 
the protection of workers and burden on agricultural employers and 
applicators. Monterey County represents a small geographical area. EPA 
believes that while posting of treated areas with an REI of 24 hours or 
longer may have been practical in this limited region, it would not be 
practical as a national requirement. Agricultural employers would have 
a much higher burden to post every treated area with an REI of 24 hours 
or longer. EPA believes that workers could retain information on 
treated areas and REIs for up to two days.
    Lastly, EPA considered a requirement to post warning signs in all 
treated areas under REIs for enclosed space and outdoor production. 
This option would ensure that workers are aware of the status of every 
treated area and every area without posting would be safe for workers 
to enter. Posting of all treated areas where an REI is in effect would 
send a clear message to workers; however, it would be very difficult 
for agricultural employers to comply with this requirement. Some 
products have an REI of 4 hours. In essence, an employer would post 
signs after application and almost immediately take them down. While 
this task may be easy in enclosed space production, it may be 
substantially more burdensome for an agricultural employer engaged in 
outdoor production.

[[Page 15474]]

    EPA believes that the proposed option to require posting of all 
areas of outdoor production treated with a product with an REI greater 
than 48 hours strikes a balance between the three alternatives 
considered. EPA recognizes the value of allowing oral warning for 
worker notification of treated areas with REIs less than 48 hours 
because this option would provide regulatory flexibility (Ref. 18). EPA 
believes that workers informed orally can remember that an area has 
been restricted for entry for up to two days. Posting areas treated 
with a pesticide product with an REI greater than 48 hours would 
provide workers visual reminders when the REI is sufficiently long that 
a worker could have difficulty remembering the specific area treated or 
length of the REI.
    ii. Recordkeeping of Oral Notification. To address concerns that 
workers may not receive oral notifications of treated areas with REIs 
shorter than or equal to 48 hours, EPA considered adding a requirement 
for agricultural employers to retain records of the oral warning 
provided, signed by the workers who received the notification, for 2 
years. The required record would contain:
     Location and description of the entry-restricted area and 
the treated area;
     Date and time the REI starts and ends;
     Date and time the agricultural employer provided the oral 
warning;
     Name and signature of the person providing the warning; 
and
     Name and signature of each employee that received 
notification.
    Requiring the employee's signature on the record would provide 
incentive to the employer to provide the notification in a manner the 
worker understands in order to obtain the signature. This requirement 
would impose significant burden on employers. The time required to 
comply with the recordkeeping would substantially increase the time 
currently required to provide the oral notification, based on the 
additional requirement to explain the notification record and secure 
the signatures of all workers entering or working within 1/4 mile of 
the treated area.
    In addition, workers may have difficulty reading and understanding 
the record of the notification because many are not literate in 
English. Workers may sign the notification record because instructed to 
do so by the employer, not because they understand the information 
provided and intent of the record of the oral notification, undermining 
the intent of the record as confirmation of transfer of information to 
workers.
    EPA estimates the cost to collect and retain records for 2 years 
would be about $20 million, or about $51 per establishment. This cost 
is substantially higher than the cost for recordkeeping of pesticide 
safety training because pesticide safety training would only occur once 
annually per worker whereas records of oral notification could be 
required almost every time an application occurs. EPA has insufficient 
data to support a claim that the potential benefits of this 
alternative, i.e., increased enforceability of the WPS, would outweigh 
the potential burden on agricultural employers to record and maintain 
the information.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     For outdoor production, EPA proposes to allow the option 
of oral warning or posted notification for products with an REI of 48 
hours or less. Is there a different time period that would better 
balance the costs of compliance with the expected risk reduction?
     Will the proposed requirements for posting instead of oral 
warnings provide sufficient benefit for workers to warrant the 
additional burden placed on agricultural employers?
     Should EPA require recordkeeping for oral notification? If 
so, why?

B. Locations of Warning Sign

    1. Overview. Where the existing WPS requires a warning sign to be 
posted, the signs must be placed where they are visible from all usual 
points of worker entry to the treated area, the corners of the treated 
area, or an area affording maximum visibility. EPA proposes to revise 
the required posting locations to include locations visible from a 
worker housing area if the housing area is within 100 feet of a treated 
area for outdoor production.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires employers to post 
warning signs (40 CFR 170.120(c)). For applications in farms, forests, 
and non-enclosed nurseries (what EPA is proposing to define as 
``outdoor production''), the warning signs must be visible from all 
usual points of worker entry into the treated area, including, at a 
minimum, each access road, each border with a labor camp (what EPA is 
proposing be referred to as a ``worker housing area'') adjacent to the 
treated area, and each footpath or other walking route that enters the 
treated area. For applications in greenhouses and indoor nurseries 
(what EPA is proposing to define as ``enclosed space production''), the 
warning signs must be visible from all usual points of worker entry to 
the treated area, including, each aisle or other walking route that 
enters the treated area. When there are no usual points of worker entry 
to the treated area (farm, forest, nursery or greenhouse), the employer 
must post signs in the corners of the treated area or in any other 
location offering maximum visibility.
    3. Summary of the issues. During the National Assessment process, 
stakeholders, including farmworker groups and healthcare organizations, 
raised concerns about providing notice to worker housing inhabitants 
when their location is not directly adjacent to the treated area (Ref. 
17). Workers and their families housed near treated areas may have a 
higher likelihood of exposure to pesticides from inadvertently entering 
a treated area; the increased detection of pesticides in the body has 
been found to be associated with housing adjacent to treated areas 
(Ref. 51) (Ref. 57). In order to mitigate the risk associated with 
walking into a treated area without adequate notification, stakeholders 
suggested increasing the posting of areas near worker housing areas 
(Ref. 35).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. To prevent inadvertent entry 
into treated areas from onsite worker housing areas, EPA proposes to 
require a posted warning sign visible from a worker housing area if the 
housing area is within 100 feet of a treated area for outdoor 
production in addition to the required current locations. EPA expects 
this requirement would improve notification of workers and their 
families in worker housing areas, mitigating exposure resulting from 
entry into a treated area under an REI. This additional posting 
location should also improve safety of families living on or near 
agricultural establishments. Individuals in worker housing areas would 
be able to see the posted warning signs and avoid entry into the area.
    EPA considered the demographics of the worker population when 
developing this proposal. In recognition of their low literacy and 
limited English language skills, EPA proposes to use the widely 
recognized warning sign indicating to stay out of a particular area 
with text in at least two languages. In addition, workers and their 
families generally live near agricultural areas but may not be aware of 
when a nearby area has been treated. Children may play around the home 
in a treated area, increasing the likelihood of exposure to pesticides. 
By posting information warning of pesticide applications near worker 
housing for workers and their families to see, EPA believes that they 
will be less likely to inadvertently enter a

[[Page 15475]]

treated area and thereby will reduce overall risk of exposure to 
pesticides. This proposal supports EPA's commitments to keeping 
children safe and to take specific measures to protect vulnerable or 
disadvantaged communities and populations.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the warning sign appears in 
Sec.  170.109(b)(3)(ii) of the proposed rule.
    5. Cost. EPA believes the cost of this proposed expansion of the 
areas that must be posted would be negligible. For a complete 
discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the 
``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
a recommendation offered by Farmworker Justice to require signs to be 
posted at the usual points of entry and every 100 feet along the 
perimeter of the treated area (Ref. 35). Many members of the PPDC 
workgroup, including state regulatory agencies, cooperative extension 
services, and the agricultural industry, said that posting warning 
signs every 100 feet around treated areas under an REI would impose 
unnecessary burdens on the agricultural employer without resulting in 
additional protections for workers (Ref. 36). Based on anticipated high 
burden without demonstrable benefits for this option, EPA decided not 
to propose increasing posting to every hundred feet around the 
perimeter.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Are there preferable alternatives to the proposed option 
for posting locations that EPA has not considered? If so, please 
describe and provide data to support the alternative.

C. Warning Sign Content

    1. Overview. The current WPS warning sign says ``Keep Out'' and has 
a picture of a stern-faced man with an upraised hand in a red circle. 
EPA proposes to require the phrase ``Entry Restricted'' instead of 
``Keep Out'' on warning signs. EPA also proposes to change the red 
shape on the sign from a circle to an octagon. EPA believes the text 
change would more accurately reflect the intended message for workers 
to be adequately prepared and informed before entering a posted area, 
and the octagonal shape will provide an effective signal that entry is 
restricted that does not depend on literacy or language spoken.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. Under 40 CFR 170.120(c)(1), posted 
warning signs must state ``Danger, Pesticides'' and ``Keep Out'' in 
English and Spanish or another language the workers understand and 
contain the ``stern-faced man with the upraised hand'' in a red circle 
as pictured (in black and white) below.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP19MR14.000

    3. Summary of the issues. Stakeholders, including state regulators, 
educators, and farmworker groups, have noted that the message on the 
sign can be confusing. Under the WPS, workers can be trained and 
equipped to enter a treated area during an REI to conduct certain 
early-entry tasks, such as repairing a clogged irrigation hose. [See 
Unit XII.B.] Due to these exceptions, including the ``Keep Out'' text 
on the warning sign may lead to worker confusion, since workers have 
been trained to stay out of a treated area posted with the warning sign 
and also may be directed by their employer to enter the treated area to 
conduct an appropriate early-entry task.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to revise the 
required text on the warning sign to convey more accurate information 
to workers. While warning signs would retain the phrase ``Danger, 
Pesticides'' text at the top, the message at the bottom of the sign 
would read ``Entry Restricted'' instead of ``Keep Out''. EPA believes 
this revision to the text more accurately reflects that the sign is a 
warning to those entering a treated area. ``Entry restricted'' provides 
a bold warning for anyone entering a treated area but also allows that 
some entry may be permitted.
    Additionally, EPA plans to replace the current shape of the red 
circle that contains the stern-faced man with the upraised hand with an 
octagon. A red octagon is a widely-recognized symbol to stop, and this 
will provide a stronger signal to workers to be cautious when they 
encounter the posted warning sign, even if they are unable to 
comprehend the text. Workers will receive pesticide safety training to 
reinforce the meaning of the warning signs and help them in determining 
how to proceed. [See Unit VII.E.] The proposed warning sign is pictured 
below (in black and white).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP19MR14.001

    EPA specifically considered input received directly from workers in 
developing this proposal. Workers have indicated that they prefer to 
get information in simple language and images that communicate the 
message (Ref. 40). EPA expects that these modifications to the warning 
sign will provide a clearer, simpler warning to workers. EPA is aware 
of the importance of conveying clear and simple safety information to 
worker populations, particularly for workers who may have a low 
literacy level in English or their native language (Ref. 61, p. 16). 
NAWS data show that 85% of workers would have difficulty obtaining 
information from printed materials in any language (Ref. 3, p. 17). The 
proposed modifications to the warning sign would make it clearer and 
simpler, which should enhance comprehension by low-literacy adults, and 
by children of farm workers (Ref. 62).
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the content of the warning 
sign appears in Sec.  170.109(b)(2) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring 
employers to use the revised warning sign would be $99,000 annually, or 
an average of $0.25 per establishment per year. EPA estimates that 
employers currently purchase new signs every 2 years because weather 
and outdoor exposure renders the signs unusable after this period. For 
a complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, 
see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker 
Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify specific benefits for this proposal. EPA 
believes that requiring the use of signs that more accurately convey 
the intended message would lead to better understanding of the sign and 
its message by workers. This would result in less confusion about what 
the sign means, which should mean less potential for workers to 
disregard the sign out of confusion, and thus, fewer workers entering 
treated areas under an REI which should decrease the number of 
occupational pesticide-related illnesses.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. Farmworker 
Justice

[[Page 15476]]

recommended that EPA replace the ``stern-faced man with the upraised 
hand'' with the skull and crossbones. They noted that the skull and 
crossbones is a universally recognized symbol that communicates high 
risk of danger or death, and suggest that workers would better 
recognize the risks associated with entering an area posted with the 
warning sign if it bore this symbol.
    EPA considered Farmworker Justice's recommendation to change the 
warning sign graphic to the skull and crossbones, but decided against 
this option. The skull and crossbones symbol is currently used on 
Toxicity I and II pesticide product labeling and for designation of 
treated areas for certain extremely hazardous pesticides, for example, 
fumigants, and using the same symbol in less hazardous conditions would 
weaken its impact where it is needed most. The skull and crossbones 
symbol is associated with extreme toxicity or death, which is not 
always appropriate for every pesticide that has an REI. In contrast, 
the proposed sign indicates to workers that they should use caution in 
entering the treated area, but that entry may be permissible with the 
proper safety equipment. EPA does not want to send workers a mixed 
message by using the skull and crossbones on the sign. In addition, 
workers have been trained to recognize the current sign since the rule 
went into effect. The Agency believes that the ``stern-faced man with 
the upraised hand'' is still the most appropriate and well-recognized 
symbol for workers.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Should EPA consider replacing the current or proposed 
general field posting sign with risk-based reentry signs? What would be 
the costs and benefits of using risk-based signs?

IX. Hazard Communication

A. Pesticide-Specific Hazard Communication Materials--General

    1. Overview. The existing WPS does not require employers to provide 
workers and handlers with pesticide-specific hazard information on the 
products they may be exposed to in the workplace. In contrast, OSHA's 
Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), which covers most workplaces, 
requires employers to provide chemical-specific hazard information 
(i.e., the safety data sheets or SDSs) to workers before they enter an 
area where they could be exposed and to make the same material 
available to workers upon request. EPA proposes to require that 
agricultural and handler employers provide workers and handlers with 
access to copies of the SDS and pesticide labeling for products that 
have been applied on the establishment and to which workers and 
handlers may be exposed. EPA believes making this information available 
to workers and handlers may assist them and possibly health care 
providers in the event of an emergency situation involving pesticide 
exposure. EPA also believes that providing access to specific hazard 
information would assist workers and handlers in better protecting 
themselves and others from pesticide hazards in the workplace.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS contains several provisions 
designed to communicate pesticide hazard information to workers and 
handlers. By providing workers and handlers with relevant information, 
these provisions minimize workplace risks associated with pesticide use 
and mitigate the potential for occupational pesticide exposure. First, 
the WPS requires employers to train workers and handlers on basic 
pesticide safety and the general hazards associated with pesticides (40 
CFR 170.130 and 170.230). Second, the WPS requires employers to display 
basic pesticide safety information at a central location on the 
establishment to remind workers and handlers of safe practices when 
working with or around pesticides and to provide information about 
obtaining emergency medical assistance (40 CFR 170.124 and 170.224). 
Third, the WPS requires employers to provide handlers with access to 
the pesticide labeling during pesticide handling activities and to 
ensure that the handler has read the labeling, or been informed in a 
manner the handler understands, of all labeling requirements related to 
safe pesticide use (40 CFR 170.232(a)). Lastly, employers must display 
certain information about pesticide applications made on the 
establishment whenever workers or handlers will be on the establishment 
and a pesticide has been applied or an REI has been in effect within 
the last 30 days (40 CFR 170.122 and 170.222). Although the existing 
WPS requirements provide workers and handlers with basic safety 
information on how to protect themselves from general pesticide 
hazards, and where pesticides have been applied on the establishment, 
no requirement exists for employers to make pesticide-specific hazard 
communication materials, such as the SDS and the pesticide labeling, 
accessible to both workers and handlers.
    3. Summary of the issues. During the National Assessment meetings, 
health care, medical, and farmworker organizations urged the Agency to 
add pesticide-specific hazard communication provisions to the rule 
(Ref. 17). They noted that the WPS-required information about pesticide 
applications that must be displayed at the establishment provides a 
limited set of information about the pesticides used on the 
establishment. The information does not provide an explanation of the 
specific symptoms associated with exposure to a specific product, nor 
does it provide other use-related information that workers, handlers, 
and health care providers would benefit from reviewing in the event of 
a pesticide-related illness or an emergency. To support their request, 
they noted the disparity between information about chemical hazards 
required to be provided to workers and handlers covered by the WPS and 
the information provided to workers in all other industries under the 
OSHA HCS.
    Farmworker organizations suggested that workers and handlers should 
receive ``written information, in a pictorial and low-literacy format, 
concerning the short- and long-term health effects associated with each 
pesticide used at their worksite'' (Ref. 35, p. 2). Farmworker Justice 
recommended that growers provide ``crop sheets,'' i.e., booklets with 
information on each pesticide used on an establishment, to each worker 
and handler at the beginning of each work period that involves entry 
into any treated area. (Crop sheets can take various forms but 
generally summarize information about the pesticides used on a 
particular crop, the timing of application, the type of application 
(for example, air blast or ground boom), and potential symptoms from 
exposure to the pesticide.) Farmworker Justice suggested that the crop 
sheets be available in English and Spanish. They believe that 
information presented in this format would enable workers and handlers 
to recognize adverse effects and seek medical assistance if they 
experienced symptoms related to exposure to a specific pesticide (Ref. 
35). Other stakeholders have suggested that the detailed health effects 
information from Safety Data Sheets be provided orally to employees. 
EPA believes that the benefits of reading this detailed and often 
lengthy information to workers and handers are uncertain and such 
information could confuse workers with complex pesticide hazard 
information where the level of hazard is different for every situation.
    Pesticide safety trainer representatives on the Pesticide Program 
Dialogue Committee Workgroup suggested that providing simple 
information on how to prevent potential pesticide exposure is

[[Page 15477]]

the most effective way to enable workers and handlers to protect 
themselves (Ref. 36) (Ref. 39); they did not endorse a specific type of 
hazard communication information. Health care organizations noted that 
requiring employers to maintain pesticide labeling or SDS could 
facilitate quick access to these documents by workers, handlers, or 
their representatives in the event of an accidental exposure requiring 
medical attention. These groups noted that health care practitioners 
can provide more appropriate medical attention if they can review and 
reference either the label or the SDS. [See Unit XIV.]
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require that 
agricultural and handler employers make available to workers and 
handlers SDS and the labeling for pesticides used on the establishment 
that require WPS compliance. This proposed requirement would be in 
addition to the existing requirements to notify workers and handlers of 
the date, time, and location of application, length of REI, and to 
identify the pesticide product. Employers would be required to maintain 
the SDSs and the pesticide labeling on the establishment for 2 years 
from the date of the pesticide application. Workers, handlers or their 
authorized representatives could request access to the pesticide-
specific hazard information during normal business hours. [See Units 
IX.B. and IX.C. for proposed revisions to employer requirements to 
provide information about pesticide applications.]
    In adopting the Hazard Communication Standard, OSHA said there was 
evidence to indicate potential for chemical exposure in every type of 
industry, and that lack of knowledge about those hazardous chemicals 
puts employees at significant risk of experiencing material impairment 
of health (52 FR 31852; August 24, 1987) (59 FR 6126; February 9, 1994) 
(Ref. 63). While the WPS pesticide safety training provides general 
information about risks associated with pesticide exposure and how a 
worker or handler can protect himself or herself, the addition of a 
requirement to provide information about each specific pesticide would 
provide complete hazard information. The addition of a requirement to 
provide pesticide-specific hazard information about each pesticide 
product requiring WPS compliance that is applied on the establishment 
would provide workers and handlers with more complete information about 
the chemical hazards they may encounter in the workplace.
    Requiring employers to maintain the product labeling and SDSs for 
products applied on their establishment would ensure that workers and 
handlers have access to detailed types of pesticide hazard and 
emergency response information that would enable them to better protect 
themselves and respond to emergencies. Additionally, as discussed in 
Unit XVI., medical personnel are generally able to provide better 
treatment in the event of a pesticide exposure incident when they have 
more information about the pesticide product to which the worker or 
handler may have been exposed. Allowing authorized representatives of 
workers and handlers to have access to the product labeling and SDSs 
upon request would assure that the information can be accessed if a 
worker or handler is incapacitated; in addition, it would help assure 
that access to this information is not impeded due to employee fears of 
retaliation. It also increases the likelihood that workers and handlers 
will receive assistance in reading and understanding these documents in 
cases where they need such assistance.
    EPA believes that imposing this requirement would not be unduly 
burdensome to employers and would provide workers, handlers, and 
emergency responders with access to appropriate pesticide-specific 
hazard information that should meet their needs. The SDS provides 
succinct information about the known health hazards of the material, 
providing hazard information that typically is not presented on the 
product labeling, and it is readily available from pesticide 
manufacturers and should be provided with the pesticide container at 
the point of sale. Based on EPA's review of current state pesticide 
laws and regulations, and labor laws pertaining to agricultural 
operations using pesticides, 12 states currently require agricultural 
employers to make SDSs available to employees that may potentially be 
exposed to pesticides as part of their occupational duties (Ref. 64). 
Ten of the states implement this requirement under state labor 
regulations. Florida and California implement it under state pesticide 
laws.
    The use of SDS in hazard communication in all other industries, as 
well as in agriculture in several states, leads the Agency to believe 
that it would be the appropriate vehicle to make pesticide-specific 
hazard information available to workers and handlers.
    EPA recognizes that some employers may maintain electronic copies 
of their records. Under the proposed option, an employer could maintain 
a copy of the pesticide labeling used for the application and the 
corresponding SDS in either paper or electronic form. The employer 
would need to be able to provide a paper copy of the materials upon 
request. Employers would not need to update the pesticide labeling on 
file each time a new version is released; the labeling on file must 
correspond with the labeling used at the time of application.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the provision of SDSs and 
pesticide product labeling appears in Sec.  170.11(b) of the proposed 
rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring 
employers to maintain application information, SDS, and labeling for 2 
years would be $3 million annually, or about $8 per WPS establishment 
per year. The cost to obtain the SDS and labeling, as well as the 
additional information described in unit IX.B., and to make it 
available would be about $5.3 million annually, or about $14 per 
establishment. For a complete discussion of the costs of the proposals 
and alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to 
the Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the specific benefits associated with this 
proposal; however, the Agency believes that workers and handlers would 
benefit from having access to more complete information about the 
pesticides to which they may be exposed. The additional information 
also could be used to assist in more accurately diagnosing and treating 
pesticide-related illnesses. EPA believes the costs of making more 
pesticide application information available to workers and handlers are 
reasonable when compared to the expected benefits associated with the 
requirement.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
three alternatives to the proposed option: a requirement to make crop 
sheets available, a requirement to translate SDSs into different 
languages, and limiting the required pesticide information to the 
pesticide labeling.
    First, the Agency considered requiring employers to provide workers 
and handlers with a crop sheet in English and Spanish for each 
pesticide they might encounter, each time they enter the treated area. 
The Agency is aware of several attempts by state agencies to pilot this 
use of crop sheets. California and Texas have had requirements for 
employers to provide crop sheets to those working in pesticide-treated 
areas. Texas funded the initial development and periodic updating of 
the crop sheets, but the process became too expensive and labor 
intensive for the

[[Page 15478]]

state to continue. The states reported that the crop sheets were left 
as litter in the treated area. Texas reported that the redundancy 
between the requirements under Texas law and the WPS contributed to the 
decision to discontinue the crop sheet program.
    EPA believes that developing crop sheets as recommended by 
farmworker organizations would be challenging because they suggested 
simple pictorial descriptions of hazards and symptoms, which would not 
be accomplished easily with the technical information that is generally 
included on an SDS. In addition, many agricultural enterprises produce 
a variety of commodities, increasing the number and complexity of the 
crop sheets. Agricultural practices differ across regions and according 
to local conditions, making it difficult to develop a standard set of 
crop sheets that could be used nationally; a booklet that would be 
useful for vegetables grown in New England would not be representative 
of practices in vegetable production in the Southwestern United States. 
As part of its consideration, the Agency assessed the cost of 
developing crop sheets based on the assumption that pesticide 
registrants would develop the crop sheets because they have the most 
complete knowledge of each pesticide's properties, hazards, and 
potential health effects. The estimated cost of $13 million annually 
does not include copying and distributing the crop sheets to workers 
and handlers every time they enter a treated area. Copying and 
distributing the crop sheets would significantly increase the cost of 
this option.
    Based on the experience of states that have attempted to implement 
crop sheet distribution programs, EPA does not believe that workers and 
handlers would benefit sufficiently to justify the cost of developing, 
compiling, translating, and distributing specific crop sheets.
    Second, EPA considered requiring pesticide-specific hazard 
communication materials to be made available in a language that workers 
and handlers can understand. This would mean translating a copy of the 
SDS and labeling into each language understood by a worker or handler 
on the establishment and maintaining copies of the original and 
translated SDS and labeling, rather than providing the information in 
English and putting the burden of translation on the worker or handler.
    The NAWS estimates that the majority of agricultural workers (83%) 
are non-English speakers (Ref. 65). Additionally, NAWS data show that 
85% of workers ``would have difficulty obtaining information from 
printed materials in any language'' (Ref. 61, p. 16). Additionally, 
workers and handlers speak a large number of languages and dialects, 
and the Agency believes it would be impractical to translate and 
present complex information into so many different languages. This 
requirement would be complicated further by the fact that some 
indigenous worker and handler populations do not have a written 
language. EPA assumes that a majority of requests for the SDS will be 
made related to a health care incident, which means that either the 
health care practitioner or a worker advocacy support group would 
likely receive the information. These groups are more likely to have 
staff that speak English and are capable of translating the information 
for the worker or handler if necessary.
    All other industries--including the construction, janitorial, and 
maintenance industries where there are traditionally significant 
numbers of workers with limited skills reading or understanding 
English--use SDSs in English to meet OSHA's Hazard Communication 
Standard requirements to make chemical hazard information available to 
employees (29 CFR 1910.120(g)). Most readily available sources of 
pesticide-specific hazard information, such as SDS and pesticide 
labeling, are in English. EPA did not estimate the cost of translating 
the SDS and labeling into each language spoken by workers and handlers, 
but expects that the burden would be extremely high. The burden of 
producing SDSs in multiple languages would probably fall on 
registrants, but agricultural and handler employers would bear the 
burden of obtaining and maintaining a copy of this information in every 
language spoken by their workers and handlers.
    Based on this information, EPA does not believe that the risk 
reductions expected to result from providing SDSs to workers in their 
native languages would justify the significant costs of doing so. 
Medical and legal personnel who would provide assistance to workers in 
the event of a suspected exposure are proficient in English and could 
use the SDSs as already developed by the pesticide registrant.
    Finally, EPA considered requiring the employer to maintain only 
labeling for pesticides that require WPS compliance that are applied on 
their establishments, rather than both the product's labeling and SDS. 
Pesticide labeling must accompany the product; therefore, employers 
generally already have a copy of the labeling for products applied on 
their establishment. When a pesticide is applied by a commercial 
applicator or someone other than the agricultural employer, he or she 
can easily request a copy of the pesticide labeling from the person who 
made the application. The SDS, on the other hand, does not accompany 
the product and may require more time to locate, increasing the burden 
on the agricultural employer. Limiting the requirement to the pesticide 
labeling could reduce the burden on agricultural employers.
    EPA believes that the burden associated with retrieving a pesticide 
SDS is, however, not substantial because the SDS is readily available 
online and can be requested from and provided by the pesticide 
manufacturer and sometimes the pesticide dealer. The SDS contains 
information necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of certain 
pesticide-related illnesses. In some instances of pesticide-related 
illnesses, time is of the essence in determining the course of 
treatment. In these instances, having the SDS readily available for the 
worker, handler, and/or treating medical personnel could be essential 
to ensuring proper treatment. The cost for requiring the employer to 
collect and make available only the labeling would be about $1.6 
million, or about $4 per establishment. EPA believes that the 
additional burden associated with retrieving the SDS for each product 
is justified by the potential benefit to workers and handlers from 
having the SDS available in the event of a pesticide-related illness.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     What would be the burden on employers to maintain the SDS 
and pesticide label for 2 vs. 5 years?
     Do agricultural employers already collect SDSs? If so, how 
do they obtain them and what burden is associated with retrieving the 
SDS for one or more products?
     What are the benefits and drawbacks of requiring employers 
to maintain and provide access to employees and others the proposed 
pesticide-specific hazard information?
     Are there other approaches for providing workers and 
handlers with understandable, readily accessible, and relevant 
information on the symptoms, short-term health effects, and long-term 
health effects of exposure (including prenatal exposure) to specific 
pesticides? If so, please describe these approaches, their 
implementation, and the advantages they provide in comparison to the 
proposed approach.
     Are there other data on the benefit to workers and 
handlers from receiving

[[Page 15479]]

pesticide-specific information before every entry into a pesticide 
treated area?
     Does opening access to pesticide-specific information to 
authorized representatives raise any problems? If so, please describe 
the potential issues with particularity and provide supporting 
information where available.

B. Pesticide Application Information--Content and Timing

    1. Overview. The existing WPS contains requirements for 
agricultural employers to record and display information about 
pesticide applications and to make that information accessible to 
workers and handlers. However, the existing requirements do not include 
some key information about pesticide applications that could help 
workers and handlers better identify treated areas on the establishment 
and avoid pesticide exposure. EPA proposes to require additional 
information about pesticide applications to be recorded. EPA also 
proposes to change the timing of when employers must record the 
information. EPA believes the additional information would better 
inform workers and handlers of relevant information about pesticide 
applications. The more flexible timing requirements for recording 
application information would reduce burden on employers. [See Unit 
IX.C. for proposed revisions to requirements for displaying information 
about pesticide applications.]
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The existing WPS requires agricultural 
employers to record and display certain information about pesticide 
applications at a central location on the establishment. Employers must 
comply with this requirement when workers or handlers will be on the 
establishment and an application of a pesticide requiring WPS 
compliance has been made or an REI has been effect within the last 30 
days (40 CFR 170.122 and 170.222). The purpose of this requirement is 
to communicate information to workers and handlers about the locations 
of potential pesticide hazards on the establishment, for example, entry 
restricted areas or areas under an REI. The WPS requires employers to 
record and display the following information about pesticide 
applications:
     Location and description of the treated area,
     Product name,
     EPA registration number,
     Active ingredient(s) of the pesticide product,
     Time and date the pesticide is to be applied, and
     REI for the pesticide.
    The existing WPS requires the application information to be 
accurate and to be displayed before application takes place if workers 
are present on the establishment. If no workers or handlers are on the 
establishment at the time of application, the information must be 
posted before the first work period when workers or handlers are on the 
establishment. If warning signs are posted for the treated area before 
an application, the specific application information for that 
application must be displayed at the same time or earlier, in 
accordance with the display requirements. When workers or handlers are 
present on the establishment, the employer must display the application 
information for at least 30 days after the end of the REI. Employers 
may discontinue the information display prior to 30 days after the end 
of the REI when workers or handlers are no longer on the establishment.
    3. Summary of the issues. During the National Assessment and SBREFA 
consultation process, employers and pesticide applicators noted that 
they had difficulty recording and displaying application information 
before the application occurs (Ref. 17) (Ref. 18). They cited changes 
in pesticide application plans, usually to accommodate changing weather 
conditions, as a primary reason for not being able to accurately record 
the pesticide application information.
    State regulatory agencies noted that the current requirement for 
providing information about pesticide applications lacked specific 
information necessary to enable state inspectors to accurately 
determine the start and end times of the REIs (Ref. 17). As a result of 
a high-profile pesticide enforcement case and the aforementioned 
difficulty determining REI start and end times, North Carolina informed 
EPA that it has taken steps to amend the state pesticide laws. The 
amended laws would require the end times of pesticide applications to 
be recorded as part of state pesticide recordkeeping so inspectors 
could calculate precise REIs (Ref. 66).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. In addition to the pesticide 
application information currently required to be recorded, the Agency 
proposes to require agricultural employers to record further specific 
information about pesticide applications. The proposed information 
would include the specific crop or site treated, the start and end 
dates and times of the application, and the end date and duration for 
the REI. EPA also proposes to revise the requirement for when 
information must be recorded to allow flexibility for agricultural 
employers to record the pesticide application information no later than 
the end of the day of the application.
    An agricultural establishment can grow a variety of crops in 
specific areas. EPA believes that adding the type of crop site to the 
record would help workers, handlers, and pesticide inspectors to 
distinguish the particular treated area to which the information 
pertains. EPA also believes that including the specific start and end 
times for the pesticide application, in addition to the date of 
application, would assist workers, handlers, and inspectors in 
accurately calculating the date and time the REI ends. The requirement 
for employers to note the specific date and time when the REI ends 
would clarify when workers may enter the treated area. The proposed 
revisions would require agricultural employers to make the pesticide 
application information (as well as the proposed pesticide-specific 
hazard information [see Unit IX.A.]) available no later than the end of 
the day of the pesticide application when workers are on the 
agricultural establishment that day. By ``make available,'' the Agency 
means that the agricultural employer must, at a minimum, have the 
materials in a place where the workers, upon request, can have access 
to view them. If workers are not on the establishment on the day of 
application, the information must be made available at the beginning of 
the first work period following application. Changing when the 
application information must be made available allows flexibility if 
the application schedule changes. Making these changes would allow more 
realistic timeframes for recording application information and would 
take into account the realities of fluctuations in application timing. 
The change also would accommodate the requests to record the end time 
of the application and timing of REI. Information would be more 
accurate and the burden of correcting the information would be reduced.
    EPA does not believe that allowing the application information to 
be made available by the end of the day would put workers and handlers 
at risk because notification of treated areas to workers and handlers 
must occur before the treatment commences by either oral notification 
or by the posting of warning signs. Therefore, EPA believes that 
workers would be protected during application and immediately post-
application by the WPS notification provisions.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the timing and content of

[[Page 15480]]

pesticide application information required to be displayed appears in 
Sec.  170.11(b) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs. Because the information required in this proposal is 
linked to the retention of the pesticide labeling and SDS, the costs 
were calculated together. Therefore, the estimated costs for this 
proposal are included in the cost discussed in Unit IX.A. For a 
complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see 
the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Would the additional pesticide application information 
proposed by EPA impose undue burden on the applicator or the employer?
     Are there benefits or drawbacks to requiring this 
additional information that EPA has not considered? If so, please 
describe.

C. Pesticide Application Information--Location and Accessibility

    1. Overview. The WPS contains requirements for agricultural 
employers to record and display information about pesticide 
applications made on the establishment at a central location on the 
establishment from the time of the application until 30 days after the 
REI expires. EPA proposes to replace the current requirement with a 
requirement for employers to make pesticide application information 
available on request by a worker, handler, or his or her 
representative. The proposal would also increase the time employers 
must maintain the application information on the establishment from 30 
days after the REI expires to 2 years. The employer would maintain the 
pesticide application information in the same location as the SDS and 
labeling (pesticide-specific hazard communication; see Unit IX.A.). EPA 
believes this proposal would reduce the overall burden on agricultural 
employers while still providing workers and handlers with reasonable 
access to information regarding pesticide applications and pesticide-
specific hazard information.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. As described in Unit IX.B., the WPS 
requires agricultural employers to record and display certain 
information about WPS-covered pesticide applications at a central 
location on the establishment when workers or handlers will be on the 
establishment and an application of a WPS-covered pesticide has been 
made or an REI has been in effect within the past 30 days (40 CFR 
170.122 and 170.222).
    3. Summary of the issues. During the National Assessment meetings, 
stakeholders, particularly employers, noted the difficulty in 
maintaining the pesticide application information at a central posting 
site (Ref. 17). Pesticide application plans frequently change, and 
keeping a notice board at a central location, which, in some cases, may 
be a significant distance from the treated area, up to date with those 
changes presents a challenge to the employer, especially prior to the 
application.
    Agricultural employer stakeholders noted that weathering of the 
posted information quickly impacts legibility, making it difficult to 
meet the legibility requirements for the information (Ref. 67). Some 
states, including Florida, recognize the difficulty facing employers 
and have developed a portable central location display. Florida's 
display includes a laminated metal sign and weatherproof box to contain 
the necessary WPS information. Florida developed this display to 
increase compliance, to increase durability of the poster and 
information, and to provide a solution to the problems noted with 
maintaining the legibility of information required to be displayed at a 
central location on large establishments (Ref. 67).
    Keeping the information current at the central location has been 
problematic for agricultural employers, as records of frequent 
pesticide applications on an establishment with multiple crops can be 
difficult to maintain accurately during the growing season (Ref. 17). 
Employers argued that keeping the application information at a central 
location essentially requires them to maintain two copies of pesticide 
application records because they cannot rely on the WPS central posting 
site to be the only copy of application records, imposing a double 
recordkeeping burden. Keeping two separate sets of application 
information records with the same information on a busy establishment 
can be difficult.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require the 
employer to maintain pesticide application information and make it 
accessible to workers, handlers, or authorized representatives of 
workers or handlers upon request, and to eliminate the requirement for 
agricultural employers to display the pesticide application information 
at a central location. The proposed requirement does not specify a 
particular location on the establishment where the employer must store 
records, but does require that pesticide application records must be 
maintained on the establishment and must be made available upon request 
to workers, handlers, or their representative during normal business 
hours. The application information must be maintained in addition to 
the pesticide-specific hazard information. [See Unit IX.A.]
    The requirement for display of pesticide application information at 
a central posting site has been the most frequently cited area for non-
compliance and violations. Between 2006 and 2008, there was an annual 
average of 770 WPS violations related to central posting reported by 
states to EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (Ref. 
68) (Ref. 69) (Ref. 70). EPA has concerns about the difficulties 
expressed by stakeholders such as regulators and agricultural employers 
in maintaining this information at the central posting area, and it is 
reflected in the violation records. EPA has concerns about the 
usefulness of the central display to workers and handlers, especially 
on large establishments, because the worker or handler may be assigned 
to work miles from the central display and would not encounter it on a 
routine basis. Moreover, if the information is not accurate or 
correctly maintained, workers and handlers could be deprived of 
receiving accurate information about pesticide applications on the 
establishments. Rather than continue a requirement that burdens 
employers without clear benefits to workers and handlers, EPA has 
decided to revise the requirement related to displaying information 
about pesticide applications.
    The proposed requirement for maintaining and making pesticide 
application information (and the related pesticide-specific hazard 
communication information as discussed in Unit IX.A) available to 
workers and handlers upon request parallels OSHA's requirement for 
employers to provide hazard information. EPA recognizes that OSHA's HCS 
has been successfully implemented in all other industries, and that 
employers covered by the WPS struggle with maintaining the central 
display according to current requirements. The intent of the 
requirement is to give the workers and handlers access to accurate and 
legible pesticide application and hazard information. EPA believes that 
a requirement that allows employers to keep records in a location other 
than on display at a central location will significantly reduce burden 
on the employers without sacrificing the

[[Page 15481]]

amount or type of information to which workers or handlers have access.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the accessibility of 
application information appears in Sec.  170.11(b) of the proposed 
rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring 
employers to make pesticide application information available upon 
request and eliminating the requirement for central posting would be 
$1.1 million annually, or about $3 per WPS establishment. This 
estimated cost does not include any additional copies of the pesticide 
application information necessary because time and weather render the 
display illegible. The cost estimate includes an assumption that 25% of 
workers and handlers would request access to the materials, which EPA 
recognizes is a conservative estimate and drives the cost of the 
requirement higher. The anticipated benefits of this proposal were 
discussed in the section above. For a complete discussion of the costs 
of the proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of 
Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost 
Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA believes that this proposal would reduce the burden on 
employers by allowing them to maintain the records in a location that 
is not subject to weathering and would not substantially increase the 
burden on workers and handlers seeking this information. EPA believes 
that most workers do not routinely pass the central posting area 
because their workplace is at a different part of the establishment. 
The proposed change would continue to make available at a designated 
location pesticide application information for workers and handlers.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
requiring that employers post specific pesticide application 
information on the signs used to post each treated area. Under this 
option, specific information about the pesticide used, date of 
application, and REI would be included on the bottom of each warning 
sign posted around a treated area. [See Unit VIII.C. for a discussion 
of the proposals related to notifications to workers and handlers.] 
This option would allow early-entry workers to access information about 
the specific pesticides used in areas where they may be working at the 
time they enter the treated area. However, this alternative option 
would substantially increase the burden associated with posting treated 
areas because employers would have to copy the pesticide and 
application information onto each warning sign. In addition, when 
treated areas are posted for multiple days, the sign could become 
weathered and illegible, imposing the additional burden on the grower 
to update the legibility of the sign or negating the intended 
protection associated with providing the information at the treated 
area. This option could also reduce information available to workers 
and handlers because pesticide application information would not be 
available when the treated area does not require a posted warning sign.
    EPA believes that the proposed options to post a general warning 
sign at pesticide treated areas [see Unit VIII] and to require the 
employer to maintain and make accessible pesticide-specific application 
information balance the need for workers and handlers to have access to 
pesticide hazard information and the burden on agricultural employers. 
Therefore, EPA decided not to propose this option.

D. Pesticide Application Information and Pesticide-Specific Hazard 
Communication Materials--Retention of Records

    1. Overview. The current WPS requires employers to maintain 
information about pesticide applications from the time of application 
until 30 days after the REI expires. The Agency proposes to require 
employers to retain the pesticide application and related pesticide-
specific hazard communication information for 2 years from the date of 
the end of the REI for each product applied. EPA believes the extended 
recordkeeping period would ensure that state, tribal and federal 
agencies, workers, handlers, and health care workers have access to the 
information when necessary to investigate a health-related pesticide 
incident or potentially unlawful pesticide application.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The existing WPS requires agricultural 
employers to display information about pesticide applications from the 
time of application until 30 days after the REI has expired (40 CFR 
170.122(b) and 170.222(b)).
    3. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to 
require employers to retain and make available for 2 years from the 
date of the end of the last applicable REI pesticide application 
information and related pesticide-specific hazard communication 
information that includes the SDSs and product labeling for pesticides 
that require WPS compliance. EPA expects the extended recordkeeping 
period would ensure that application information is maintained for a 
sufficient period of time to allow for follow-up in the event of health 
problems that might be related to pesticide exposure or for 
investigation of a suspected pesticide misuse. EPA recognizes that some 
employers may maintain electronic copies of their application records 
and other documents such as SDS and pesticide labeling. Under the 
proposed option, an employer could maintain a copy of the application 
information, the pesticide labeling used for the application, and the 
corresponding SDS in either paper or electronic form. The employer 
would need to be able to provide access to the electronic format of the 
materials or make available a paper copy of the materials upon request. 
Employers would need to ensure that the copy of the pesticide label on 
file is the same as the label for the pesticide product at the time it 
was applied on the establishment. Employers would not need to update 
the pesticide labeling or SDS on file each time a new version is 
released; however, if the product used in a subsequent application 
bears a different version of the labeling, the employer would need to 
keep both versions of the labeling on file, in a manner identifying 
which version was used on which occasion.
    EPA believes the current 30-day timeframe for retention of the 
application information is not adequate for workers or handlers to 
access the information, especially if there has been a delayed health 
impact from the exposure. It is possible for latent health effects from 
a pesticide exposure to occur after the 30-day window, necessitating 
access to information about the potential source of exposure and the 
types of pesticides that may have been involved. In 2004 and 2005, 
farmworker women who had worked in Florida, North Carolina, and New 
Jersey gave birth to babies with birth defects. In 2006, EPA 
investigated the incidents and sought information about pesticide 
exposures several months after the women's employment ended (Ref. 71). 
The ability to perform a full investigation into the serious health 
effects was hampered by the 30-day limit for retention of the WPS-
required application information (Ref. 72).
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the 2-year recordkeeping 
requirement appears in Sec.  170.11(b)(2) of the proposed rule.
    4. Costs. The costs of this proposal were discussed in Unit IX.A. 
in conjunction with the requirement to retain and make available the 
SDS and pesticide labeling. For a complete discussion of the costs of 
the proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic

[[Page 15482]]

Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' 
Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    5. Alternative options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
requiring application records and hazard information to be maintained 
for 5 years. The incremental cost between the 2-year and 5-year period 
is negligible because the principal costs of recordkeeping occur when 
the record is created. Several states, including California, have 
required employers to retain WPS records for 2 years. Based on their 
experience, 2 years is a sufficient time to allow the state to 
investigate complaints. Therefore, it is not clear that the increased 
burden associated with requiring employers to maintain records for 5 
years would be justified.
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Should EPA consider a different timeframe for 
recordkeeping for this requirement? If so, what period and why?
     What burdens would be imposed on agricultural employers as 
a consequence of the proposed two-year record retention requirement?
     How would the burden of the proposal to maintain 
application records compare with the current requirement to maintain a 
central display?

X. Information Exchange Between Handler and Agricultural Employers

    1. Overview. The current WPS requires handler and agricultural 
employers to exchange information about pesticide applications. EPA 
proposes to add to the existing requirement information about the 
location of the ``entry-restricted areas'' and the start and end times 
of pesticide applications. EPA also proposes to require the handler 
employer to provide any changes to pesticide application plans to the 
agricultural employer within 2 hours of the end of the application 
rather than before the application. Changes to the estimated 
application end time of less than one hour would not require 
notification. EPA expects these changes to reduce worker pesticide 
exposure by providing accurate, timely information about applications 
to the agricultural employer.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. When handlers are employed by an 
employer other than the agricultural employer, the existing WPS 
requires the agricultural employer to provide the handler employer with 
information about treated areas on the agricultural establishment, 
including specific location and description of any such areas and 
restrictions on entering those areas (40 CFR 170.124).
    The WPS requires handler employers to provide agricultural 
employers with the following information prior to the pesticide 
application:
     Location and description of the area to be treated,
     Time and date of application,
     Product name, active ingredient(s), and EPA Registration 
Number for the product,
     REI,
     Whether posting and/or oral notification are required, and
     Any other product-specific requirements on the product 
labeling concerning protection of workers or other persons during or 
after application.
    Handler employers are currently required to inform agricultural 
employers when there will be changes to scheduled pesticide 
applications, such as to give notice of changes to scheduled pesticide 
application times, locations, and subsequent REIs, before the 
application takes place (40 CFR 170.224).
    3. Summary of the issues. State regulatory agencies participating 
in the IGW raised concerns over the regulation's silence regarding 
handler employers' responsibilities in the event a scheduled pesticide 
application changes resulting in the original information no longer 
being accurate (Ref. 14). IGW members questioned field implementation 
of the provision because the agricultural employer could send a worker 
into an area that is believed not to be treated while the handler 
employer changes the application schedule. As a result, the worker 
would be at risk of being directly or indirectly exposed to pesticides.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes two additions to 
the information currently required to be exchanged between agricultural 
and handler employers: the location of the ``entry-restricted area'' 
and the start and end times of the pesticide application. This 
information should help clarify the current rule and assist with field 
implementation.
    First, EPA proposes to expand the agricultural employer's required 
information exchange with the handler employer to include the location 
of the proposed ``entry-restricted area,'' which EPA proposes to define 
as the area surrounding a treated area during pesticide application 
from which workers or other persons must be excluded during the 
pesticide application.
    Second, to clarify and improve handler employer requirements for 
providing information to the agricultural employer, EPA proposes to 
require the handler employer to include the proposed start and 
estimated end times for the application, which are needed to accurately 
calculate the REI end date and time. EPA proposes to require the 
handler employer to provide changes to pesticide application plans to 
the agricultural employer within 2 hours of the end of the application 
rather than before the application. Changes to the estimated 
application end time of less than one hour would not require 
notification. These changes would allow more flexibility for handler 
employers by reducing the number of times they would have to 
communicate with the agricultural employer while maintaining 
communication of important application and safety information. 
Currently, the handler employer or handler must inform the agricultural 
employer of all changes to pesticide application timing before the 
application takes place. For example, if a rain storm delayed the 
application, this could mean multiple exchanges of information before 
the application takes place.
    EPA expects these changes would make the required information 
exchange easier for agricultural and handler employers to understand 
and follow. Providing more accurate information about the timing of 
applications and subsequent REI would assist employers in ensuring that 
workers and handlers are kept out of areas being treated or under an 
REI unless properly protected. Overall, the proposal should reduce the 
number of incidents resulting from workers or handlers entering treated 
areas unaware of an ongoing application or existing REI.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the information exchange 
between agricultural employers and handlers appears in Sec. Sec.  
170.9(k) and 170.13(i)-(j).
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the proposed revisions to the 
information exchange requirements would have no or negligible cost 
because they clarify the rule and codify existing guidance. For a 
complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see 
the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is it reasonable to require the handler employer to notify 
the agricultural employer of changes to

[[Page 15483]]

scheduled pesticide applications within 2 hours of the end of the 
application?
     What are the benefits to expanding the information to be 
exchanged between handler and agricultural employers? Are there any 
drawbacks?
     Would this impose additional burden on employers? If so, 
what burden and how could it be reduced?

XI. Handler Restrictions

A. Suspend Application

    1. Overview. EPA proposes to add a provision to the WPS stating 
that the handler or applicator must ``immediately cease or suspend 
application if any worker or other person, other than an appropriately 
trained and equipped handler, is in the treated or entry restricted 
area.'' This statement would help to ensure that handlers understand 
their responsibility to protect workers from pesticide exposure through 
direct contact or drift.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The current rule requires handlers to 
``assure that no pesticide is applied so as to contact, either, 
directly or through drift, any worker or other person, other than an 
appropriately trained and equipped handler.''
    3. Stakeholder information considered by EPA. WPS inspectors have 
informed EPA that the current WPS language does not provide sufficient 
directive for handlers to stop an application if a person, other than a 
trained and properly equipped handler, enters the treated area and 
entry-restricted area during application.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. The proposal would require 
handlers to cease application if they observe any person other than a 
trained and properly equipped handler to be present in the treated or 
entry-restricted area. This clarifies and strengthens the current WPS 
language which does not currently include a ``cease application'' 
statement but does require the handler to assure no pesticide is 
applied so as to contact a worker. This additional ``cease 
application'' statement is an important clarification considering the 
SENSOR-Pesticides/California Department of Pesticide Regulation 
publication that cites drift as the leading factor contributing to 
reports of acute occupational pesticide poisoning cases in agricultural 
workers (Ref. 11). Further, the Washington State Department of Health's 
Pesticide Incident Reporting and Tracking Review Panel 2009 Annual 
Report details an incident involving 54 workers exposed to drift from 
an aerial application where 47 workers sought medical treatment for 
multiple health symptoms. The adverse effects of this incident may have 
been mitigated if the handler acted to cease application when he saw 
the workers located in the treated or entry-restricted area (Ref. 73).
    The regulatory text concerning the suspension of an application 
appears in Sec.  170.205(a) through (b) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of this proposal 
would be negligible because it clarifies an existing requirement.
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Will this proposal, in combination with the entry-
restricted area requirements proposed in Unit XIV., effectively reduce 
worker exposure to spray drift? Please provide rationale and data to 
substantiate your response.
     Are there alternatives to this proposal that would better 
protect workers and others from spray drift, while reserving the 
flexibility to use pesticides in agriculture? Please provide rationale 
and data to support your response.

B. Establish Minimum Age of 16 for Handling Pesticides

    1. Overview. The current WPS does not establish any age 
restrictions for handlers. EPA proposes to prohibit persons younger 
than 16 years of age from handling pesticides, with an exception for 
handlers working on an establishment owned by an immediate family 
member. See Unit XVIII.A., for a complete discussion of the immediate 
family exception. EPA expects this change will result in reduced risks 
to children and improved competency in handling, resulting in reduced 
exposure to workers, handlers, bystanders, and the environment.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS does not establish a minimum 
age for handlers.
    3. Summary of the issues. FLSA establishes a minimum age of 16 
years for any person employed in agriculture to handle a pesticide 
designated as toxicity category I or II. The FLSA's statutory parental 
exemption in agricultural employment permits a youth under the age of 
16 to perform any work if he or she is employed ``by his parent or by a 
person standing in the place of his parent on a farm owned or operated 
by such parent or person.'' 29 U.S.C. 213(c)(2). The CHPAC recommended 
that EPA establish a minimum age of 16 for pesticide handlers of any 
agricultural pesticide, based on a recommendation from NIOSH. (Ref. 
74). Handlers, compared to workers, face exposure to pesticides at 
higher levels as they mix, load, and apply pesticides (Ref. 75). A 
report from NIOSH compiles studies that demonstrate ``[y]outh are at 
increased risk of injury from lack of experience. Inexperienced workers 
are unfamiliar with the requirements of work, are less likely to be 
trained to recognize hazards, and are commonly unaware of their legal 
rights on the job. Developmental factors--physical, cognitive, and 
psychological--may also place them at increased risk.'' (Ref. 76)
    In addition, during the SBREFA consultation described in Unit 
IV.B., the SERs recommended establishing a minimum age of 16 under the 
certification of pesticide applicators rule (40 CFR 171), with an 
exception to the minimum age on family farms (Ref. 42).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to prohibit a 
handler employer from allowing persons younger than 16 years old to 
perform handling tasks. The minimum age would not apply to handlers 
that fall under the WPS immediate family exception, i.e., working on a 
farm owned by an immediate family member.
    As discussed above, the FLSA already establishes 16 as a minimum 
age for persons using toxicity category I and II pesticides in 
agricultural employment. This restriction does not extend protection to 
all handlers under the WPS. Handlers may use pesticides in any toxicity 
category, from I to IV. EPA recognizes that some states may have 
additional requirements, such as requiring parental permission for the 
employment of children ages 16 and 17 in agricultural operations. EPA 
seeks to ensure that all adolescent handlers receive equal protection, 
regardless of the toxicity of the pesticide used.
    OSHA asked NIOSH to evaluate the existing Hazardous Order 
regulations and to make recommendations for strengthening the 
protections provided by these requirements. Among other things, NIOSH 
responded with rationale for changing the hazardous order related to 
pesticide use in agriculture to establish 16 as the minimum age for 
using all pesticides, not only those pesticides in toxicity categories 
I and II. The NIOSH report cites data from a study which examined 
pesticide poisoning among working children. A total of 531 children 
under the age of 18 years were identified to have acute occupational 
pesticide-related illness. It was estimated that 62% of the cases were 
children employed in agricultural production and services. Of the 81% 
of cases where the EPA acute toxicity category was available, 67% of 
the illnesses were associated with toxicity category III pesticides, 
which are not

[[Page 15484]]

currently prohibited under the hazardous order (Ref. 76, p. 93).
    Aside from any increased risks that children may suffer from 
pesticide exposures, the Agency recognizes that children generally lack 
the experience and judgment to avoid or prevent unnecessary exposure. A 
study conducted by the National Institutes of Health also demonstrates 
that because their brains are still developing, adolescents may have 
trouble balancing risk-reward decision-making and goal-oriented 
decision making (Ref. 77 p. 7). Although adolescents may understand the 
possible consequences of their actions, they are more likely to make 
decisions based upon their initial emotional responses, which will 
often lead them to make suboptimal choices (Ref. 77, p. 7). 
Additionally, younger persons are less likely to be aware of their 
rights and how to recognize hazards in the workplace (Ref. 76).
    The proposed age restriction would include a requirement for the 
handler employer to record the training and the birth date of all 
persons trained. It would be possible for someone under 16 years old to 
receive handler training; however, the trained individual would not be 
permitted to perform handling tasks until they turn 16. The proposed 
age restriction advances the Agency's commitment to protecting 
children.
    EPA recognizes the independence of the family farm and believes 
that farm family parents are in the best position to make decisions 
about the types of activities in which their children can safely 
engage. EPA believes that handlers working on an establishment covered 
by the immediate family exception would be adequately prepared and 
supervised by family members. Therefore, the minimum age requirement 
for handlers would not apply to persons performing handling tasks when 
covered by the immediate family exemption.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the minimum age of 16 for 
handlers appears in Sec. Sec.  170.9(c) and 170.13(c) of the proposed 
rule. The exception for persons covered by the immediate family 
exemption is found in Sec.  170.301(a)(1)(i).
    5. Costs. EPA estimates the cost of requiring handlers to be at 
least 16 years old would be $466,000 annually, or about $2 per 
agricultural establishment per year. It would impose no cost on 
commercial pesticide handling establishments. The cost of maintaining 
records of handlers' birth dates is included in the cost of retaining 
records for handler training. EPA recognizes that the estimated cost of 
this proposal is conservative because it does not reflect state 
requirements for minimum age that exceed the FLSA. For a complete 
discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the 
``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the benefits associated with this proposal. 
However, EPA believes this proposal would improve the health of 
adolescent handlers, as well as other workers and handlers on the 
establishment and the environment. As discussed above, adolescents' 
judgment is not fully developed. EPA believes that restricting 
adolescents' ability to handle pesticides would lead to less exposure 
potential for the handlers themselves, and less potential for 
misapplication that could cause negative impacts on other handlers or 
workers on the establishment, as well as the environment.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. As an 
alternative, EPA considered proposing a minimum age of 18 for pesticide 
handlers, which would also include an exception for persons performing 
handler tasks on a farm owned by an immediate family member. Handlers 
must exercise good judgment and responsible behavior to best protect 
themselves and others as they work with these potentially toxic 
materials. Research shows the differences in the decision-making of 
adolescents and adults leads to the conclusion that handlers who are 
adolescents may take more risks than those who are adults. The 
Department of Labor has established a general rule, applicable to most 
industries, except agriculture, that workers must be at least 18 years 
old to perform hazardous jobs (29 CFR 570.120) (75 FR 28458; May 20, 
2010). The use of agricultural pesticides presents demonstrable risks 
of significant harm to the applicator, the public, and the environment, 
and these risks are significantly influenced by the user's judgment and 
decision-making skills. Requiring handlers to be 18 years of age or 
older would prevent youth under 18 from being exposed while performing 
handling activities and would reduce risks to other persons and the 
environment from misapplication owing to users' poor judgment or 
decision-making skills. This option would harmonize the age 
requirements for pesticide handlers with the minimum age requirements 
for workers performing hazardous jobs in other industries. This 
alternative would also align with society's general trend toward 
increasing the ages at which persons are eligible to do certain things 
that present recognized risks, such as consuming alcohol or becoming a 
licensed driver.
    EPA estimates that requiring handlers to be at least 18 years old 
would cost about $3.1 million annually, or $11 per agricultural 
establishment and $320 per commercial pesticide handling establishment 
per year. EPA proposes to follow the existing framework of the FLSA and 
DOL's rules to propose a minimum age of 16, based on the existing rules 
and the higher cost of increasing the minimum age for handlers to 18.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Are there alternatives that have not been considered that 
would improve protections for adolescent handlers, either those under 
16 or 18 years old, while allowing flexibility for pesticide use for 
agriculture?
     What would be the impact on state programs of establishing 
a minimum age of either 16 or 18 for handlers?
     Would establishing a minimum age of 16 for handlers have 
an impact on state requirements for certified applicators to be a 
minimum age? If so, please provide data to support this position.
     Would establishing a minimum age of 18 for handlers have 
an impact on state requirements for certified applicators to be a 
minimum age? If so, please provide data to support this position.
     Are there additional benefits or burdens with establishing 
a minimum age of 16 or 18 for handlers? If so, please provide data to 
support either position.

XII. Restrictions for Worker Entry into Treated Areas

A. Establish Minimum Age of 16 for Workers Entering a Treated Area 
under an REI

    1. Overview. The existing WPS does not establish age restrictions 
for workers entering a treated area under an REI. EPA proposes to 
prohibit any worker under 16 years old from entering a treated area 
under an REI. This proposal would include an exemption for persons 
entering a treated area under an REI covered by the immediate family 
exemption [see Unit XVIII.A].
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS establishes conditions for 
when a worker may enter into a treated area under an REI (40 CFR 
170.112). The conditions are related to the type of work performed 
(often referred to as ``early-entry'' work) and the length of time the 
worker may be in the treated area. However, the WPS establishes no

[[Page 15485]]

minimum age for a worker sent into a treated area under an REI.
    3. Summary of the issues. In 2009, Earth Justice petitioned EPA to 
expand the protections of children in agriculture (Ref. 78 p. 23). The 
petition referenced several studies suggesting negative health impacts 
on youth workers less than 18 years of age who had been exposed to 
pesticides (Ref. 78). These references linked pesticide exposure to 
childhood leukemia and delayed neurological development in youth (Ref. 
78 p. 8). The CHPAC also recognized that ``growth and development of 
many organ systems continues into late adolescence'' and recommended 
that EPA enhance protection for workers in the 16-20 year old age group 
(Ref. 74 pp. 2-3).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to prohibit 
employers from directing workers under 16 years old to enter a treated 
area to perform early-entry activities while an REI is in effect. This 
prohibition would not apply to persons entering a treated area to 
perform early-entry activities while an REI is in effect on a farm 
owned by an immediate family member. To verify compliance with this 
requirement, EPA also proposes to require the agricultural employer to 
keep a record of the birth date of each worker trained. [See Unit 
VII.A.] While EPA believes that the proposed protections required for 
entry into a treated area during an REI would mitigate risks to the 
general worker population, concerns remain for children. Children may 
be more susceptible to pesticides because their systems are developing, 
so a level of exposure considered safe for an adult may not be safe for 
a child (Ref. 79 p. 51). See discussion in Unit XI.B.
    Due to workers' low income, farmworker families may face more 
pressure to have children working in pesticide treated areas. EPA has 
particular concern for children working in a pesticide-treated area 
before the REI expires. As discussed earlier, the potential risk for 
pesticide exposure is elevated when a treated area is under an REI. EPA 
considered this elevated risk in combination with children's 
potentially greater susceptibility to pesticide exposure and developing 
decision-making capabilities, as well as the demographics of workers 
when developing this proposal. EPA believes this proposal is necessary 
to prevent unreasonable risks to children, taking into account the 
economic needs of farm worker families.
    As discussed above, protections already exist under the FLSA for 
persons under 16 years old working with pesticides in agriculture. 
Extending these protections to those who enter a treated area during an 
REI could mitigate the potential effects of elevated pesticide exposure 
to children under 16 while their systems are still developing.
    EPA recognizes that farm family parents are in the best position to 
make decisions about the types of activities in which their children 
can safely engage. EPA believes that persons performing early-entry 
tasks who are on an establishment covered by the immediate family 
exception would be adequately prepared and supervised by family 
members. Therefore, the minimum age requirement for early-entry workers 
would not apply to persons performing early-entry tasks when covered by 
the WPS immediate family exemption.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning a minimum age of 16 for 
entering a treated area under an REI appears in Sec.  170.303 of the 
proposed rule. The exception for persons covered by the immediate 
family exemption is found in Sec.  170.301(a)(1)(i).
    5. Costs/Benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring early-entry 
workers to be at least 16 years old would be $156,000 annually, or less 
than $1 per WPS establishment per year. For a complete discussion of 
the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic 
Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' 
Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the benefits associated with this proposal; 
however, EPA is committed to protecting the health of children. EPA 
believes that imposing this requirement would reduce the number of 
children who suffer occupational pesticide-related illnesses, as well 
as the chronic and developmental effects that may be associated with 
children's exposure to pesticides.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. EPA considered 
a minimum age of 18 for workers to enter treated areas under an REI, 
with an exception for persons covered by the immediate family 
exception. Studies show that children's systems continue developing 
until they reach adulthood, increasing the potential for adverse 
outcomes from their exposure, as compared to adults. Additionally, data 
show children's maturity and comprehension are still developing (Ref. 
77 p. 2). Early entry workers are exposed to pesticides before the REI 
has expired, meaning there may be higher levels of residues and more 
potential for exposure and negative health impacts. Early entry workers 
must use PPE properly and comply with additional measures to ensure 
they are protected from the higher potential risks. Adolescents may be 
less likely to comply with these measures and more likely to take risks 
that put their health at risk because their maturity and comprehension 
of risk are still developing.
    EPA estimates the cost of this option would be about $723,000 
annually, or about $2 per agricultural establishment. EPA does not have 
data to indicate that the anticipated additional protection for 
children support increased costs of the higher minimum age.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following question:
     Are there other ways EPA could protect children less than 
16 years old from pesticide risks associated with entry into a treated 
area during an REI? If so, please describe.
     What would be the impact on state programs of establishing 
a minimum age for early entry workers?
     Would establishing a minimum age of 16 or 18 for early 
entry workers have an adverse impact on state requirements for 
certified applicators to be a minimum age, generally 16 or 18?
     Are there additional benefits or burdens with establishing 
a minimum age of 16? If so, please provide data to support this 
position.
     Are there additional benefits or burdens associated with 
establishing a minimum age of 18? If so, please provide data to support 
this position.

B. Requirements for Entry During an REI

    1. Overview. The WPS establishes specific exceptions to the 
prohibition on sending workers into a treated area while an REI is in 
effect. Workers who enter pesticide-treated areas during an REI (known 
as ``early-entry workers'') without adequate protection may face an 
elevated risk from pesticide exposure. EPA proposes to require 
employers (1) to inform workers sent into a treated area while the REI 
is in effect of the specific exception under which they would enter, 
(2) to describe the tasks permitted and any limitations required under 
that exception, and (3) to explain the personal protective equipment 
required by the labeling. EPA also proposes to require the employer to 
create a record of the oral notification, to obtain the signature of 
each early-entry worker acknowledging the oral notification prior to 
the early entry, and to maintain the record for 2 years.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS prohibits employers from 
directing workers to enter a treated area where an REI is in effect 
except under specific

[[Page 15486]]

early entry exceptions (40 CFR 170.112(a)). Recognizing some 
circumstances in which there may be a need to have work performed in a 
treated area during the REI, EPA established exceptions to the general 
prohibition for ``no-contact,'' ``short-term,'' and ``agricultural 
emergency activities'' (40 CFR 170.112). EPA later established two 
administrative exceptions that are not in 40 CFR part 170, for 
``limited contact'' and irrigation activities (60 FR 21955; May 3, 
1995) (60 FR 21960; May 3, 1995). Each exception requires specific 
protective measures or limitations on work to protect early-entry 
workers from unreasonable adverse effects from pesticide exposure. [For 
a complete discussion of the exceptions and proposed revisions, see 
Unit XII.D.] The WPS requires employers to provide workers with PPE, to 
assure that early-entry workers follow precautions listed on the label, 
and to provide water and decontamination supplies nearby for when the 
worker exits the treated area.
    3. Summary of the issues. Farmworker Justice suggested that workers 
may not recognize the elevated risk from early entry or understand the 
requirements of the exceptions, and therefore may fail to appreciate 
the particular importance of complying with the terms of the early-
entry exception. Farmworker Justice recommended that workers receive 
information about the health effects associated with the pesticides 
they may encounter while working (Ref. 35 p. 7).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. In addition to what the WPS 
currently requires, EPA proposes to require that agricultural 
employers:
     Provide oral notification to early-entry workers prior to 
each entry into an area under an REI;
     Provide information (in addition to the current 
requirement to follow product labeling instruction) about the pesticide 
application, the specific task to be performed, and the amount of time 
that the worker is allowed to remain in the treated area;
     Collect written acknowledgement of receipt of the oral 
notification, including the date of birth, printed name and signature 
of each worker, prior to his or her entry; and
     Retain for 2 years the worker-signed record of this 
notification.
    When entering a treated area during an REI, the worker faces risk 
of exposure to pesticides at concentrations with the potential for 
adverse health effects that are of specific concern. Evaluation of 
incident reports has demonstrated that workers who enter a treated area 
prior to the expiration of the REI are more adversely affected than 
those workers who enter the treated area after the REI has expired, 
suffering from respiratory issues, rashes, and other illness (Ref. 11). 
Results from a recent SENSOR-Pesticides/California Department of 
Pesticide Regulation analysis of the most common factors contributing 
to incidents of pesticide poisoning indicate that ``early reentry into 
a recently treated area'' was the second most common factor (Ref. 11). 
The report cites early reentry as contributing to 17% (336) of all 
acute pesticide poisoning cases for which a cause was identified in the 
agricultural industry between 1998 and 2005 (Ref. 11, p. 891).
    EPA expects the proposed requirements to provide early-entry 
workers information about the pesticide application, the specific task 
to be performed, and the amount of time that the worker is allowed to 
remain in the treated area, and to obtain the early-entry worker's 
signature to increase the likelihood of those workers understanding and 
following the applicable risk mitigation measures and assure that 
workers have information about what early-entry activities they 
performed in the event they suffer a pesticide-related illness. Sending 
a worker into a treated area under an REI to perform specific tasks 
with the appropriate knowledge and equipment to protect him or herself 
decreases the likelihood that the worker would experience pesticide 
poisoning. Further, the proposed requirement to create and maintain a 
record to verify the oral notification would serve as a tool for 
inspectors to verify rule compliance.
    This proposal would work in concert with two other proposed 
changes: requiring posting of treated areas [Unit VIII.] and enhancing 
the content of worker training [Unit VII.]. The Agency believes that 
training early-entry workers on what they should expect if the 
agricultural employer requests that they enter a treated area under an 
REI, as well as posting all areas treated with a product that has an 
REI of 48 hours or longer, would better prepare workers to protect 
themselves while performing early-entry tasks.
    EPA is proposing to require recordkeeping of oral notification to 
early-entry workers, but not recordkeeping of oral notification of 
treated areas (discussed above in Unit VIII.A.6.ii.) based on the 
elevated risks facing early-entry workers and importance of ensuring 
they have the information necessary to protect themselves during the 
higher-risk early entry activities. Workers receiving general 
notification of treated areas do not need to know how long they may be 
in the area, types of exposure, or how best to protect themselves; they 
are instructed to keep out of specific treated areas. EPA believes that 
the burden on employers to create and maintain a record of the early-
entry worker notification is balanced by the increased flexibility to 
employers, while ensuring sufficient protection for early-entry 
workers. As discussed above, EPA does not believe that the cost of 
creating and maintaining records of oral notification of pesticide-
treated areas is outweighed by the potential benefits.
    Additionally, the cost of creating and maintaining a record of oral 
notification for early entry workers is substantially lower than the 
cost of creating and maintaining a record of oral notification when the 
REI has expired.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning early-entry requirements 
appears in Sec.  170.305 of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring 
employers to provide early-entry workers with oral notification would 
be about $700,000 annually, or about $2 per establishment per year.
    EPA estimates the cost of requiring employers to maintain records 
of oral notifications provided to early-entry workers would be $470,000 
annually, or about $1 per establishment per year.
    For a complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and 
alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the 
Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the benefits associated with this proposal; 
however, EPA recognizes that entering a treated area during an REI is 
one of the primary identified sources of pesticide-related illness in 
workers. EPA believes this proposal would provide workers with more 
information about the risks they may face and how to protect themselves 
from pesticide exposure, and would ultimately lead to a reduction in 
the number of pesticide-related illnesses associated with early entry 
into a pesticide-treated area.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. Many of the 
alternative options considered are more fully discussed in other areas 
of this preamble. EPA considered the option of eliminating early entry 
for no-contact, limited contact, irrigation and short-term exceptions 
as recommended by worker advocacy organizations. [See Unit XII.D.] EPA 
also considered requiring agricultural employers to distribute 
pesticide hazard information to each worker upon entry into any treated 
area. [See Unit IX.A.]

[[Page 15487]]

    EPA also considered requiring employers to keep records of the 
conditions of the exception claimed and notification to workers for 5 
years instead of the proposed requirement of 2 years. Because most of 
the costs associated with recordkeeping are incurred upon creating the 
record, the incremental costs of retaining the records for a longer 
period are minimal. However, as discussed earlier, it is not clear that 
the potential benefits associated with retaining the records for a 
longer period justify the increased cost and burden on employers.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is there other information related to entry into a treated 
area under an REI that EPA should require employers to document? If so, 
what information and why?
     Are there other ways EPA could verify that workers 
received notification and the proper equipment to work in a treated 
area under an REI without the proposed recordkeeping?

C. Clarify Requirement for Decontamination Supplies for Workers 
Entering a Treated Area Under an REI

    1. Overview. The existing WPS requires employers to provide early-
entry workers with ``a sufficient amount of water'' for 
decontamination. EPA proposes to clarify the meaning of ``a sufficient 
amount of water'' for decontamination of workers entering a treated 
area under an REI. EPA expects that the clarification would facilitate 
compliance and that adequate decontamination supplies would reduce the 
likelihood that workers would suffer an illness from the exposure 
during early-entry work and would protect worker families from take-
home exposure.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires the agricultural 
employers to provide ``soap, clean towels, and a sufficient amount of 
water so that the workers may wash thoroughly'' when workers perform 
tasks in a treated area while the REI is in effect (40 CFR 170.112(d)).
    3. Summary of the issues. Farmworker Justice and state regulators 
have requested that EPA clarify what amount of water would be 
sufficient.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require that 
agricultural employers provide at least 3 gallons of water per worker 
for decontamination after a worker has performed tasks in a treated 
area under an REI. This amount is based on the 1993 EPA guidance 
document, ``How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard for 
Agricultural Pesticides: What Employers Need to Know.'' (Ref. 80 p. 25) 
EPA believes this amount of water would be sufficient for a worker to 
wash exposed areas. This is the same amount of water being proposed for 
handler decontamination. [See Unit XIV.A.]
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the required amount of 
water appears in Sec.  170.305(j) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs/Benefits. EPA estimates the cost of the proposal to 
increase the quantity of water available for early-entry worker 
decontamination would be $2,500 annually, or less than $0.01 per WPS 
establishment per year. For a complete discussion of the costs of the 
proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed 
Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis 
(Ref. 1).
    EPA expects that adequate decontamination supplies would reduce 
instances where workers fail to wash after performing WPS tasks owing 
to insufficient supplies, thereby reducing the likelihood that workers 
would suffer an illness from the exposure during early-entry work and 
would protect worker families from take-home exposure. EPA also expects 
that the clarification would make it easier for employers to understand 
and comply with the WPS decontamination supply requirements.
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is 3 gallons for decontamination a reasonable amount of 
water for an early-entry worker who has been exposed to a pesticide? If 
not, why?
     What amount of water would be reasonable, or what other 
alternative is there?

D. Exception to the General Prohibition Against Sending Workers Into a 
Treated Area Under an REI

    1. Overview. The existing WPS includes specific exceptions to the 
employer prohibition against sending workers into a treated area during 
an REI. EPA proposes to clarify these exceptions to make them more 
understandable and easier for employers to follow.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS prohibits employers from 
directing workers into a treated area while an REI is in effect (40 CFR 
170.112(a)). The regulation also provides for exceptions to the entry 
restrictions so that certain activities considered critical to 
successful agricultural production can take place during an REI. The 
exceptions to the entry restrictions allow entry into an area under an 
REI for activities with no-contact, certain short-term activities, and 
certain activities associated with agricultural emergencies (40 CFR 
170.112(b)-(d)). EPA added the exception provisions to the 1992 WPS to 
minimize potential adverse impacts on agriculture that could occur 
because of the restrictions on entering treated areas while an REI is 
in effect. The exceptions allow early-entry activities only under very 
limited circumstances. The exception provisions include specific 
requirements and limitations intended to ensure that workers are 
adequately protected during any allowed early-entry activities.
    In addition, the WPS includes an administrative process to allow 
additional exceptions to the prohibition on early entry for activities 
critical to agricultural production that were not addressed in the 
existing exceptions (40 CFR 170.112(e)). In 1995, the Agency granted 
administrative exceptions for irrigation and limited contact 
activities. The rationale for and terms and conditions of these 
administrative exceptions were included in the final Federal Register 
notice announcing the Agency's approval of the request for the 
exceptions (60 FR 21955; May 3, 1995) (60 FR 21960; May 3, 1995).
    3. Summary of the issues. In general, USDA has indicated support 
for revising the regulation to clarify the requirements of the 
exception to enable worker reentry without compromising human health. 
USDA said growers need maximum flexibility to direct workers to reenter 
treated areas to perform tasks in a timely manner (Ref. 81).
    EPA received a letter signed by a broad coalition of farmworker 
organizations that opposed the inclusion of any exception to the 
prohibition on directing workers to enter a treated area while an REI 
is in effect (Ref. 35). They suggested that REIs should protect post-
application workers by reducing their exposure to pesticides at a time 
when the residues are hazardous. Farmworker advocates noted that 
creating exceptions to the REIs substantially weakens this protection 
and increases the risk of injury to the workers, even if additional 
personal protective equipment is required and provided. Farmworker 
organizations asserted that many worker injuries occurred because 
workers were put back in the treated area before the REI had expired. 
They also indicated a belief that required PPE is often not worn 
because it interferes with workers' ability to perform their tasks in 
an efficient manner.

[[Page 15488]]

    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA agrees that some of the 
current exception provisions contain vague or unenforceable language 
that may be confusing to agricultural employers and the regulated 
community. Unclear regulations present compliance challenges for 
employers and, if misunderstood, may place early-entry workers at risk 
of being sent into treated areas to engage in tasks that should not 
take place during the REI.
    Detailed descriptions of the proposed revisions and specifically 
related stakeholder input are discussed below.
    i. Clarify conditions of ``No Contact'' exception.
    a. Existing WPS regulations. The no-contact exception permits entry 
into a treated area under an REI for activities for which workers will 
have no contact with treated surfaces (40 CFR 170.112(b)). Examples of 
acceptable ``no contact'' activities include the following:
     Worker in an open-cab vehicle in a treated area where the 
plants and other treated surfaces cannot brush against the worker and 
cannot drop or drip pesticides onto the worker;
     After a pesticide is correctly incorporated or injected 
into the soil, the worker is performing tasks that do not involve 
touching or disrupting the soil surface other than walking with shoes 
on the soil surface; and
     Worker in an enclosed cab vehicle in a treated area.
    b. Summary of the issues. States and employers requested 
clarification from EPA on the conditions of the no-contact exception 
and what tasks constituted no-contact activities. Specifically, they 
suggested that wearing PPE to prevent contact with pesticide treated 
surfaces does not constitute no-contact early entry.
    A coalition of farmworker advocate groups requested that EPA impose 
greater restrictions on the no-contact exception (Ref. 35).
    c. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to 
clarify that activities reasonably expected to involve contact with 
treated surfaces cannot be no-contact activities, even if the contact 
is limited or mediated through the use of personal protective 
equipment. Wearing PPE reduces exposure to pesticide residues, but it 
cannot be relied upon to reduce exposure to the same level expected of 
a no-contact activity. Even with PPE, workers engaged in activities 
involving treated surfaces still face a risk of greater exposure than 
they would if they did not contact treated surfaces.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the no-contact exception 
appears in Sec.  170.303(a) of the proposed rule.
    d. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates there are no costs associated 
with this proposal since it is merely a clarification of the existing 
regulations.
    ii. Limit ``agricultural emergency'' exception.
    a. Existing WPS regulations. The current WPS permits early entry 
into a treated area during an REI in the event of an agricultural 
emergency. The emergency exception provision applies only where a 
state, tribal or federal agency having jurisdiction has declared the 
existence of circumstances that could cause an agricultural emergency 
to exist on the establishment. The existing exception allows early 
entry for an unlimited duration and does not prohibit hand labor 
activities. The agricultural emergency exception requires the employer 
to provide required PPE to all workers who engage in early entry 
activities.
    b. Summary of the issues. State regulators, farmworker groups, and 
agricultural employers raised several concerns about the exception for 
agricultural emergencies (Ref. 82, p. 6). The primary issues concerned 
what constitutes an agricultural emergency, whether the state or 
tribe's lead agency for pesticide regulation is the only agency that 
can declare an agricultural emergency, which types of other agencies 
may be authorized to declare an agricultural emergency, and whether the 
lead agency may declare in advance conditions that would constitute an 
agricultural emergency.
    EPA has provided guidance through the IGW policy document that any 
federal agency or state or tribal government may declare an 
agricultural emergency (Ref. 14). For example, the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) may do so indirectly by declaring 
that specific weather conditions could constitute an agricultural 
emergency. However, there are no recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements, so EPA has no data available regarding the number of 
times agricultural emergencies have been declared by states, tribes, or 
federal agencies.
    A coalition of farmworker advocate groups requested that EPA impose 
greater restrictions on the agricultural emergency exception (Ref. 35).
    c. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to limit the 
organizations that can declare an agricultural emergency and to limit 
the time a worker can be in the treated area in an agricultural 
emergency exception when a product requiring double notification has 
been used.
    Since issuing the IGW policy document, the Agency has come to doubt 
that agencies other than EPA and state or tribal pesticide regulatory 
agencies have the background and technical expertise to adequately 
assess the potential risks and benefits of early entry into pesticide 
treated areas during REIs, or that they fully understand FIFRA's 
statutory requirements to balance risks and benefits when establishing 
conditions for workers to enter treated areas while an REI is in 
effect. EPA therefore proposes to narrow the agricultural emergency 
exception so that only EPA, a state department of agriculture, or the 
state or tribal lead agency may declare an agricultural emergency under 
the WPS to allow early entry into pesticide treated areas during the 
REI. The Agency has particular concerns about the potential risks to 
workers entering areas under the agricultural emergency exception when 
the areas have been treated with a pesticide requiring double 
notification (i.e., products whose labeling requires both oral and 
posted notification of pesticide treatments because it presents a 
heightened risk to worker health). This is especially the case when, as 
noted above, the current agricultural emergency exception provides no 
time limits for worker entry and permits hand labor. EPA believes that, 
when such high toxicity double-notification products are used, the 
potential pesticide exposure and risk to workers engaging in hand labor 
activities during an REI is unreasonable.
    EPA therefore proposes to limit the amount of time a worker is 
permitted to spend in an area treated with a double-notification 
product to no more than 4 hours in any 24-hour period during an 
agricultural emergency exception situation. EPA believes this change 
would preserve the needed flexibility for agriculture to address the 
conditions of the agricultural emergency while offering increased 
protections for workers potentially exposed to the most highly toxic 
pesticides. Even though an individual worker is limited to 4 hours of 
early entry under such a situation, an agricultural employer could 
rotate workers after each 4-hour interval.
    The revised text for the agricultural emergency exception appears 
in Sec.  170.303(c) of the proposed rule.
    d. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost for limiting the 
organizations that can declare an emergency and establishing a 4-hour 
time limit (in a 24-hour period) for entry into an area treated with a 
double-notification chemical under an agricultural emergency would be 
negligible.

[[Page 15489]]

    e. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Are there reasons EPA should consider eliminating the 
agricultural emergency exception?
     What benefits and drawbacks are associated with limiting 
the agencies that can declare an agricultural emergency?
     Please share any data on the use of the agricultural 
emergency exception, establishing a time limit, or other restrictions 
associated with exceptions.
     Should EPA develop guidance on the criteria for declaring 
an agricultural emergency and/or how a person or organization could 
request an eligible agency to declare an agricultural emergency?
    iii. Codify ``Limited Contact'' and ``Irrigation'' exceptions.
    a. Existing WPS Regulations. EPA established two administrative 
exceptions to the WPS prohibition against entry into treated areas 
during an REI for ``limited contact'' and ``irrigation'' activities. 
(60 FR 21955; May 3, 1995) (60 FR 21960; May 3, 1995) However, these 
administrative exceptions, including the terms and conditions of the 
exceptions, do not appear in part 170. The language in the existing 
administrative exception for irrigation activities states that the task 
must be unforeseen to meet the criteria for early entry.
    b. Summary of the issues. Stakeholders, primarily state regulatory 
agencies, have raised concerns about the use of the term ``unforeseen'' 
in the exception (Ref. 36 p. 27). Irrigation is rarely an unforeseen 
event in most agricultural areas and it must take place to ensure crop 
survival. During the National Assessment meetings, state regulatory 
officials and other stakeholders noted that the need to irrigate is 
almost always foreseen, so the requirement for the need for irrigation 
to be unforeseen limits the legitimate use of the exception.
    A coalition of farmworker organizations recommended that EPA 
eliminate the irrigation and limited contact exceptions (Ref. 35). 
Their recommendation was based on coalition members' belief that EPA 
underestimated the level of contact workers would have with treated 
surfaces and the potential for pesticide exposure through contact with 
treated surfaces.
    EPA's FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel said that data generated by 
the Agricultural Reentry Task Force and peer-reviewed by EPA have shown 
which activities may be classified as no and low contact activities 
that do not jeopardize the well-being of workers (Ref. 83).
    c. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to revise part 
170 to codify the two current administrative exceptions for ``limited 
contact'' and ``irrigation'' activities. In addition, EPA proposes to 
remove the term ``unforeseen'' from the irrigation exception to make 
the text more accurately reflect field practices. Finally, EPA proposes 
to prohibit early entry under the limited contact and irrigation 
exceptions into areas treated with a pesticide requiring double 
notification (i.e., products whose labeling requires both oral and 
posted notification of pesticide treatments), owing to the higher 
potential for risks to workers' health.
    EPA believes that incorporating these exceptions into the rule, 
rather than having them in separate Federal Register notices that 
employers may not be aware of, would increase the regulated community's 
awareness and understanding of the exceptions.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the ``limited contact'' and 
the ``irrigation'' exceptions appear in Sec.  170.303(d) of the 
proposed rule.
    d. Costs. EPA estimates there would be no costs associated with 
this proposal.
    iv. Eliminate provision for exceptions requiring Agency approval.
    a. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS permits persons or 
organizations to request the Agency to grant an administrative 
exception to entry restrictions specific to certain crops and 
activities and pesticide products (40 CFR 170.112(e)). This same type 
of process was used to develop the ``limited contact'' and 
``irrigation'' exceptions discussed above.
    b. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to eliminate the 
administrative exception process. When the WPS was first promulgated, 
REIs for most pesticides subject to the WPS were established 
generically through the WPS labeling provision in 40 CFR part 156, and 
the administrative exception process was included in order to provide 
product-specific REIs. However, as a result of the Agency's pesticide 
reregistration efforts under section 4 of FIFRA, REIs are now 
established for each individual pesticide product through the 
registration or re-evaluation processes. Through these processes, the 
specific needs of crop production are considered in setting REIs for 
specific products and cropping practices. Accordingly, the Agency 
believes it is more appropriate that such requests for adjusted REIs be 
addressed through amendments to the registration of each specific 
pesticide product than as administrative exceptions to the WPS.
    Additionally, by proposing to codify the existing administrative 
exceptions as permanent exceptions, the Agency believes that the 
current suite of available exceptions to the entry restrictions would 
provide agriculture with the needed flexibility to address the range of 
potential agricultural production problems that would warrant the need 
for an exception to the current entry restrictions. The Agency has not 
received any requests for new administrative exceptions in the last 15 
years.
    There is no proposed regulatory text associated with the removal of 
this provision.
    c. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates there would be no costs 
associated with this proposal.
    5. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Do you have factual information about the current 
frequency of use of any of the exceptions? If so, please provide it to 
the Agency.
     What are the benefits and challenges of the proposed 
amendments to each of the exceptions?
     Are there other reasonable alternatives that EPA did not 
consider? If so, please describe and provide a rationale for their 
consideration.
     Should EPA consider a different time limit for the 
agricultural emergency exception? For other exceptions?
     Are there any drawbacks to adding the irrigation and 
limited contact exceptions into the rule?
     For all comments, please provide factual information in 
support of your assertions.

E. Expansion of Entry-Restricted Areas

    1. Overview. The existing WPS establishes entry-restricted areas 
adjacent to the treated areas (i.e., adjacent to the areas where 
pesticides are actually applied) only in nurseries and greenhouses. EPA 
proposes to establish similar entry-restricted areas during 
applications on farms and in forests. EPA expects this change would 
result in reduced incidents of pesticide exposure to workers and other 
persons from unintentional contact during application.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires agricultural 
employers to restrict nursery and greenhouse workers and other persons 
on those establishments from entry-restricted areas, defined as 
specific areas adjacent to those targeted for pesticide application (40 
CFR 170.110). The size of the entry-restricted area depends on

[[Page 15490]]

the type of product applied and the application method. For example, if 
a pesticide is applied as a mist in a nursery, the rule prohibits the 
employer from directing any worker or other person from entering the 
area being treated and within 100 feet of the treated area in all 
directions from the nursery. The entry-restricted area applies only 
during application and is distinct from the REI, which limits entry 
into a treated area for a specific period of time after the application 
ceases.
    Entry-restricted areas are also relevant to handlers and handler 
employers since the WPS prohibits handlers from applying pesticides in 
a manner that results in contact with workers or other persons (40 CFR 
170.210(a)). The handler and the handler employer are responsible for 
ensuring that the pesticide application does not contact any person, 
which effectively requires the handler to cease or suspend application 
if any persons are in areas where contact is possible.
    3. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to apply to 
farms and forests the entry-restricted area requirements currently 
applicable to nurseries so that all production applications are subject 
to similar requirements. The proposed entry-restricted areas for farms 
and forests would range from the treated area alone to 100 feet beyond 
the treated area, depending on the type of product applied and the 
application method. Fumigation is one of the application methods 
covered by the entry-restricted area requirements. The proposed WPS 
entry-restricted areas would still be limited by the boundary of the 
establishment owner's property, as the establishment owner is subject 
to the current rule. For example, if the WPS requires the entry-
restricted area to extend 100 feet in all directions from the treated 
area, but there is only 50 feet between the treated areas and the 
boundary of the owner's property, then the property line would be the 
extent of the entry-restricted area under the WPS. WPS entry-restricted 
areas are limited by the boundaries of the agricultural establishment 
to limit the employer's responsibility under the WPS to the people on 
his or her establishment. The Agency believes that the proposed 
creation of entry-restricted areas for all farm and forest applications 
would reduce risk to workers and other persons from pesticide exposure 
when they may be working in or nearby an area adjacent to an ongoing 
pesticide application. The proposed revisions would also provide more 
consistent protection across all establishments covered by the WPS.
    The existing part 170 does not require entry-restricted areas 
beyond the actual treated area for farms and forests. A worker may be 
assigned to work in an area immediately adjacent to an area being 
treated with pesticides. Many incidents of drift and off-target 
application have resulted in reported worker illnesses. A recent study 
cited off-target drift as the leading cause of reported agricultural 
worker exposure incidents, with 1,216 individual worker pesticide 
exposures reported from 1998-2005 (Ref. 11 p. 891).
    The proposed changes do not cover applications of soil fumigants or 
any other pesticides that have buffer zones intended to protect human 
health included on the product labeling. Where EPA has established 
entry-restricted areas for a specific pesticide or group of pesticides 
through labeling, the labeling-specific restrictions supersede the 
generic requirements of the WPS.
    The proposed entry-restricted areas would complement the existing 
WPS requirement that prohibits handlers from applying pesticides in a 
way that results in contact with workers or other persons and the 
proposal that would require handlers performing an application to cease 
or suspend the application if workers or any persons are in the entry-
restricted areas during application. The proposal also works in concert 
with the prohibition on the agricultural employer allowing or directing 
any worker or other person, other than an appropriately trained and 
equipped handler, to enter or remain in the treated area or any 
applicable entry-restricted area during application.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning entry-restricted areas 
during applications on farms and in forests and outdoor nurseries 
appears in Sec.  170.105(a) of the proposed rule.
    4. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost for restricting entry 
to areas adjacent to an area being treated would be negligible. There 
may be instances where worker tasks in these adjacent areas must be 
stopped until the application is complete, but EPA believes employers 
can generally reassign workers to other tasks for the duration of the 
pesticide application.
    5. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is it reasonable for EPA to assume that workers can be 
reassigned for the duration of the pesticide application?
     Are there any burdens to applying an entry-restricted area 
on farms and in forests? Are there any other benefits?

XIII. Display of Basic Pesticide Safety Information

A. Location of Basic Pesticide Safety Information Display

    1. Overview. The existing WPS requires employers to post a poster 
displaying basic safety information in a single location on the 
establishment. EPA proposes to require that the pesticide safety 
information also be displayed at the decontamination site(s).
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires agricultural and 
handler employers to display the pesticide safety poster at a central 
location on the establishment (40 CFR 170.135(d) and 170.235(d)).
    3. Summary of the issues. Farmworker organizations recommended 
additional posting locations with the posted warning signs [see Unit 
VIII.] or at worker changing areas (Ref. 35) (Ref. 74). They noted that 
having the pesticide safety poster in multiple places where workers are 
likely to see it increases the chances for workers to absorb the 
messages and to know how to contact emergency personnel.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require that 
employers display pesticide safety information at decontamination sites 
in addition to a place on the agricultural establishment where workers 
and handlers are likely to pass by or congregate and can be readily 
seen and read. Adding the display of pesticide safety information to 
decontamination sites improves workers' and handlers' access to the 
self-protective and decontamination information. EPA believes that 
providing the pesticide safety information at the decontamination sites 
will not only remind workers and handlers about self protection but 
will also ensure that emergency contact information is immediately 
accessible at each decontamination site. It is likely that an exposed 
worker or a colleague providing assistance would visit the nearest 
decontamination site.
    Agricultural employers have told EPA that they generally have a set 
of materials, sometimes on the back of a truck or on a mobile cart, for 
decontamination. Displaying the pesticide safety information on such an 
apparatus would not seem to impose significant additional burden. The 
current WPS requires employers to move the decontamination supplies to 
locations where workers or handlers are engaged in WPS activities. Once 
added, the pesticide safety information would move along with the 
decontamination supplies, imposing minimal additional burden on the 
employer.

[[Page 15491]]

    The proposed regulatory text concerning the locations to display 
pesticide safety information appears in Sec.  170.11(a)(3) of the 
proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of requiring the 
basic pesticide information display at decontamination sites for 
workers would be $2 million, or about $5 per agricultural establishment 
per year. EPA estimates the cost of requiring the basic pesticide 
information display at decontamination sites for handlers would be 
$780,000, or about $2 per agricultural establishment per year. For a 
complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see 
the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA cannot quantify the benefits associated with this proposal. 
However, EPA believes that providing a reminder of basic hygiene 
principles at places where workers and handlers wash before leaving the 
treated area to eat and use the bathroom would increase the number of 
workers and handlers following proper decontamination principles. 
Emergency response information would have the maximum benefit if it is 
immediately available where workers and handlers would go for 
decontamination supplies. EPA believes that displaying pesticide safety 
information at decontamination sites would reduce the number of 
occupational pesticide-related illnesses.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. Farmworker 
organizations recommended two alternate options in addition to the 
current requirements for posting the pesticide safety poster: requiring 
the pesticide safety poster with all posted warning signs or requiring 
the pesticide safety poster at worker changing sites. Requiring that 
the pesticide safety poster be displayed wherever a warning sign is 
posted would impose significant burden on employers. The pesticide 
safety poster is much larger than the warning sign, so it would be 
difficult for employers to put up and take down the pesticide safety 
poster with the same ease as they handle the warning sign. In addition, 
because the poster is much less durable than the warning sign, EPA 
believes that employers would have to replace the poster periodically 
when the treated area has to be posted for more than a few days. EPA 
expects that employers would need to obtain multiple copies of the 
poster and would have to replace them frequently.
    The WPS does not require employers to provide facilities for 
workers to change clothes. A requirement to place the pesticide safety 
poster at a site that may not exist at all establishments would not be 
practical or feasible.
    For the reasons described above, EPA decided not to propose 
requirements for employers to display the pesticide safety poster with 
all posted warning signs or at worker changing sites. EPA believes that 
it is more important and practical for workers to review the pesticide 
safety poster at the site of the decontamination supplies, where they 
can be reminded of safety and hygiene principles while cleaning 
themselves after working in a treated area.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     What additional burden would employers face if the 
proposed option to require pesticide safety information to be displayed 
at decontamination sites is implemented? Would there be benefits to 
employers?
     Do data exist that show that access to information such as 
that on the pesticide safety poster at the same location as 
decontamination supplies leads to more workers adopting hygiene 
practices, thereby reducing the number of workplace illnesses?

B. Content of Basic Pesticide Safety Information Display

    1. Overview. The existing WPS mandates specific content for the 
pesticide safety poster. EPA proposes to require additional information 
so workers and handlers can contact the state or tribal enforcement 
agency.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. Under 40 CFR 170.135(b)(1) through (2) 
and 170.235(b)(1) through (2), the pesticide safety poster must include 
the following content:
     Avoid getting on your skin or into your body any 
pesticides that may be on plants and soil, in irrigation water, or 
drifting from nearby applications.
     Wash before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or 
tobacco, or using the toilet.
     Wear work clothing that protects the body from pesticide 
residues (long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks, and a hat 
or scarf).
     Wash/shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and put on 
clean clothes after work.
     Wash work clothes separately from other clothes before 
wearing them again.
     Wash immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides 
are spilled or sprayed on the body. As soon as possible, shower, 
shampoo, and change into clean clothes.
     Follow directions about keeping out of treated or 
restricted areas.
     There are federal rules to protect workers and 
handlers, including a requirement for safety training.
    The WPS also requires the employer to provide contact information 
for the nearest emergency medical care facility and to update workers 
and handlers if the information changes. EPA has developed a poster 
that complies with the requirements of the regulation (except for the 
site-specific information requirements) and makes it available to 
agricultural employers free of charge.
    3. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to amend 
the basic pesticide safety content required to be displayed on an 
agricultural establishment to clarify the emergency medical information 
section, and to include contact information for contacting the state or 
tribal regulatory agency. The proposal no longer refers to a 
``pesticide safety poster.'' Instead, the proposed regulatory text 
refers to ``pesticide safety information'' to allow some flexibility in 
how all the required information is displayed. EPA believes that most 
agricultural establishments will choose to use EPA's free pesticide 
safety poster to comply with the WPS pesticide safety information; EPA 
would update the poster to include the proposed changes to the 
information. However, the information does not have to be displayed as 
a poster as long as the display includes the required information and 
meets the requirements of the section.
    Finally, the Agency proposes to require that the pesticide safety 
information display contain contact information for the state or tribal 
regulatory agency for pesticide enforcement. EPA believes that workers 
and handlers should have the opportunity to ask questions about 
protections offered by the WPS and to report pesticide exposure 
incidents or suspected non-compliance that may endanger them.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the additional required 
content of the pesticide safety information display appears in Sec.  
170.11(a)(1) of the proposed rule. The text concerning requirements 
when there are changes to the pesticide safety information appears in 
Sec.  170.11(a)(2).
    4. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost to revise the 
contents of the basic pesticide safety information display would be 
$108,000 annually, or about $0.30 per WPS establishment per year. EPA 
included in this estimate the cost for employers to purchase the 
poster. However, EPA believes that many would obtain the updated poster 
free of charge from the Agency; as a result the actual cost of this 
requirement

[[Page 15492]]

may be lower. For a complete discussion of the costs of the proposals 
and alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to 
the Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    5. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     What additional burden would employers face if the 
proposed option to require pesticide safety information to be displayed 
at decontamination sites is implemented? Would there be benefits to 
employers?
     Should EPA consider other changes to content of the 
pesticide safety information display? If so, what changes and why?

XIV. Decontamination

    Unit XII discussed proposed decontamination requirements 
specifically for workers who enter a treated area in which an REI is in 
effect as part of a suite of proposed changes to the protections for 
early entry workers. This Unit discusses routine and emergency 
decontamination for workers and handlers. The proposals in this Unit 
would cover handlers and workers who are not entering a treated area in 
which an REI is in effect.

A. Clarify the Quantity of Water Required for Decontamination

    1. Overview. The existing WPS requires employers to provide water 
for decontamination. EPA proposes to clarify the quantity of water 
required for decontamination from ``enough water for routine washing 
and emergency eyeflush'' to a specific quantity.
    2. Current WPS regulations. The WPS requires agricultural employers 
to provide decontamination supplies, including ``enough water for 
routine washing and emergency eyeflush,'' when workers are performing 
activities in areas where a pesticide was applied or an REI was in 
effect at any point in the last 30 days and come in contact with 
anything that has been treated with a pesticide (40 CFR 170.150). The 
WPS also requires handler employers to provide decontamination 
supplies, again including ``enough water for routine washing, for 
emergency eyeflushing and for washing the entire body in case of an 
emergency,'' for handlers (40 CFR 170.250). Part 170 does not specify 
how much would constitute enough water to meet the decontamination 
supplies requirement.
    3. Summary of the issues. Agricultural employers have reported 
difficulty in ensuring that they provide an adequate amount of water 
because the amount of water needed for each worker or handler is not 
stated in the current regulation. When EPA implemented the WPS, state 
regulatory agencies requested that the EPA clarify the quantity of 
water necessary to satisfy the decontamination requirement. In guidance 
published in 1993, ``How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standard 
for Agricultural Pesticides: What Employers Need to Know,'' EPA 
recommended that employers provide 1 gallon of water per worker for 
routine decontamination and 3 gallons per handler for routine washing 
and emergency decontamination (Ref. 80, p. 25). This guidance was 
developed by experts from EPA's program and enforcement offices and 
state regulatory agencies. Further discussion about the amount of water 
required can be found in ``How to Comply with the Worker Protection 
Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What Employers Need to Know.''
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require that 
employers must provide 1 gallon of water per worker for routine 
decontamination and 3 gallons of water per handler for routine washing 
and emergency decontamination. By codifying the guidance discussed 
above, EPA believes that employers would have no difficulty in 
determining the amount of water for routine and emergency 
decontamination required for their workers and handlers. This 
specificity would assist in providing workers and handlers with the 
amount of water necessary for routine washing and provide handlers with 
a sufficient amount of water should a pesticide emergency occur. 
Employers could be confident that they are complying with the 
regulation and keeping their workers and handlers safe in the event of 
an exposure by providing adequate supplies.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the required quantities of 
decontamination water appears in the proposed rule Sec.  170.111(b) for 
workers and Sec.  170.209(b) for handlers.
    5. Cost. EPA estimates the cost of this proposal would be 
negligible because it is a codification of existing EPA policy 
interpretations of the WPS.
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is 1 gallon for routine washing for workers and 3 gallons 
for handler emergency decontamination, reasonable amounts of water for 
workers or handlers who have been exposed to pesticides? If not, why?
     What amount of water would be reasonable, or what other 
alternative is there?
     Would waterless cleansing agents used in lieu of soap, 
water, and towels effectively remove pesticide residues from workers' 
and handlers' hands? Should EPA consider allowing the employer to 
substitute waterless cleansing agents for the currently required 
decontamination supplies? If so, why? Please provide data on the 
efficacy of waterless cleansing agents for removing pesticide residues.

B. Eliminate the Substitution of Natural Waters for Decontamination 
Supplies

    1. Overview. The existing WPS permits employers to substitute 
clean, natural waters from springs, streams, lakes or other sources for 
contained water supplies at decontamination sites in specific 
circumstances. EPA proposes to eliminate the option to substitute 
clean, natural waters for the potable water required for 
decontamination. The proposal would allow the employer to supplement 
the required water supplies with clean, natural waters if necessary.
    2. Current WPS regulations. The WPS allows employers to substitute 
clean waters from springs, streams, lakes, or other sources for 
decontamination at remote work sites if such water is more accessible 
than the water located at the nearest place of vehicular access (40 CFR 
170.150 and 170.250). Generally, the WPS requires agricultural and 
handler employers to provide decontamination supplies no farther than 
one quarter mile away from where workers are working or from where 
handlers are performing handling activities. One exception to this 
requirement is that if worker and handler activities occur more than 
one quarter mile from the nearest point of vehicular access, soap, 
single-use towels, and water may be located at the nearest point of 
vehicular access, but the employer may allow workers or handlers to use 
clean water from springs, streams, lakes, or other sources if more 
accessible than the decontamination supplies.
    3. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to 
eliminate the exemption that allows agricultural and handler employers 
to use clean, natural bodies of water in lieu of the required 
decontamination supplies. Employers would need to ensure that workers 
and handlers have access to sufficient quantities of potable water for 
decontamination; however, employers would be permitted to supplement 
the required quantities of potable water with natural waters in the 
event of an emergency. The Agency believes that vehicular access to 
worker and handler sites is common and not likely more than a quarter 
mile distance from the worker location. Modern agriculture is highly 
mechanized, and the Agency

[[Page 15493]]

believes that workers and handlers are routinely transported close to 
their work areas by vehicles.
    EPA believes that workers and handlers would be better protected by 
ensuring access to the required amount of potable water for routine and 
emergency decontamination, and allowing the option to supplement those 
supplies with clean, natural waters in the event of an emergency.
    4. Costs and benefits. EPA did not estimate the cost for this 
proposal because EPA believes that a negligible number, if any, 
employers would be impacted by this proposal. However, EPA has no data 
on the number of employers that may use this option and is seeking data 
below.
    5. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following:
     Please provide information on situations, if any, in which 
the proposed change would significantly increase the burden on 
agricultural employers and offer alternative proposals.
     Please provide any information on the cost associated with 
the current situation and proposed change.
     Would using natural waters for decontamination worsen a 
worker's or handler's situation after pesticide exposure?
     Would it be beneficial to use any water in the event of a 
pesticide emergency or when decontamination supplies cannot be located 
within one quarter mile because of limited vehicular access?

C. Requirements for Ocular Decontamination in Case of Exposed Pesticide 
Handlers

    1. Overview. The existing WPS requires employers to provide a 
specific amount of water to handlers that they can carry for use in the 
event of an ocular pesticide exposure. EPA proposes to require 
employers to provide clean, running water at permanent (i.e., plumbed 
and not portable) mixing and loading sites for handlers to use in the 
event of an ocular pesticide exposure.
    2. Current WPS regulations. The WPS requires handlers to carry 
water for eyewashing to use in case of an ocular exposure if the 
pesticide label mandates the use of eye protection (40 CFR 170.250). 
The handler employer must assure that 1 pint of water is available for 
each handler who is performing the tasks for which the pesticide label 
requires protective eyewear.
    As discussed in Unit XIV.A., the WPS requires employers to provide 
water sufficient for handlers to perform routine decontamination in 
addition to the requirement discussed in this section to provide water 
for handlers' eye washing in case of an ocular exposure.
    3. Summary of the issues. Farmworker Justice provided the Agency 
with information about several incidents of accidental ocular exposure 
(Ref. 36). They noted that even when handlers use the PPE required on 
the label, they may be accidentally exposed to the pesticide. For 
example, a pesticide may splash into a handler's eye even if he or she 
wears proper PPE. The eyes can suffer serious damage if exposed to 
certain pesticides. Farmworker Justice noted that the WPS requirement 
for 1 pint of water would not satisfy EPA's own current recommendations 
in the Label Review Manual, which calls for a person who suffers ocular 
pesticide exposure to ``hold eye open and rinse slowly and gently with 
water for 15-20 minutes'' (Ref. 84, pp. 7-12). In addition, the 
American National Standards Institute standard for eyeflushing calls 
for a sufficient quantity to rinse eyes continuously for 15 minutes 
(ANSI Z358.1-2009). Therefore, Farmworker Justice recommended that EPA 
adopt a standard for ocular decontamination more protective than the 
WPS's current one pint requirement.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. In addition to the 1 pint of 
water already required to be carried by the handler, the Agency 
proposes to require that at permanent mixing and loading sites handler 
employers provide clean, running water sufficient to provide at a 
minimum of 1.5 liters (0.4 gallons) per minute for 15 minutes for 
handlers to use for eye flush purposes in the event of an ocular 
pesticide exposure. EPA expects that adopting this standard would 
improve the ability of handlers to mitigate damage to their eyes from 
accidental exposure. EPA expects that most permanent mixing sites are 
plumbed to facilitate the dilution of concentrated pesticides and to 
load application equipment and have the potential to provide clean 
water flowing at the appropriate rate to comply with this requirement. 
For those handlers who may be exposed while not working at the 
permanent mixing loading site, EPA believes the 3 gallons of water 
required for routine decontamination would provide 7.5 minutes of 
rinsing, sufficient to clear the eyes immediately at which point the 
handler can continue rinsing his or her eyes for the full 15 minutes at 
a permanent site.
    The Agency based the proposed requirement on OSHA's standard for 
ocular decontamination. OSHA's requirement for general industry states, 
``where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious 
corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or 
flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area 
for immediate emergency use'' (29 CFR 1910.151(c)). Based on the OSHA 
standard, the American National Standards Institute developed a water 
flow standard to address minimum operating requirements for an eye 
flush. These operating standards establish a minimum of 1.5 liter (0.4 
gallons) per minute of flushing fluid, such as water, for 15 minutes 
(ANSI Z358.1-2009) (Ref. 85). Some states have required handler 
employers to provide ocular decontamination conforming to the OSHA 
standard. For example, Oregon implemented the same requirement proposed 
here in 2006 (OSHA 437-004-1305 K(5)). In FY 2007, Oregon reported 23 
instances of non-compliance. By FY 2010, only 5 establishments were 
cited for non-compliance (Ref. 86, p. 6).
    The proposed regulatory text concerning ocular decontamination for 
handlers appears in Sec.  170.209(d) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates that the cost of this proposal 
would be minimal because mixing pesticides at a permanent site 
generally involves substantial quantities of water and EPA believes 
that plumbed water is almost always available at those sites. EPA's 
proposal would not require employers to purchase a metered eyewash 
station; any water supply that meets the proposed standards would 
comply.
    6. Alternative options considered. EPA considered requiring 
portable eyewash stations at all mixing or loading sites as an 
alternative to the proposed option. EPA believes that most 
establishments mix and load at various sites and may move from day to 
day. The cost of equipping each potential mixing or loading site 
(permanent and non-permanent) with a portable eye wash station would be 
about $14 million per year for agricultural establishments and 
commercial pesticide handling establishments.
    As discussed above and in Unit XIV.A., handler employers are 
required to provide 3 gallons of water per handler for decontamination. 
EPA believes that if necessary, handlers could use this decontamination 
water for about 7 minutes at the recommended rate of 1.5 liter (0.4 
gallons) per minute, which would give them time to get to a location 
with sufficient water to rinse their eyes for the recommended amount of 
time. EPA does not intend for the routine decontamination water to be 
used for emergency eyeflush on a regular basis. However, the Agency

[[Page 15494]]

believes that it is appropriate to consider the existing availability 
of clean water where the handler may be exposed as well as new 
requirements when considering alternatives to the current eyewash 
requirement. EPA believes that most handlers will have access to either 
a permanent mixing or loading site or to the routine decontamination 
water. EPA believes the benefits associated with a requirement to have 
a portable eyewash station at each mixing or loading site is not 
reasonable in comparison with the cost and alternatives available. 
Therefore, EPA decided not to propose a requirement for portable 
eyewash stations at all mixing or loading sites.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is it reasonable to require that clean, running water be 
present and flowing at a minimum of 1.5 liter (0.4 gallons) per minute 
for 15 minutes at permanent mixing and loading stations? If not, why?
     Should EPA consider other ways to provide ocular 
decontamination for handlers? If so, please provide specific details, 
including rationale and cost.
     Do data exist on the relative number of mixing and loading 
activities that occur at permanent sites and away from permanent sites?
     Are there other ways in which ocular decontamination might 
reasonably be improved at temporary mixing and loading sites?

D. Showers for Handler Decontamination

    1. Overview. The existing WPS establishes specific requirements for 
routine and emergency handler decontamination supplies, but these 
requirements do not include shower facilities. EPA considered but is 
not proposing adding a requirement for handler employers to provide 
shower facilities.
    2. Current WPS regulations. As discussed above in Unit XIV.A., the 
WPS specifies the types and amounts of supplies handler employers must 
provide. The WPS does not require handler employers to provide shower 
facilities.
    3. Summary of the issues. Farmworker organizations have requested 
that EPA require employers to provide showers for handlers to 
facilitate decontamination at the end of the work day. They suggest 
that the use of showers after pesticide handling activities could 
decrease pesticide exposure to handlers. Representatives of 
agricultural employers, the agricultural employers, and others from the 
SBAR panel process, noted that in their experience even when showers 
are available, handlers do not use them (Ref. 18, p. 21) (Ref. 87). 
Some stakeholders reported that many workers may be reluctant to shower 
at the workplace because they believe that showering immediately after 
work is detrimental to their health (Ref. 88).
    As an alternative to imposing a requirement to provide showers, the 
SBREFA SERs suggested that EPA expand training for pesticide handlers 
to include how to minimize take-home exposure and how to use additional 
personal protective equipment (Ref. 18).
    4. Rationale for not proposing. The Agency considered requiring 
showers but decided to not propose it because EPA believes that the 
additional training content for handlers (Unit VII.E.) and clarified 
decontamination provisions in Unit XIV.A., provide handlers with 
adequate information on how to reduce take-home exposure and sufficient 
supplies for routine washing.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates that installing a shower on a 
single establishment would cost about $105,000. Nationally, this would 
cost about $22.7 billion dollars for construction. This estimate does 
not include future costs of maintenance. For a complete discussion of 
the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic 
Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' 
Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is it reasonable to assume a significant percentage of 
handlers would not use a permanent shower facility at a worksite?
     Would increased handler training, clarified amounts of 
water for routine decontamination, and/or the use of additional PPE for 
handlers be sufficient to protect handlers and their families from 
occupational and take-home pesticide exposure? If not, why?
     Are there other preventative measures that would provide 
comparable protection to handlers and their families without incurring 
the same cost as requiring installation of shower facilities? If so, 
please describe the preventative measures, estimated cost, and 
implementation.
     What other alternatives exist?

XV. Emergency Assistance

    A. Overview. The existing WPS requires employers to provide 
``prompt'' transportation to an emergency medical facility to workers 
or handlers who may have been exposed to pesticides. EPA proposes to 
require employers to make transportation to a medical facility 
available to workers and handlers within thirty (30) minutes of 
learning of the exposure. EPA also proposes to require the employer to 
provide to the worker or handler or to treating medical personnel the 
SDS and pesticide label, or all of the pertinent information in an 
alternate form.
    B. Existing WPS Regulations. The WPS requires employers to make 
transportation available promptly to workers or handlers that have been 
``poisoned or injured by exposure to pesticides'' (40 CFR 170.160 and 
170.260). Employers must provide the following information, if 
available, to the exposed person or the treating medical personnel: 
name of the product, EPA registration number, active ingredient, 
medical information from the label, circumstances of the pesticide 
application (or the handling of the pesticide), and circumstances of 
the pesticide exposure.
    C. Summary of the issues. State enforcement agents have reported to 
EPA that the vague timeframe has prevented them from verifying whether 
a worker was provided transportation to the medical facility in 
conformance with the WPS, and recommended that EPA adopt a more 
specific timeframe for transportation. They contend that the existing 
requirement is vague and leads to various interpretations of the 
timeframe. Without a formal definition of ``prompt,'' compliance and 
enforcement become more difficult for inspectors. In addition, varying 
interpretations of ``prompt'' could lead to conflict between employers, 
agricultural workers and handlers, and medical personnel about how 
quickly necessary information and transportation must be provided in an 
emergency situation.
    Farmworker advocacy organizations have noted the difficulty in 
obtaining proper medical treatment for workers and handlers without all 
of the relevant information from the label and circumstances of the 
incident. Given the difficulty of diagnosing an illness or injury 
related to a pesticide exposure, treating physicians need information 
related to the pesticide products potentially involved and 
circumstances of the incident to initiate proper treatment. In 
addition, the sooner a person exposed to pesticides is transported for, 
and thus receives, treatment, the more likely the diagnosis and 
treatment will lead to a successful medical outcome. Farmworker 
advocacy organizations recommended that EPA require the employer to 
provide the information whether requested or not.

[[Page 15495]]

They also recommended adding an option for the employer to satisfy the 
requirement by providing the information in the current regulations, a 
copy of the label, or a copy of the SDS.
    D. Details of the Proposal/Rationale. EPA proposes to require 
agricultural employers and handler employers to provide emergency 
medical assistance within thirty (30) minutes after learning that an 
employee has been poisoned or injured by exposure to pesticides as a 
result of his or her employment, replacing the current standard of 
``prompt.'' The emergency medical assistance includes both providing 
the required information and making transportation to a medical 
facility available to the affected worker or handler. Although the 
intent of the proposal is for the injured party to receive medical 
attention as soon as possible, this requirement does not establish a 
timeframe for reaching the medical facility.
    The proposal would require employers to provide to the worker, 
handler, or treating medical personnel information on each pesticide to 
which the worker or handler might have been exposed. The employer could 
satisfy this requirement by providing copies of both the SDS and the 
pesticide labeling. Alternatively, the employer could provide all of 
the following information: product name, EPA registration number, 
active ingredient(s), antidote, first aid, and any other medical 
treatment information from the label or the SDS. The employer would 
also be required to provide to the worker, handler, or treating medical 
personnel the circumstances of the pesticide application(s) or use(s) 
and the circumstances of the pesticide exposure.
    Pesticide workers and handlers are instructed to wash their bodies 
and clothing immediately if they come into contact with a pesticide. 
The existing regulation requires agricultural employers and commercial 
pesticide handler employers to provide sufficient water and soap to 
workers and handlers for routine and emergency decontamination. In the 
event of a more serious illness or injury that requires immediate 
medical attention, however, it is critical for the worker or handler to 
be evaluated and treated quickly. When medical treatment is provided 
soon after the illness or injury, the effects of the pesticide exposure 
can be minimized. The longer the illness- or injury-causing exposure 
persists, the more likely the worker or handler will suffer more severe 
effects. EPA believes that requiring transportation and information 
about the pesticide(s) and circumstances of the exposure to be provided 
within thirty minutes after learning of the exposure would reduce the 
effects of pesticide exposure and improve the ability of the medical 
personnel to provide appropriate treatment.
    EPA does not have data on the number of requests for information in 
the event of an accidental pesticide exposure by exposed persons or 
treating medical personnel. Medical personnel need relevant information 
to treat people who may have been exposed to pesticides. Treatment 
protocol varies by pesticide and type of exposure; for example, the 
recommended treatment for one pesticide may be to induce vomiting 
immediately, while for another pesticide this treatment could do more 
harm to the exposed person. Many of the recommendations for medical 
care listed in the ``Recognition and Management of Pesticide 
Poisoning'' manual depend on the time between initial exposure and 
medical treatment (Ref. 12). Some treatments are not effective unless 
provided within a specific timeframe of exposure (generally 1 hour). In 
addition, recommended treatments for different types of exposure vary 
and sometimes conflict with each other; therefore, it is essential that 
the medical personnel have as much information as possible about the 
likely pesticide(s) to which the patient may have been exposed in order 
to provide the proper treatment.
    Amending the existing regulation to require provision of 
information relevant to the exposure circumstances and pesticide's 
properties would ensure that medical personnel are properly informed at 
the time of beginning treatment or soon afterward. With timely and 
proper treatment, many acute pesticide exposures may be mitigated 
before they cause more long-lasting effects.
    Providing workers transportation to a medical facility in the event 
of a workplace injury is the responsibility of employers in almost all 
industries. OSHA requires that a worker injured on the job receive 
medical treatment, clarifying the requirement to mean within 3-4 
minutes if the injury is life-threatening or 15 minutes if it is not 
life-threatening (29 CFR 1926.50(a)). OSHA requires employers in all 
industries to provide transportation for emergency medical assistance 
if it is not possible to use public services, for example, an ambulance 
(29 CFR 1926.50(e)). EPA recognizes the differences between agriculture 
and other industries. WPS establishments can be very large compared to 
the types of locations covered by OSHA standards, for example, 
factories, office buildings, and similar self-contained areas. Whereas 
the foreman or manager at a factory is likely to be on site or nearby 
at the time of an employee's injury, an agricultural or commercial 
pesticide handler employer could be significantly farther away. Based 
on the physical differences between a WPS establishment and typical 
industrial locations covered by OSHA, EPA believes it is reasonable to 
allow agricultural employers and handler employers a longer timeframe 
to reach an exposed worker or handler to provide transportation.
    In developing this proposal, EPA was mindful of the demographics of 
the worker and handler populations. Some do not have their own vehicle 
and rely on an employer, co-worker, or labor contractor to provide 
transportation to and from the agricultural establishment. Some may not 
be able to secure transportation to a medical facility outside of 
working hours. The injured person may be too compromised to safely 
drive to the medical facility. Without a requirement for the employer 
to provide transportation, some workers and handlers might be stranded 
in the treated area or might wait longer than necessary or advisable to 
seek medical attention.
    The regulatory text concerning emergency assistance appears in the 
proposed rule at Sec.  170.9(f) for workers and handlers and at Sec.  
170.13(k) for handlers employed by a commercial pesticide handling 
establishment.
    E. Costs. When compared to current practices, the Agency estimates 
the cost of complying with the proposed requirements to provide the 
information and to transport exposed workers or handlers within thirty 
minutes of learning of the exposure would be negligible. The Agency 
believes that many agricultural employers and commercial handler 
employers already meet this standard. Under other proposed changes, 
agricultural employers and commercial handler employers would be 
required to maintain copies of the SDS or pesticide label in an office 
for the workers to review. [See Unit IX.] Agricultural employers and 
commercial handler employers are also required to maintain copies of 
the application records. Providing these documents, copies, or 
information from them, would impose minimal additional burden on the 
employer. Agricultural employers and commercial handler employers are 
already required to provide transportation to a medical treatment 
facility for workers or handlers who are exposed to pesticides. 
Changing the timeframe for providing transportation from ``prompt'' to 
within 30 minutes is

[[Page 15496]]

a technical clarification and EPA believes it would impose minimal 
burden. For a complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and 
alternatives, see the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the 
Worker Protection Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    F. Alternative Options Considered but Not Proposed. The Agency 
considered two alternative options to the timeframe for providing 
transportation. First, the Agency considered replacing ``prompt'' with 
``immediate.'' Using ``immediate'' might convey the urgency of the 
situation and encourage agricultural employers and commercial handler 
employers to transport exposed workers or handlers as quickly as 
possible. However, this change would not address the vagueness in the 
regulation or impose a timeframe in which the agricultural employer or 
commercial pesticide handler employer must make available the proposed 
required information and transportation to a medical facility. Second, 
the Agency considered imposing a timeframe of one hour for the 
agricultural employer or commercial pesticide handler employer to make 
transportation available. Based on the guidance under OSHA for 
providing medical treatment to an injured employee, the Agency believes 
that an hour would be too long to allow a worker or handler to wait for 
transportation to a medical treatment facility to be made available to 
worker or handler.
    G. Request for Comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Is 30 minutes a reasonable timeframe for an agricultural 
employer or commercial handler employer to make transportation 
available to a worker or handler who has been exposed to pesticides to 
a medical treatment facility? If the timeframe is too long or short, 
please explain why. What would be a reasonable alternative?
     Do medical personnel treating a worker or handler for 
occupational pesticide exposure need more information than what is 
proposed to evaluate, diagnose, and treat the patient? If so, what 
additional information would be necessary?
     If time is of the essence in determining the proper course 
of treatment, should EPA consider requiring the agricultural employer 
to report the estimated time of the incident in addition to the 
information proposed above?

XVI. Personal Protective Equipment

A. Chemical-Resistant PPE

    1. Overview. The existing WPS requires employers to provide 
``chemical-resistant'' PPE in certain circumstances but does not 
provide a practical method for evaluating whether the material meets 
the standard. EPA proposes to clarify how to determine whether PPE is 
``chemical-resistant.'' This clarification would ensure that compliance 
with the WPS chemical-resistant garment standard can be objectively 
determined and would provide appropriate protection to workers or 
handlers.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. Under the WPS, ``chemical-resistant'' 
material means a ``material that allows no measurable movement of the 
pesticide being used through the material during use'' (40 CFR 
170.240(c)(1)).
    3. Summary of the issues. State agencies have informed the EPA that 
they cannot enforce the current standard. It can be difficult to 
determine, without significant and costly testing, whether a material 
is permeable to a pesticide. Inspectors noted that they cannot verify 
compliance at the time of a field inspection. Similarly, employers 
attempting to comply with the requirement face difficulty in 
determining whether a garment meets the criteria.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to 
redefine ``chemical-resistant'' to mean that the PPE must be identified 
by the manufacturer as chemical resistant. EPA believes that PPE 
manufacturers will only identify items as chemical resistant if they 
provide a significant barrier to chemicals.
    Changing from the current standard to one that requires the 
employer to provide PPE that the manufacturer calls ``chemical-
resistant'' would allow employers and enforcement personnel a clear 
standard for determining compliance with the WPS.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning chemical-resistant PPE 
appears in Sec.  170.207(b)(1) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs. The estimated cost of this clarification is considered to 
be negligible. The EPA believes most employers currently purchase 
garments labeled as chemical-resistant for their employees.
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following question:
     Are there alternatives to this proposal for determining 
chemical resistance of a garment that are both cost-effective and 
protective? Please provide details and any data that may apply.

B. Closed Systems

    1. Overview. The existing WPS permits exceptions to the label-
specified PPE when using a closed system for certain handling 
activities. A closed system is an apparatus designed for mixing and 
loading pesticides that enables transfer of a pesticide from its 
original container into a new container, mix tank, or application 
equipment, while limiting the handler's exposure to the pesticide. But 
the existing WPS fails to provide specific criteria for an acceptable 
closed system, thereby limiting the practical availability and utility 
of the exception. EPA proposes to establish specific criteria for 
closed systems based on California's existing standard that would 
ensure protections for handlers, bystanders, and the environment during 
mixing and loading. EPA expects that this change would increase the 
number of establishments that use closed systems for pesticide mixing 
and loading activities because employers would have a clear description 
of the requirements on which to rely, thereby decreasing the potential 
for exposure.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The existing WPS provides only a 
description of a closed system as one that ``. . . enclose[s] the 
pesticide to prevent it from contacting handlers or other persons.'' 
Use of a properly functioning closed system that meets this description 
allows handlers to substitute the label-required PPE with alternative 
PPE when the system is used and maintained in accordance with the 
manufacturer's written operating instructions (40 CFR 170.240(d)(4)). 
The existing description does not adequately describe the specific 
characteristics of a closed system.
    3. Summary of the issues. State regulators have reported problems 
with the ability to determine compliance with WPS requirements for 
closed systems. The current description lacks specific criteria for the 
characteristics necessary for a protective enclosed system, inhibiting 
the ability of inspectors to ensure that the system is in compliance. 
State regulators have asked EPA to establish practical, enforceable 
criteria for closed systems that will enable them to better determine 
which types of systems qualify for the exception.
    California is the only state with specific closed system standards. 
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation requires applicators 
to use a closed system when handling products

[[Page 15497]]

with a signal word of ``Danger'' or ``Warning'' (Ref. 89). The closed 
system standards are required for liquid pesticides and may be used, 
but are not required, for other pesticide formulations. The definition 
of a ``closed system'' references a ``Director's Memo,'' which outlines 
the standards for closed systems (Ref. 90). The Director's Memo 
establishes the following criteria:
    1. The liquid pesticide must be removed from its original shipping 
container and transferred through connecting hoses, pipes, and/or 
couplings that are sufficiently tight to prevent exposure of any person 
to the concentrate, use dilution, or rinse solution.
    2. All hoses, piping, tanks, and connections used in conjunction 
with a closed system must be of a type appropriate for the pesticide 
being used and the pressure and vacuum of the system.
    3. All sight gauges must be protected against breakage. Sight 
gauges must be equipped with valves so the pipes to the sight gauge can 
be shut off in case of breakage or leakage.
    4. The closed system must adequately measure the pesticide being 
used. Measuring devices must be accurately calibrated to the smallest 
unit in which the material is being weighed or measured. Pesticide 
remaining in the transfer lines may affect the accuracy of measurement 
and must be considered.
    5. The movement of a pesticide concentrate beyond a pump by 
positive pressure must not exceed 25 pounds per square inch (psi) of 
pressure.
    6. A probe must not be removed from a container except when:
    a. The container is emptied and the inside, as well as the probe, 
have been rinsed in accordance with item 8.
    b. DPR has evaluated the probe and determined that, by the nature 
of its construction or design, it eliminates significant risk of worker 
exposure to the pesticide when it is withdrawn from a partial 
container.
    c. The pesticide is used without dilution and the container has 
been emptied.
    7. Shut-off devices must be installed on the exit end of all hoses 
and at all disconnect points to prevent the pesticide from leaking when 
the transfer is stopped and the hose is removed or disconnected.
    a. If the hose carried pesticide concentrate and has not been 
rinsed in accordance with item 8, a dry break coupler that will 
minimize pesticide loss to not more than two milliliters per disconnect 
must be installed at the disconnect point.
    b. If the hose carried a pesticide use dilution or rinse solution, 
a reversing action pump or a similar system that will empty the hose 
may be used as an alternative to a shutoff device.
    8. When the pesticide is to be diluted for use, the closed system 
must provide for adequate rinsing of containers that have held less 
than 60 gallons of a liquid pesticide. Rinsing must be done with a 
medium, such as water, that contains no pesticide.
    a. The system must be capable of spray-rinsing the inner surfaces 
of the container and the rinse solution must go into the pesticide mix 
tank or applicator vehicle via the closed system. The system must be 
capable of rinsing the probe, if used, and all hoses, measuring 
devices, etc.
    b. A minimum of 15 psi of pressure must be used for rinsing.
    c. The rinsing must be continued until a minimum of 10 gallons or 
one-half of the container volume, whichever is less, has been used.
    d. The rinse solution must be removed from the pesticide container 
concurrently with introduction of the rinse medium.
    e. Pesticide containers must be protected against excessive 
pressure during the container rinse operation. The maximum container 
pressure must not exceed five psi.
    9. Each commercially produced closed system or component to be used 
with a closed system must be sold with:
    a. Complete instructions consisting of a functional operating 
manual and a decal(s) covering the basic operation. The decal(s) must 
be placed in a prominent location on the system.
    b. Specific directions for cleaning and maintenance of the system 
on a scheduled basis.
    c. Information on any restrictions or limitations relating to the 
system, such as pesticides that are incompatible with materials used in 
the construction of the system, types (or sizes) of containers or 
closures that cannot be handled by the system, any limits on ability to 
correct or over measurement of a pesticide, or special procedures or 
limitations on the ability of the system to deal with partial 
containers.
    Operating Requirements:
    10. The system must be cleaned and maintained according to the 
manufacturer's instructions. If the system is not a commercially 
produced system it must be maintained on a regular basis. A record of 
cleaning and maintenance must be maintained.
    11. All labeling required personal protective equipment (PPE) must 
be present at the work site. Protective eyewear must be worn while 
using a closed system that operates under pressure. While using a 
closed system, PPE requirements may be reduced or modified as provided 
in Title 3 California Code of Regulations, section 6738.
    Information about closed systems which have been evaluated and 
found to meet these criteria is available from DPR (Ref. 91).
    California's standard also allows for PPE to be modified or 
substituted when using a closed system that meets the established 
criteria.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to adopt the 
California closed system standards as outlined in the Director's Memo, 
except where there are specific references to California-specific 
information. The proposed criteria are based on research by the 
California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California has indicated 
that it is considering changes to the Director's Memo criteria. EPA 
will consider any changes made to California's standard and the 
supporting rationale when developing a final standard for closed 
systems in the WPS.
    In addition to establishing standards for the system, the proposal 
establishes requirements for the use of the closed system. To be 
eligible for the exceptions to the label-specified PPE requirements 
when a handler uses a closed system, EPA proposes to require that the 
handler employer ensure that the handler receives training on use of 
the closed system, perform maintenance according to the manufacturer's 
written instructions, and maintain records of all maintenance for 2 
years.
    The proposed rule would retain the following current requirements: 
(1) Label-mandated PPE must be immediately available for use in an 
emergency; (2) handlers must use protective eyewear for closed systems 
that operate under pressure; and (3) a respirator must be worn if 
required by the label.
    EPA believes that the existing WPS standard for closed systems, if 
applied strictly, may be difficult to meet and could limit the 
exception from being used because it requires that no pesticide escape 
during the transfer. As a result, some agricultural establishments may 
be forgoing the WPS closed system exception, despite the availability 
of closed systems that can be reasonably expected to meet the 
performance criteria. Additionally, other establishments may be 
employing systems that they believe qualify as closed, yet nevertheless 
expose handlers to elevated risk because the criteria for closed 
systems have not been adequately described. EPA is aware of

[[Page 15498]]

closed systems currently manufactured and available to agricultural and 
handler employers that meet the California closed system criteria.
    EPA believes a properly designed and functioning closed system 
provides benefits to the pesticide handler, bystanders, and the 
environment. Studies show that PPE may be discarded if uncomfortable, 
such as when temperatures are high, or may be worn when contaminated or 
damaged, reducing its protective value. Additionally, PPE can only 
protect the wearer, but pesticide exposure to bystanders and the 
environment can be minimized through the use of a closed system. 
Industrial hygiene principles detail the use of the ``hierarchy of 
controls'' to manage chemical exposure. The hierarchy includes 
controlling chemical exposures from the source as a preferred approach, 
through substitution of a safer chemical or process, mechanizing the 
process, or isolating/enclosing the process. The use of closed systems 
fits this latter category by enclosing the chemical and substantially 
reducing the potential for exposure at the source, thereby reducing the 
potential for subsequent exposure to handlers, other people, and the 
environment.
    Closed systems are considered an important protection against 
hazards in other industries. For example, health care workers working 
with hazardous drugs can experience exposures to those drugs that can 
result in illness. In 2004, CDC-NIOSH published an alert to healthcare 
workers, identifying the risks of exposure to these drugs (Ref. 92). 
The alert recommended a closed system drug transfer device (CSTD) to 
reduce exposure. CDC-NIOSH defines a CSTD as a system that 
``mechanically prohibits the transfer of environmental contaminants 
into the system and the escape of hazardous drug or vapor 
concentrations outside the system,'' thereby limiting the occupational 
exposure to a healthcare provider (Ref. 92).
    The proposed rule would replace the current performance standard 
with a set of specific criteria that a closed system would be required 
to meet. Because it will be easier to demonstrate compliance with these 
criteria, EPA expects this proposed revision to increase the number of 
establishments that use sufficiently protective closed systems for 
pesticide handling tasks involving mixing and loading, thereby reducing 
the potential for handlers and others to be exposed to pesticides 
during such activities.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning closed systems appears in 
Sec.  170.307(d) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of the proposed 
standards for closed systems would be $6.9 million annually, or about 
$25 per agricultural establishment per year and about $48 per 
commercial pesticide handling establishment per year. The cost estimate 
is based on conservative estimates of the number of establishments that 
currently use closed systems. EPA believes that some establishments 
that currently use closed systems that do not meet the proposed 
standards would upgrade and some would elect not to use a closed 
system, reverting to the label-required PPE. The Agency is not aware of 
sources of information that provide estimates of the number of 
establishments that use these systems for pesticide handling. 
Therefore, EPA has made assumptions about their numbers. The Agency 
believes these assumptions are conservative and that the actual cost of 
implementing this clarification of the requirements would be 
significantly lower.
    The proposed requirement would not require employers to use closed 
systems if they have not already chosen to use closed systems in their 
operation, but will allow more flexibility for employers to use a 
broader range of closed systems. EPA believes that more closed systems 
will now be able to meet the criteria for the exception because it is 
proposing to replace language that implies a complete prohibition of 
exposure with more practical criteria that will enable more closed 
systems to meet the requirements for the exception. For a complete 
discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the 
``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. The Agency 
considered eliminating the exception for closed systems based on 
reports of improper uses of the closed system exception. However, EPA 
expects that properly defined and employed closed systems afford 
superior protection for handlers, other individuals, and the 
environment. In order to support the use of properly designed and 
operated closed system, EPA instead proposes to clarify the WPS 
criteria for closed systems.
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Are the proposed standards for closed systems reasonable 
and achievable?
     Are the proposed standards for closed systems too 
specific? If so, please describe what aspects are too specific, why, 
and how to achieve sufficient protection while reducing the 
specificity.
     Do data exist on the number of establishments that use 
closed systems, the number that do not use closed systems because the 
current standard is not clear, and/or the number of establishments that 
use closed systems that meet the California criteria?
     Would people who currently use closed systems that do not 
meet the proposed standard upgrade their closed system or opt to use 
the label-required PPE? What information would impact this decision?
     What would be the cost to convert an existing system that 
does not meet the proposed standard to one that does?
     Should EPA consider eliminating any of the criteria listed 
in the proposal? If so, which criteria and why?
     What would be the benefits and draw backs of the 
requirement for the closed system to triple rinse the container? Is the 
technology available to provide this element at a reasonable cost?
     Would it be possible for agricultural and handler 
employers, handlers, and inspectors to measure the closed system's PSI 
while the system is in use? If it would not be possible, should EPA 
consider eliminating this element?

C. Contaminated PPE

    1. Overview. The current WPS requires employers either to clean or 
properly dispose of contaminated PPE. EPA proposes to require that 
contaminated PPE be rendered unusable before disposal.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires employers either to 
clean contaminated PPE or to dispose of it properly (40 CFR 
170.240(f)). PPE can become contaminated with pesticides from routine 
use or spills, and if re-worn, can expose the wearer to those pesticide 
residues.
    3. Summary of the issues. State agencies have raised concerns that 
contaminated PPE may be reused if not destroyed.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require 
employers to render unusable before properly disposing of PPE that 
cannot be decontaminated according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
This would protect workers, handlers and others from unnecessary 
exposure resulting from the wearing of contaminated garments. For 
example, if absorbent coveralls contaminated from overuse or soaked in 
pesticide from a spill are

[[Page 15499]]

accidentally placed in a laundry bin instead of the trash bin, a person 
in need of protective clothing may find the discarded garment and 
attempt to wear it. Cutting the garment apart would make it less likely 
that a person would attempt to wear it and be exposed to the pesticide 
residues.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning rendering PPE unusable 
before disposal appears in Sec.  170.207(d)(2) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. The cost of this proposal is expected to be 
negligible, because employers are required to dispose of contaminated 
PPE under the existing requirement. There is expected to be minimal 
additional burden on the employer to render the PPE unusable. For a 
complete discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see 
the ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following question:
     Are there better ways to mitigate the risks associated 
with reuse of discarded PPE? Please provide rationale and data, as 
applicable, with your response.

D. Eyewear Protection for Open Cockpits

    1. Overview. The existing WPS allows pilots applying pesticides 
from an open cockpit aircraft to substitute a visor for label-required 
eye protection. The Agency proposes to replace the option to use visors 
in open cockpit aerial applications with the option of using a helmet 
with the face shield lowered as a substitute for the eye protection 
required on the label. EPA expects this proposal would balance the 
needs for adequate eye protection and suitable visibility among 
handlers that apply pesticides aerially from open cockpit aircraft.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. 40 CFR 170.240(d)(6)(ii) requires that 
pilots applying pesticides from an open cockpit wear PPE in accordance 
with the label but allows pilots to substitute a visor for label-
required eye protection. Depending on the particular pesticide product, 
the label-required eye protection might be goggles; a face shield; 
safety glasses with front, brow, and temple protection; or a full-face 
respirator.
    3. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency intended the 
existing open cockpit exception to relax certain PPE requirements, but 
EPA nevertheless intended to convey that some covering extending over 
the eyes was necessary. While a face shield might be characterized as a 
visor, the term can also reasonably be interpreted as the brim of a cap 
that provides the eyes shade and protection from rain, but little other 
protection. Such a visor does not provide meaningful protection against 
pesticide sprays or spills. This protection is especially important for 
pilots applying in an open cockpit because they may be exposed to drift 
while making aerial applications. In order to assure aerial applicators 
have adequate eye protection, the Agency proposes to replace the option 
to use visors in open cockpit aerial applications with the option to 
use a helmet with the face shield lowered.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning eyewear protection for open 
cockpits appears in Sec.  170.307(f)(2) of the proposed rule.
    4. Costs and benefits. EPA expects this proposal to have negligible 
costs because the pesticide label already mandates that employers 
provide specific PPE. This proposal merely changes the option for what 
PPE can be substituted for the label-mandated PPE. For a complete 
discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the 
``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    5. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following question:
     Is the estimate of the cost reasonable? Please provide 
rationale and data to support your information.

E. Respirators: Fit Testing, Training, and Medical Evaluation

    1. Overview. The existing WPS requires handler employers to ensure 
that handlers' respirators fit correctly. EPA proposes to clarify this 
requirement to expressly include medical evaluation, fit testing, and 
training for respirator users. In addition, EPA proposed to require 
that handler employers retain records of compliance with these 
requirements. EPA expects that these changes will result in fewer 
incidents of exposure and improvements to the health of respirator-
wearing handlers covered by the WPS.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS requires handler employers to 
ensure that each handler's respirator fits correctly (40 CFR 
170.240(c)(9)). However, part 170 does not provide specific details on 
how to ensure that a respirator fits properly, conducting medical 
evaluation, periodically refitting the handler for respirator use, 
training requirements for proper use of respirators, or retaining fit 
test records.
    3. Summary of the issues. The CHPAC, a Federal Advisory Committee, 
and Farmworker Justice noted that OSHA's standards for respirator fit 
testing, training, and medical monitoring are absent from part 170 and 
recommended incorporating the OSHA requirements (Ref. 74) (Ref. 35, p. 
2). They expressed concern that the level of protection for handlers 
using respirators under the WPS requirements is inadequate.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. EPA proposes to require 
handler employers to comply with the respirator fit testing, training, 
and medical evaluation requirements set by OSHA at 29 CFR 1910.134 
whenever a respirator other than a dust or mist filtering mask is 
required by the labeling. The OSHA standard includes a specific 
standard for fitting a user for respirator use, training on recognizing 
when the respirator seal may be broken, and what steps to take to 
properly use and maintain respirators. OSHA also requires respirator 
users to be medically evaluated to ensure the respirator use does not 
cause undue stress on their bodies. The adoption of the OSHA standard 
into part 170 would ensure that handlers understand how to wear 
respirators properly, are medically fit to use respirators, and receive 
training on respirator use. It would also ensure that if technology 
advances lead OSHA to amend its standard, the change would 
automatically apply to pesticide uses subject to the WPS as well. EPA 
believes this proposal would better protect handlers from respiratory 
hazards. This requirement would be limited to products covered by the 
WPS.
    In order for respirators to provide the intended protection, they 
must be fitted to the specific user. Fit testing ensures that the 
respirator seals completely on the face. Respirator wearers must be 
able to recognize when the seal is broken so that they may correct the 
fit or remove themselves from the exposure area.
    The respirator wearer's respiratory system can be stressed because 
intake of breath is more difficult while wearing a respirator. For 
example, persons with medical limitations may be at risk of cardiac 
problems from the stress of the additional effort to inhale. Other 
potential negative impacts for respirator wearers include stress on the 
pulmonary system and even claustrophobia (Ref. 93). These potential 
negative health impacts can be avoided by doing a fit test of the 
respirator and if necessary, a medical evaluation.
    In other industries where respirators are required for work around 
hazardous chemicals, OSHA requirements ensure that users wear them 
appropriately. Because pesticide use in agriculture is

[[Page 15500]]

outside of OSHA's scope [see Unit IV.D.], handlers of pesticides who 
use respirators are not protected to the same degree as workers in 
other industries although they face similar risks. Handlers can be 
exposed to significant inhalation risks during pesticide mixing, 
loading, and application.
    EPA believes incorporation of the OSHA standard will provide 
employers and handlers with more specific information on what it means 
to ensure that a respirator fits correctly and ensure that respirators 
are maintained properly to protect handlers.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning respirator use requirements 
appears in Sec.  170.207(b)(9) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost to employers of 
complying with the clarification of the WPS respirator requirements to 
reference the OSHA standard would be $10.6 million annually, or about 
$54 for agricultural establishments per year and $3 for commercial 
pesticide handling establishments per year. The cost to commercial 
pesticide handling establishments only reflects the cost of 
recordkeeping because EPA assumes that they already comply with OSHA's 
respirator requirements because they engage in activities outside of 
the scope of the WPS that are covered by OSHA. EPA believes the cost 
estimates for agricultural establishments are very conservative because 
EPA believes that many establishment owners already are required to 
comply with OSHA requirements related to respirator use for other 
reasons. This proposal clarifies the existing requirement, which 
requires employers to ensure that handlers' PPE fits properly and to 
perform proper maintenance.
    EPA cannot quantify the benefits associated with this proposal. 
However, EPA believes ensuring that handlers can safely use respirators 
and those respirators fit properly would increase effectiveness of the 
protections offered by respirators. This would ultimately lead to a 
reduction in occupational pesticide-related illnesses.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. The Agency 
considered amending 40 CFR part 156, which addresses labeling 
requirements, to require respirator fit testing, training, and medical 
evaluation requirements in accordance with OSHA standard 29 CFR 
1910.134 on all labeling for pesticide products that require 
respirators other than filtering face pieces or dust masks. This 
proposal, however, would go beyond the scope of the WPS rule 
amendments, which focuses on agricultural pesticide use. Implementing 
this option would require changes to all pesticide labeling with 
respirator requirements and would likely take over three years to 
implement, based on necessary rulemaking for all labeling and the 
process for realizing changes on labeling of products in the field. The 
relabeling process would significantly delay protections to handlers. 
EPA may consider whether to take this action independently from the 
changes proposed in this proposed rule.
    The Agency also considered the option of only establishing these 
requirements on individual WPS product labeling, on a product-by-
product basis. Some proportion of the products covered by the WPS may 
already have these requirements on their labeling. For those products 
that lack the requirements, EPA recognized that it may take 
significantly longer for these protections to be added to labeling, and 
so opted to propose the revisions in part 170, where adherence to the 
OSHA standard would have the legal effect of labeling instructions 
without the need for re-labeling.

XVII. Monitoring Handler Exposure to Cholinesterase-Inhibiting 
Pesticides

    1. Decision Not to Propose. EPA considered proposing cholinesterase 
(ChE) monitoring of handlers to support mitigation of handlers' 
exposure to ChE-inhibiting pesticides. Currently, part 170 has no 
requirement to monitor ChE levels in workers or handlers. EPA believes 
that its product-specific risk assessment and registration process 
described in Unit III establishes adequate protections for handlers 
from undue risk of pesticide exposure. Additionally, other proposed 
changes proactively address some of the risks to handler health that 
have been identified by state-based ChE monitoring programs. The Agency 
does not believe that the anticipated benefits of a ChE monitoring 
program would justify the costs to handlers and employers and would be 
reactive, catching incidents after they occur rather than working to 
stop them from happening. Therefore, the Agency is not proposing to add 
a requirement for monitoring ChE inhibition in handlers at this time.
    2. Background. ChE refers to a family of enzymes that are critical 
to proper nerve function in insects and humans. ChE permits the 
transmission of signals across the space between the nerves called the 
synapse. ChE-inhibiting pesticides block the transmission of these 
signals, resulting in adverse symptoms. Acute poisoning symptoms 
include nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, excessive 
salivation, and, in extreme cases, death. Except in severe cases, the 
treatment for persons who have been exposed to ChE-inhibiting 
pesticides usually involves removal from the work activities that 
result in the exposure.
    Organophosphate (OP) and N-methyl carbamate (carbamate) pesticides, 
which are widely used in agriculture, are known inhibitors of ChE 
levels in humans. The OPs and carbamate pesticides that present the 
highest acute toxicity are in EPA's Toxicity Categories I and II, 
indicated by the signal words ``DANGER'' and ``WARNING'', respectively, 
on the product's label. Tests for ChE depression exist only for these 
types of pesticides; therefore, the development and implementation of a 
monitoring system would only provide information related to the use of 
a small subset of products, not a general workplace hazard monitoring 
program.
    An individual's ChE level can be determined with a blood test. 
There is no universal normal range for ChE levels because baseline 
levels vary widely between individuals; therefore, it is important that 
an individual's initial baseline level be established before exposure 
to ChE-inhibiting pesticides. Comparison of this baseline level to the 
ChE level from the handler post-exposure can determine the level of 
inhibition.
    Stakeholders have recommended ChE monitoring for handlers. In a 
2006 letter to the Administrator, Farmworker Justice recommended 
medical monitoring of pesticide handlers who mix, load or apply 
Toxicity Category I or II OPs or carbamates for 30 hours or more in a 
30-day period (Ref. 35).
    Some states, including California and Washington, have adopted 
rules to require ChE monitoring. EPA reviewed California and Washington 
State's ChE monitoring rules when considering ChE monitoring on a 
national level.
    Established in 1974, the California Department of Pesticide 
Regulation program requires monitoring for handlers of OPs and 
carbamate products with the signal word ``DANGER'' or ``WARNING'' on 
their labels (Ref. 94 p. Section 6728). For handlers who work with the 
types of pesticides listed above for more than 6 days in a 30-day 
period, California's regulations require that employers have the 
handlers tested to establish baseline ChE levels and to monitor any 
change after handling activities. Employers must retain records of 
handler activities related to these pesticides as well. To avoid the 
expense of sending a handler for blood testing, California believes 
that many employers limit handlers' exposures to these pesticides to 
less than six days in a 30-day period.

[[Page 15501]]

    Washington State's Department of Labor and Industries established a 
voluntary ChE monitoring system for handlers in 2004. Employers must 
offer the option of monitoring to the handlers, who may decline after 
they have received training on the hazards posed by ChE inhibition and 
a consultation with a health care practitioner. In addition, for 
handlers who use Toxicity Category I or II OP or carbamate pesticides, 
employers must:
     Record the number of hours employees spend handling these 
pesticides.
     Implement a medical monitoring program for handlers who 
could meet or exceed the handling threshold of 30 or more hours in any 
consecutive 30-day period.
     Identify a medical provider to provide medical monitoring 
services.
     Make baseline and periodic ChE testing available to 
employees who could meet or exceed the handling threshold.
     Investigate work practices when a handler's red blood cell 
(RBC) or serum ChE level drops more than 20 percent below the 
employee's personal baseline.
     Remove employees from handling and other exposures to 
organophosphate and N-methyl-carbamate pesticides when recommended by 
the health care provider.
     Provide training on ChE monitoring to covered employees.
     Report employee handling hours to the medical provider 
with each periodic test.
     Maintain medical monitoring and other records for seven 
years (Ref. 95).
    For those handlers who opt for monitoring, the rule also requires 
that handlers with red blood cell ChE depressions of greater than 30% 
or serum depressions greater than 40% from their personal baseline be 
removed from handling the listed pesticides until the handler's ChE 
levels have returned to within 20% of his or her personal baseline and 
that the employer conduct a work practice investigation.
    Washington State provides reimbursement to agricultural employers 
for testing services and related administrative program costs. In 2009, 
Washington State reimbursed 61 employers with $129,000 of costs (Ref. 
96 p. 3). The reimbursement costs included baseline testing for 2,060 
handlers and at least one additional test for 249 of the handlers who 
had a baseline test (Ref. 96, p. 3).
    Washington State's Department of Labor and Industries ChE 
monitoring Cost Benefit Determination and Small Business Impact 
Statement identified the following benefits of ChE monitoring:
     Prevention of illness after over-exposure.
     Increased hazard awareness and improve workplace safety 
related to pesticide use.
     Improved pesticide illness diagnosis and reporting.
     Greater certainty about frequency of pesticide over-
exposure.
     Decreased risk of unintended exposures to handlers' 
families.
    3. Details of decision not to propose. After reviewing the 
experiences of Washington State and California, as well as the 
estimated costs of a national ChE monitoring program, the Agency has 
decided not to propose establishing a ChE monitoring program for 
handlers. EPA believes that the existing risk assessments and label-
based risk mitigation measures, in combination with the proposed 
changes to expand handler training and to adopt OSHA respirator 
standards, would be sufficient to prevent unreasonable adverse effects 
to handlers working with OPs and carbamates.
    The Agency believes that Washington State's efforts have identified 
the primary reasons for ChE inhibition among pesticide handlers. In 
Washington State, the Department of Labor and Industries conducts 
follow up investigations when monitoring indicates ChE inhibition is 
greater than 20%. Review of pesticide worker protection programs 
highlighted potential exposure scenarios and violations of the WPS 
requirements including areas such as decontamination, PPE, and 
respiratory protection (Ref. 97). The findings from the follow-up 
suggest that in many cases ChE depression was caused by handlers not 
following basic safety and hygiene procedures, e.g., not wearing the 
label-required PPE and failing to wash before meals or bathroom breaks 
(Ref. 97, pp. 10-11). Additionally, several handlers, who did wear 
respirators as required by labeling, had beards, which compromised the 
seal between the face and the respirator and reduced the protection 
intended to be afforded by the equipment. Using this information, 
Washington State developed training for handlers specifically on 
decontamination and proper use of PPE.
    This proposed rule would address Washington State's findings by 
requiring expanded handler training that covers reducing take-home 
exposure, proper use and decontamination of PPE, and more frequent 
handler training. [See Unit VII.E.] The Agency is also proposing 
requirements for fit testing and training on proper respirator use for 
handlers. [See Unit XVI.E.]
    As a result of the reregistration process for the OPs and 
carbamates, revised labeling with increased protections is replacing 
the older labeling in the field. EPA expects that many of the new 
mitigation measures will result in lowered handler exposure. Key 
improvements include requirements for closed system mixing and loading, 
additional PPE, and reductions to rates of application and number of 
annual applications permitted. Moreover, the uses of some highly 
acutely toxic OPs are being phased out (Ref. 98). EPA recognizes that 
some products with the most current label language have not yet reached 
field users. For example, in the first years (2004 and 2005) of the 
Washington State program, many applicators were not wearing respirators 
when applying the OP pesticide Lorsban via air blast (Ref. 99) (Ref. 
100). Inspectors learned that applicators were still using old product 
and the corresponding labeling, which did not require respirator use 
for handlers. This use resulted in higher exposure to the pesticide 
handlers as a result. EPA expects that as product labeling with 
additional risk mitigation measures reaches the field handlers 
complying with the new requirements would have a lower potential for 
exposure.
    EPA believes that product-specific risk mitigation measures 
combined with increased handler protections outlined in this proposal 
would appropriately address the elevated potential for ChE inhibition 
in handlers. Moreover, the training and PPE elements of the proposed 
rule are expected to have the combined effect of providing important 
protective benefits to all pesticide handlers through increased 
knowledge of exposure risks and prevention strategies, ultimately 
leading to a reduction of pesticide exposures. EPA favors this approach 
over ChE monitoring because it prevents handler exposure rather than 
addressing it after it occurs. EPA does not believe that the cost and 
burden of implementing a national ChE monitoring program, which would 
only identify a problem after the exposure has occurred, would be 
justified by the limited benefits achieved by removing a handler from 
the treated area once pesticide exposure has inhibited ChE levels.
    4. Costs and benefits. In 2003, Washington State developed a 
Benefit-Cost Determination document to estimate the costs of 
implementing their ChE monitoring program. The central estimated 
compliance cost in year one was $848,490, and $1,272,487 in year

[[Page 15502]]

two (Ref. 101 p. 23). The costs for which employers can be reimbursed 
under Washington's program include medical (consultations, follow-up 
visits and procedures, and blood draws), recordkeeping to record 
handling hours for monitored handlers, wages for time spent in training 
for ChE monitoring, and mileage for travel costs associated with 
evaluations and training. The expenses for which employers are 
reimbursed by Washington State provide insight as to the costs and 
activities of the employers and handlers participating in the ChE 
program, but do not estimate the cost of a national ChE monitoring 
program.
    In the proposal's ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the 
Worker Protection Standard,'' the incremental cost of a monitoring 
program, based primarily on California's and Washington's programs, is 
estimated to be $15.2 million annually, or about $53 per agricultural 
establishment per year and $120 per commercial pesticide handling 
establishment per year. The requirements of a national ChE monitoring 
program have not been developed sufficiently to provide a precise cost 
analysis, but it would likely include program components such as 
training, recordkeeping, clinical testing, and field investigations. 
The estimated costs do not include the states' costs to build 
infrastructure to support ChE monitoring or to cover continued 
laboratory costs such as equipment maintenance and administrative 
support.
    For more discussion of the costs of the proposal, see the 
``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    The proposed handler training and PPE requirements are proactive 
and are expected to prevent handler exposure whereas cholinesterase 
monitoring would only identify a problem after the exposure has 
occurred. As a result, EPA concludes that the cost of implementing a 
national cholinesterase monitoring program is not justified by its 
limited benefits for a subpopulation of the nation's pesticide 
handlers. The training and PPE elements of the proposed rule, however, 
are expected to have the combined effect of providing important 
protective benefits to all pesticide handlers through increased 
knowledge of exposure risks and prevention strategies, ultimately 
leading to a reduction of pesticide exposures.
    5. Alternative options considered. EPA considered restricting the 
number of hours handlers may work with OPs and carbamates in a given 
timeframe (for example, no more than 30 hours of handling these 
pesticides over a 30-day period). However, EPA is not aware of data 
that would provide a basis for establishing this type of proposal.
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically seeks feedback on its 
decision not to propose a requirement for mandatory ChE monitoring, 
including comment on the following questions:
     Do you believe the costs and burdens of a national ChE 
monitoring program would be justified by the protections to handler 
health? If so, please provide justification.
     Do you agree that it is more protective to prevent handler 
exposure than to address it after it occurs? If so, why? If not, do you 
have an alternative proposal to address handler exposure?
     Does other information exist on the benefits or challenges 
of ChE monitoring that the Agency has not presented in this proposal? 
If so, please provide.

XVIII. Exemptions and Exceptions

A. Immediate Family

    1. Decision not to propose. EPA considered eliminating the existing 
exemption for workers and handlers under age 16 employed (receiving a 
wage or salary) by immediate family members; however, the available 
information may not be sufficient to support this option. Accordingly, 
EPA is not proposing to amend the immediate family exemption to impose 
any age requirements on establishments that qualify for the immediate 
family exemption to the WPS. Although the WPS exempts owners and their 
immediate family members from many provisions of the rule, EPA provides 
the exemption based upon assurances that owners voluntarily provide to 
immediate family members essentially the same protections required for 
workers and handlers covered by the WPS. [Note: EPA is proposing to 
expand the definition of ``immediate family'' to better reflect the 
range of familial relationships that could occur. See Unit XIX.A., for 
a discussion of the revised definition.]
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS exempts the owners of 
agricultural establishments from providing certain WPS protections to 
themselves and their immediate family members (40 CFR 170.104(a) and 
170.204(a)). Specifically, the agricultural establishment owner is 
exempt from complying with the following requirements for immediate 
family members performing tasks as workers: Sections of the early-entry 
restrictions; providing pesticide safety training or other safety 
information; cleaning, storing, and maintaining PPE; maintaining 
decontamination sites and supplies; providing notice of and specific 
information about applications; and providing emergency assistance. 
Similarly for immediate family members performing handler tasks, the 
agricultural establishment owner is exempt from the following 
requirements: Providing pesticide safety training and other safety 
information such as restrictions during applications, knowledge of 
labeling and site-specific information, and safe operation of 
equipment; ensuring proper use, cleaning, and maintenance of PPE and 
avoiding heat-related illness while using PPE; maintaining 
decontamination sites and supplies; and providing emergency assistance. 
The agricultural establishment owner must comply with all other 
sections of the WPS. The immediate family includes only the spouse, 
parents, stepparents, foster parents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, 
children, stepchildren, foster children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, 
grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, and 
sisters-in-law of the owner of the agricultural establishment.
    In addition, the definitions of workers and handlers require that 
they are employed for compensation in order to receive protection under 
the WPS. Therefore, any person performing worker or handler tasks who 
does not receive a wage or salary is not covered by any aspect of the 
WPS.
    3. Summary of the issues. Stakeholder feedback, reports from the 
GAO, the CHPAC and recent research have indicated an increased 
awareness of the need to protect all children from adverse health 
effects of pesticide exposure (Ref. 20) (Ref. 74) (Ref. 102) (Ref. 
103). [See Unit V.C. and V.E.] During the National Assessment, EPA did 
not seek specific stakeholder feedback on the existing immediate family 
exemption and whether it should be amended.
    Input from the agricultural community indicates that emergency 
assistance and other protections are among the reasonable steps an 
owner of an agricultural establishment would take to protect family 
members.
    4. Options considered and not proposed. The Agency considered 
narrowing the immediate family exemption in two ways: (1) Limiting it 
only to immediate family members of an owner of an agricultural 
establishment who are at least 16 years old, and (2) modifying the 
scope of the requirements that are exempted by eliminating from the 
list emergency assistance for workers and handlers and handler 
monitoring during fumigant application.

[[Page 15503]]

    Limiting the exemption to employed family members who are at least 
16 years old would not prohibit agricultural establishment owners from 
allowing their immediate family members under 16 years old to perform 
WPS tasks. The proposed definition of ``employ'' specifies salary or 
wages; other forms of compensation are not included in the definition. 
Therefore, immediate family members who are compensated in other ways 
besides salary or wages, but not ``employed'' by the WPS definition, 
would continue to be exempted from certain specified provisions of the 
WPS. As under the current rule, any person, including immediate family 
members under 16 years old, who does not receive a wage or salary would 
not be covered by any provisions of the WPS. See tables 1 and 2.

   Table 1--Considered Changes to the WPS Immediate Family Exemption--
Minimum Age, Emergency Assistance and Handler Monitoring During Fumigant
                              Applications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Then under the considered
  If the immediate family members are:        changes, the employer:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Under 16 years old AND........   Would have to comply
 Employed on the agricultural     with all relevant provisions
 establishment to perform WPS tasks       of the WPS (no immediate
 (receiving a wage or salary).            family exemption) for those
                                          immediate family members
                                          Would no longer have
                                          an exemption from providing
                                          emergency assistance to
                                          workers and handlers and
                                          monitoring handlers during
                                          fumigant applications
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA acknowledges requests from a range of stakeholders to ensure 
protection of all children working with or around pesticides. Recent 
findings suggest that working with or around pesticides may increase 
potential risks of harm to children's developing systems and that 
children's maturity and decision-making skills are not fully developed. 
EPA believes that owners of agricultural establishments generally 
protect family members independent of government regulation. EPA 
believes that owners of agricultural establishments who employ only 
members of their immediate families have access to a variety of sources 
of information, outside the scope of the WPS, on how to provide 
adequate protections from pesticide exposure to their family members. 
Programs such as 4-H and Future Farmers of America provide information 
to youth. The USDA's Cooperative Extension System, based out of land 
grant universities, operates agricultural outreach programs in every 
state. The Cooperative Extension System offers formal outreach, such as 
county or state farm safety days, and informal outreach and advice to 
individual farmers. The American Farm Bureau Federation and affiliated 
state farm bureau operations also provide outreach on topics including 
pesticide safety to farmers and their families. Finally, some farm 
owners may be certified as pesticide applicators. Certified pesticide 
applicators must pass an exam or attend a training program at the state 
level to demonstrate they are competent to use and manage pesticides 
safely. In addition, certified applicators are required to complete 
continuing education, which includes information and reminders about 
using pesticides safely and protecting others from pesticide exposure. 
It is not clear from the available information that the burdens 
associated with narrowing the existing exemption would produce 
commensurate risk reductions. Although EPA has not proposed changing 
the existing exemption from the requirement to provide certain WPS 
protections to immediate family members, EPA is requesting comment on 
this issue.
    EPA also considered eliminating the current exemption at Sec.  
170.204(a)(i) in the case of immediate family members who are handling 
highly toxic pesticides or working in enclosed fumigated areas. EPA 
believes that owners of agricultural establishments generally protect 
family members independent of government regulation. It is not clear 
from the available information that the burdens associated with 
narrowing the existing exemption would produce commensurate risk 
reductions. Although EPA has not proposed eliminating the current 
exemption in the case of immediate family members who are handling 
highly toxic pesticides or working in enclosed fumigated areas, EPA is 
requesting comment on this issue.
    Lastly, EPA considered eliminating the exemption for establishment 
owners to provide emergency assistance for immediate family members who 
are workers or handlers. In the event of a pesticide poisoning, certain 
symptoms, such as respiratory distress, need to be addressed promptly 
to avoid more serious problems, such as heart failure or an inability 
to breathe. Again, the Agency recognizes that establishment owners 
working with immediate family members have a vested interest in their 
family members' well being. EPA believes that additional regulation is 
not necessary to ensure that immediate family members who are workers 
or handlers receive assistance in the event of a pesticide-related 
emergency. It is not clear from the available information that the 
burdens associated with narrowing the existing exemption would produce 
commensurate risk reductions. Although EPA has not proposed eliminating 
the current exemption to providing emergency assistance to workers and 
handlers, EPA is requesting comment on this issue.
    5. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
immediate family exemptions in the WPS.
     Would this requirement have a different impact on small 
farms than on larger establishments? If so, please explain the likely 
impact.
     Does exempting agricultural establishment owners from the 
requirements to provide certain protections to immediate family members 
present unreasonable risks to family members who are under 16 years 
old?
     What would be the impact of limiting the immediate family 
exemption to family members who are at least 16 years old and who are 
employed by the owner?
     How many agricultural establishments would be affected if 
EPA decided to limit the exemption to immediate family members at least 
16 years old?

B. Crop Advisors and Employees

    1. Overview. The existing WPS allows exemptions from some 
requirements for crop advisors and their employees. The Agency proposes 
to eliminate exemptions from protections for employees directly 
supervised by certified or licensed crop advisors. The Agency also 
proposes to eliminate the

[[Page 15504]]

exemption from the worker decontamination and emergency assistance 
provisions for certified or licensed crop advisors employed as workers 
on agricultural establishments.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. The WPS allows crop advisor tasks to 
be conducted during pesticide application and during subsequent REIs.
    As outlined in 40 CFR 170.5, crop advisor tasks include assessing 
pest numbers or damage, pesticide distribution, or the status or 
requirements of agricultural plants, but not performing hand labor 
tasks. When performing crop advising tasks after the REI has expired or 
performing hand labor tasks, and employed by the agricultural 
establishment, a crop advisor is considered a worker under the WPS. A 
person employed by a commercial pesticide handling establishment 
performing crop advising tasks after expiration of an REI is not 
subject to any provisions of the rule.
    The WPS exempts the employer from complying with some handler 
requirements when the employee performs crop advising tasks during an 
REI and that is a certified or licensed crop advisor or directly 
supervised by a certified or licensed crop advisor. To qualify for this 
exemption, the crop advisor certification or licensing program must 
include, at a minimum, all information listed under handler training, 
40 CFR 170.230(c)(4). Under the current WPS, the certified crop advisor 
must make specific determinations regarding the appropriate PPE, 
decontamination and safe method of conduct for those working under his 
or her direct supervision. This information, as well as information 
regarding the product, method and time of application, REI, tasks, and 
contact information, must be conveyed by the certified crop advisor to 
each person under his supervision. Currently, the WPS exempts employers 
from complying with worker requirements such as providing 
decontamination supplies and emergency assistance for certified or 
licensed crop advisors and persons they directly supervise.
    3. Summary of the issues. State regulatory agencies and their 
representatives have expressed concerns with the current crop advisor 
exemptions, noting that those working under the supervision of the crop 
advisors may be unaware of the risks posed by pesticides.
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. The Agency proposes to limit 
this exemption to crop advisors only, eliminating from the exemption 
employees directly supervised by certified or licensed crop advisors. 
The Agency believes employees who are not certified or licensed as crop 
advisors but who are performing crop advising tasks may be unable to 
make appropriate judgments regarding personal risk because they are not 
required to receive information about the risks of working around 
pesticide-treated areas and how to protect themselves from exposure.
    If a person performs crop advising activities under the supervision 
of a certified crop advisor, he or she may not understand the factors 
influencing the risks well enough to take appropriate protective 
measures or to alert the supervising crop advisor to observations that 
could alter the initial decisions about the protective measures to be 
taken.
    The Agency also proposes to eliminate the exemption for certified 
or licensed crop advisors employed as workers on agricultural 
establishments from the worker decontamination and emergency assistance 
provisions. While EPA believes this exemption applies to a small number 
of people it is important that all workers on agricultural 
establishments have access to decontamination supplies and emergency 
assistance.
    The rule would retain the exemption for certified or licensed crop 
advisors to enter and perform crop advising tasks during an REI.
    The Agency has discussed these exemptions with the National 
Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC). NAICC representatives 
indicated that entry to perform crop advising tasks during an REI is a 
rare event, especially for persons who are not certified or licensed 
crop advisors (Ref. 104). Overall, the Agency believes that the 
proposed revision would not have a significant impact on the majority 
of crop advisors.
    The proposed regulatory text concerning the crop advisor exemption 
appears in Sec.  170.301(b) of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates the cost of amending the 
exemption for crop advisors would be $1,400, or less than $0.01 per 
establishment. NAICC representatives noted that there may be some cost 
to provide the WPS protections to currently-exempt supervised 
employees. The Agency believes that there are few certified crop 
advisors retained directly by agricultural establishments. For a 
discussion of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the 
``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection 
Standard,'' Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    6. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     Should EPA consider an alternative to this proposal? If 
so, what alternative and why?
     Should EPA require specific training for the employees of 
crop advisors to ensure that they understand the risks of entering and 
working in areas treated with pesticides? If so, please provide 
specific information on the type of training and anticipated benefit to 
crop advisor employees. Also, please comment on whether a crop 
adviser's employees, who have received such training, should be exempt 
from the WPS requirements for provisions for decontamination supplies 
and emergency assistance and from following the labeling requirements 
for PPE for early entry.

C. Revise the Exception to the Requirement for Workers To Be Fully 
Trained Before Entering Pesticide-Treated Areas

    1. Overview. For workers who are not performing early-entry 
activities, the existing WPS allows employers to delay training until 
before work begins on the 6th day of entry into a treated area 
providing the full required pesticide safety training to workers 
performing WPS-covered activities (referred to as the ``grace 
period''). During the grace period, the current WPS requires 
agricultural employers to provide an abbreviated training covering two 
major points: Where pesticides may be encountered and how to prevent 
pesticides from entering a worker's body. In order to balance the need 
for workers to receive sufficient information to protect themselves and 
the need for agricultural employers to have flexibility in employing 
workers, EPA proposes to shorten the grace period to two days and to 
require that workers receive training on protecting themselves and 
their families from pesticide exposure prior to entering a pesticide-
treated area during the grace period. In essence, this exception to the 
general requirement that all workers be fully trained prior to entering 
a pesticide-treated area to perform WPS tasks would allow agricultural 
employers who have provided workers with certain essential safety 
information to direct those workers to perform WPS tasks for no more 
than 2 days before providing them with the full WPS pesticide safety 
training, and require the employer to maintain records of the 
information transfer for 2 years. The agricultural employer would be 
required to provide each such worker full pesticide safety training 
before allowing

[[Page 15505]]

the worker to enter a treated area for a third day. This proposal would 
provide the agricultural employer with the flexibility to choose 
whether to provide workers with full pesticide safety training 
immediately upon employment or to utilize the 2 day grace period, 
provided they comply with the conditions of the exception. EPA expects 
this change would improve workers' understanding of the risks they may 
face and how to protect themselves when they work in areas treated with 
WPS-covered pesticides, while maintaining flexibility for agricultural 
employers.
    2. Existing WPS regulations. When EPA was developing the 1992 WPS, 
agricultural employers argued that they needed a training grace period 
because qualified trainers were not available in sufficient numbers to 
meet the need for worker training. To accommodate the need for 
flexibility for agricultural employers and in recognition of the high 
turnover in the workforce on some establishments, EPA adopted the grace 
period. The 1992 rule allowed agricultural employers to direct workers 
to perform work in pesticide-treated areas for up to 15 days before the 
employer was required to provide the full pesticide safety training 
outlined in Sec.  170.130 (57 FR 38151; August 21, 1992). On January 1, 
1996, EPA reduced the grace period to 5 days (60 FR 21944; May 3, 
1995).
    Under 40 CFR 170.130(a)(3)(ii), agricultural employers may direct 
workers to perform work (except for early-entry activities) in areas 
that, within the last 30 days, have been treated with a pesticide 
bearing a label requiring compliance with the WPS or have been under an 
REI for such pesticide for up to 5 days before the employer must 
provide the full pesticide safety training outlined in 40 CFR 170.130. 
During the grace period, employers must inform workers of the following 
points:

     Pesticides may be on or in plants, soil, irrigation water, 
or drifting from nearby applications;
     Prevent pesticides from entering your body by:

--Following directions and/or signs about keeping out of treated or 
restricted areas.
-- Washing before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or tobacco, or 
using the toilet.
--Wearing work clothing that protects the body from pesticide residues.
--Washing/showering with soap and water, shampoo hair, and put on clean 
clothes after work.
--Washing work clothes separately from other clothes before wearing 
them again.
--Washing immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides are 
spilled or sprayed on the body. As soon as possible, shower, shampoo, 
and change into clean clothes.

     Further training will be provided within 5 days.
    See 40 CFR 170.130(c). Before the 6th day that workers remain on 
the establishment working in areas that, within the last 30 days, have 
been treated with a pesticide bearing a label requiring compliance with 
the WPS or have been under an REI for such pesticide, the agricultural 
employer must provide the full pesticide safety training.
    3. Summary of the issues. Stakeholders, including Farmworker 
Justice and Migrant Clinicians Network, have repeatedly raised concerns 
for workers entering the pesticide-treated treated areas without 
receiving the full pesticide safety training (Ref. 35). They noted that 
the basic safety information provided prior to entry into a treated 
area does not describe the hazards associated with pesticides, how to 
recognize pesticide poisoning symptoms, or how to access emergency 
medical care. The lack of information may be of particular concern for 
workers performing tasks in recently treated areas or adjacent to an 
area being treated because they may not know what to do if they are 
sprayed or feel sick. Stakeholders also noted that a worker may be 
employed for fewer than 5 days on each of a series of farms and, as a 
result, may be at risk of significant pesticide exposure without ever 
receiving the full pesticide safety training. This situation is 
especially likely to occur during harvest periods, as workers may move 
from one farm to another as the harvest is completed, resulting in 
potentially large numbers of workers exposed to pesticides without full 
safety training.
    Many of the SERs consulted by the SBAR panel requested that EPA 
retain the current 5 day grace period (Ref. 18, p. 21). They noted that 
employers have many legal obligations related to hiring a new employee, 
and pesticide worker safety training is just one element. In comments 
submitted to EPA, SERs informed EPA that the grace period offered 
agricultural employers flexibility about when to provide full training 
to workers without negatively impacting the performing of WPS tasks 
essential to agricultural production.
    OSHA requires that employers provide training on potential chemical 
hazards that employees may face in the workplace before allowing 
employees to enter the area to begin work. These standards require 
employers to provide hazard information to workers before they begin 
any tasks that may expose them to a hazardous material or activity, 
rather than allowing them to work for a period before receiving the 
hazard information. See, e.g., the training requirements for employees 
that may encounter lead, 29 CFR 1962.62(l)(1), asbestos, 29 CFR 
1926.1127(m)(4), and cadmium, 29 CFR 1926.1101(k)(9).
    4. Details of the proposal/rationale. The exception would allow 
agricultural employers to postpone providing full pesticide training 
for up to 2 days after the worker begins work in WPS-covered areas. In 
order to qualify for the exception, agricultural employers would be 
required to provide certain safety information, which would incorporate 
both the information currently required by the regulation and 
additional content, to workers in a language and manner they understand 
before workers perform any WPS tasks in a treated area. Agricultural 
employers would also be required to maintain records of the information 
provided to workers for 2 years. Finally, agricultural employers would 
be required to provide the full pesticide safety training to workers 
before sending them into any treated area for a third day where within 
the last 30 days a pesticide product bearing a label requiring 
compliance with the WPS has been used, or an REI for such a pesticide 
has been in effect.
    EPA believes that if the shortened grace period is adopted, it is 
likely to reduce the number of workers that may be exposed to 
pesticides without having the benefit of the full safety training. EPA 
proposes to re-characterize the grace period as an exception to the 
requirement that employers provide workers the full pesticide safety 
training before the worker may enter a pesticide-treated area. EPA 
believes that the shortened grace period and the requirement that 
employers provide certain basic safety information to workers before 
they enter a treated area (detailed below), and requiring recordkeeping 
would balance the need for workers to be informed about risks to which 
they may be exposed and the need for agricultural employers to have 
some flexibility regarding pesticide safety training. EPA believes re-
characterizing the grace period as an exception would also make the 
regulation easier to understand.
    In order to utilize the proposed exception, agricultural employers 
would need to provide certain safety information to the workers in a 
language

[[Page 15506]]

and manner they understand before the workers enter any pesticide-
treated area. The required information would cover four areas: (1) 
Employer responsibilities for providing worker protections, (2) 
information about potential hazards in the workplace, (3) how to 
protect oneself from pesticide exposure and hazards in the workplace, 
and (4) emergency first aid procedures for pesticide poisonings or 
injuries. Under the four areas, the full list of topics to be conveyed 
to workers would be:
Employer Responsibilities for Providing Worker Protections
--Agricultural employers are required to provide workers with 
information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide 
exposures and illnesses. This includes providing pesticide safety 
information to workers before being directed to work in pesticide 
treated areas if they have not received full pesticide safety training; 
providing full pesticide safety training to workers before their 3rd 
day of work in pesticide treated areas; providing pesticide hazard 
information for products used on the establishment, decontamination 
supplies, and emergency medical assistance, and notifying workers of 
restrictions during applications and on entering pesticide treated 
areas.
--Agricultural employers must inform workers how to recognize and 
understand the meaning of the warning sign used for notifying workers 
of restrictions on entering pesticide treated areas on the 
establishment. Workers must follow employer directions and/or signs 
about keeping out of entry restricted or pesticide treated areas.
--Agricultural employers must not allow or direct any worker who has 
not received full pesticide safety training and additional early entry 
worker notification to work in any area that is currently under an REI. 
Employers must comply with minimum age restrictions and notification 
requirements in order to direct workers to perform early-entry 
activities.
--Agricultural employers must not allow or direct any worker to mix, 
load, or apply pesticides or assist in the application of pesticides 
unless the worker has been trained as a handler.
--Agricultural employers are prohibited from intimidating, threatening, 
coercing, or discriminating against any worker for the purposes of 
interfering with any attempt to comply with the requirements of this 
part, or because the worker has made a complaint, testified, assisted, 
or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or 
hearing pursuant to this part.
Information About Potential Pesticide Hazards in the Workplace
--There are potential sources of pesticide exposure on agricultural 
establishments and pesticides and/or pesticide residues may be 
encountered during work activities. This includes pesticides drifting 
from nearby applications, and that pesticide residues may be on or in 
plants, soil, irrigation water, tractors, application equipment, or 
used personal protective equipment.
--Pesticides can cause illness or injury if they enter your body. 
Pesticides can enter the body by getting them on your skin or in your 
eyes, by swallowing them, or by breathing in their vapors.
--There are potential hazards from toxicity and exposure that 
pesticides present to workers, including acute and chronic illnesses/
effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.
--There are potential hazards to children and pregnant women from 
pesticide exposure.
How to Protect Yourself From Pesticide Exposure and Hazards in the 
Workplace
--When working near pesticides or in pesticide treated areas, wear work 
clothing that protects the body from pesticide residues and always wash 
hands before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or tobacco, or using 
the toilet.
--Wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and change into 
clean clothes as soon as possible after working near or in pesticide 
treated areas.
--There are potential hazards from the pesticide residues that may be 
on work clothing. Wash work clothes before wearing them again, and 
always wash work clothes separately from other clothes.
Emergency First Aid Procedures for Pesticide Poisonings or Injuries
--Pesticides may cause skin rashes or hurt your eyes, nose or throat. 
Pesticides can make you feel sick in different ways, such as headache 
or dizziness, muscles pain or cramps, nausea or vomiting, sweating, 
drooling, fatigue, or trouble breathing.
--Wash immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides are spilled 
or sprayed on the body and as soon as possible, shower, shampoo hair, 
and change into clean clothes. If a pesticide gets in your eyes, hold 
them open and rinse with a gentle stream of cool water. Rinse eyes for 
15 minutes if possible.
--If you or someone you work with gets sick while working, tell your 
employer right away. If you suspect you have been injured or made ill 
from pesticides, get medical help as soon as possible. If you have been 
injured from pesticides while working, your employer must provide 
emergency transportation to a nearby medical facility and provide 
information about the pesticide or pesticides that may have made you 
sick.

    After the employer provides the workers with the safety information 
in a language and manner they understand, the employer must create a 
record of the information provided and provide a copy of the record to 
the worker. The record would include the safety information conveyed to 
the worker, an affirmation that the worker has been provide a copy of 
the safety information sheet and that the information was communicated 
to the worker orally in a language the worker understands, the worker's 
name, signature, date of birth, the date the information was provided, 
the employer's name, and employer's phone number or phone number of the 
establishment. The employer can have all workers sign the record and 
acknowledgement before providing copies to each worker.
    Finally, EPA is committed to protecting vulnerable populations. 
Workers face risk of occupational exposure to pesticides. Through this 
proposed change, EPA seeks to mitigate the elevated risk associated 
with entering a treated area without training on what pesticide risks 
may be encountered in the workplace and how to protect oneself from 
pesticide exposure. EPA believes this proposal is consistent with the 
principles of environmental justice, providing a population that may 
face disproportionate risks of exposure based on the nature of their 
tasks, limited understanding of English, low literacy, and low 
education level with information in advance of the potential for 
exposure.
    The proposed regulatory text establishing a 2 day grace period, 
altering the requirements for training under the grace period, and 
establishing a requirement to maintain records for 2 years appears in 
Sec.  170.309 of the proposed rule.
    5. Costs and benefits. EPA estimates that replacing the current 5-
day grace period with the proposed 2-day exception to the requirement 
for

[[Page 15507]]

employers to provide full pesticide safety training to workers before 
directing workers to enter a pesticide treated area would cost $2.3 
million, or about $6 per agricultural establishment. This cost estimate 
does not include recordkeeping; the cost of the recordkeeping for 
worker training is discussed in Unit VII.B. For a complete discussion 
of the costs of the proposals and alternatives, see the ``Economic 
Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard,'' 
Chapter 3 Cost Analysis (Ref. 1).
    EPA could not estimate specific benefits associated with this 
proposal. However, EPA believes that providing certain safety 
information to workers before they perform WPS tasks and shortening the 
interval before they receive full training would decrease the number of 
occupational pesticide-related illnesses because workers would be 
better informed on how to protect themselves before entering a 
pesticide-treated area.
    6. Alternative options considered but not proposed. As an 
alternative, EPA is considering eliminating the grace period. Under 
this option, agricultural employers would be required to provide all 
workers with full pesticide training before sending them into any 
treated area where within the last 30 days a pesticide product bearing 
a label requiring compliance with the WPS has been used, or an REI for 
such a pesticide has been in effect. Eliminating the grace period would 
ensure that all workers are fully trained on how to protect both 
themselves and their family members before entering an area covered by 
the WPS. The estimated cost for eliminating the grace period for worker 
training would be $2.8 million, or about $7 per establishment. The 
increased cost comes from the employer having to provide full pesticide 
safety training sessions every time workers enter the establishment to 
perform WPS tasks, rather than waiting and holding a larger training 
session for workers hired over a period of a few days. EPA does not 
have sufficient data to compare the benefits of providing the pesticide 
safety training before workers enter the treated area to ensure that 
workers are fully prepared and aware of the potential risks they may 
encounter in the workplace, and the costs that agricultural employers 
might incur if the grace period were eliminated.
    Information exists that supports the alternative option to 
eliminate the grace period entirely. First, the number of trainers may 
be sufficient. EPA reduced the grace period from 15 to 5 days over 10 
years ago in recognition that employers had less difficulty finding 
someone to provide pesticide safety training to workers. Based on 
significant outreach and support provided by EPA to training 
organizations, such as AFOP, sufficient trainers may be available 
nationally to meet the needs of agricultural employers without a grace 
period. Second, 90% of workers report employment by 1 or 2 
establishments a year (Ref. 3, p. 23). Employers now may deal with less 
worker turnover and therefore may not need to provide multiple 
trainings throughout the year. The lower burden on employers makes the 
call for a grace period less compelling. Lastly, small business 
representatives advised EPA that they generally provide training to 
workers upon employment to comply with other regulations or for general 
orientation (Ref. 18). Under the proposal for worker pesticide safety 
training, once a worker is trained in a particular year, he or she 
would receive a record of the training to show subsequent employers, 
thereby eliminating the need for subsequent employers to repeat the 
training.
    EPA notes that OSHA requires employers in almost all industries to 
notify their workers of the hazards that may be encountered in the 
workplace before the work begins (29 CFR 1910.1200(h)). This 
requirement has been in place since 1983. OSHA established the standard 
based on the belief that, without adequate knowledge of the potential 
dangers in the workplace, workers would not be able to take protective 
measures or avoid hazards (52 FR 31852; August 24, 1987)(59 FR 6126; 
February 9, 1994) (Ref. 63).
    7. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following:
     Supply of trainers and how quickly they can be available.
     Frequency of hiring new workers during the year.
     Evidence about the frequency of illness for workers who 
receive basic vs. full pesticide safety training.
     Should EPA eliminate the grace period? Why or why not?
     What would be the impact of eliminating the grace period 
on agricultural employers, trainers, and/or workers?
     What would be the impact of a shorter grace period on 
agricultural employers and trainers?
     Would retaining a shorter grace period as proposed 
negatively impact workers? If so, how?
     Should EPA retain the current 5 day grace period or reduce 
the grace period to 3 or 4 days? If EPA reduces the grace period to 3 
or 4 days, what would be the relative impacts on agricultural employers 
and workers as compared to the proposed reduced grace period of 2 days?

XIX. General Revisions to the WPS

A. Improved Definitions

    The Agency proposes to revise 40 CFR 170.3 by revising certain 
definitions to provide greater clarity, by adding several new 
definitions, and by eliminating several unnecessary definitions. EPA 
believes that improved definitions would reduce the likelihood of 
alternative interpretations, while improving compliance and 
enforceability.
    The Agency believes these proposed revisions to the definitions 
adopt more widely used and commonly accepted ``plain English'' 
language, and add clarity and consistency to the rule. The proposed 
revisions to the definitions also help address regulatory or policy 
issues raised by state regulatory partners and other program 
stakeholders. The Agency does not believe the proposed revisions to the 
definitions will add new regulatory requirements on the regulated 
community or substantially increase regulatory burden.
    The following definitions appear in Sec.  170.5 of the proposed 
rule.
    1. Revised definitions. The Agency proposes to revise the following 
existing definitions: ``agricultural employer,'' ``agricultural 
establishment,'' ``agricultural plant,'' ``commercial pesticide 
handling establishment,'' ``crop advisor,'' ``farm,'' ``hand labor,'' 
``handler,'' ``handler employer,'' ``immediate family,'' ``nursery,'' 
and ``worker.''
    The Agency proposes to change the existing definition of 
``immediate family'' as follows: ``. . . includes only spouse, parents, 
stepparents, foster parents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, children, 
stepchildren, foster children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law; 
grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, and 
sisters-in-law.'' The remaining revisions to the existing definitions 
are simply intended to clarify those terms, rather than substantively 
alter them. Substantive changes to the immediate family exemption 
considered but not proposed are discussed in Unit XVIII.A.
    2. New definitions. The Agency also proposes to add the following 
new definitions: ``authorized representative,'' ``closed system,'' 
``commercial pesticide handler employer,'' ``commercial production,'' 
``enclosed space production,'' ``employ,'' ``enclosed cab,'' ``entry-
restricted area,'' ``forest operation,'' ``labor contractor,'' 
``outdoor production,'' ``personal protective

[[Page 15508]]

equipment,'' ``safety data sheet,'' ``use,'' and ``worker housing 
area.''
    As an example of the changes to the definitions, the Agency 
proposes to define ``employ'' as the receipt of either wages or salary 
for work. Under the current rule, a person is covered by the WPS if he 
or she receives any type of compensation. Current interpretations of 
compensation include students receiving credits and garden club members 
receiving benefits such as coffee and cake at meetings. The proposed 
definition would limit WPS coverage to only those who receive pay and 
perform worker or handler tasks when a pesticide has been applied or an 
REI in effect on the establishment within the past 30 days.
    3. Definitions to be deleted. The Agency proposes to delete the 
definition of ``greenhouse'' because it is no longer necessary as a 
result of the proposed addition of ``enclosed space production.'' The 
agency also proposes to delete the definition of ``forest'' because it 
is being replaced with ``forest operation.'' Additional details 
regarding significant proposed definition changes are discussed above.
    4. Request for comment. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
following questions:
     What impact do you expect on employers, workers, handlers, 
or other stakeholders as a result of replacing the terms ``farms,'' 
``forests,'' ``nurseries,'' and ``greenhouses'' with the terms 
``outdoor production'' and ``enclosed space production''?
     What are the impacts of revising the definition of 
``immediate family''?
     Should EPA consider including cousins in the definition of 
immediate family? Why or why not?
     What are the impacts of adding a definition of ``employ''?
     What are the impacts of adding a definition of 
``authorized representative''?
     Are there other terms that the Agency should consider 
clarifying, redefining, or eliminating from the rule? If so, please 
provide detail about the term(s) and rationale for change.

B. Restructuring of Part 170

    In order to improve clarity and implement the principles of using 
plain language in regulations, EPA proposes to reorganize the structure 
of part 170 and to rename the rule. EPA expects the revised part 170 
will be easier to read and understand, thereby improving compliance by 
worker and handler employers.
    1. Existing part 170. Part 170, the Worker Protection Standard, is 
organized into three subparts: ``General Provisions,'' ``Standard for 
Workers,'' and ``Standard for Handlers.'' Often, content that applies 
to both workers and handlers is repeated in two sections. The 
exemptions and exceptions are listed throughout the rule. EPA has 
received feedback from states, farmworker groups, employers, trainers, 
and other stakeholder groups that part 170 is difficult to follow (Ref. 
44).
    2. Details of the proposed rule. EPA proposes to rename the 
regulation ``Requirements for Protection of Agricultural Workers and 
Pesticide Handlers.'' The proposal would reorganize the rule into four 
subparts: ``General Provisions,'' ``Requirements for Protection of 
Agricultural Workers,'' ``Requirements for Protection of Pesticide 
Handlers,'' and ``Exemptions and Exceptions.'' The ``General 
Provisions'' subpart would describe certain obligations for 
agricultural employers, handler employers, and those requirements that 
apply to both. The subparts ``Requirements for Protection of 
Agricultural Workers'' and ``Requirements for Protection of Pesticide 
Handlers'' would provide information that supplements the general 
duties and obligations for employers and outline the content of the 
training and decontamination supplies that the employer must provide 
for workers and handlers respectively. Finally, EPA consolidated most 
of the exceptions and exemptions into a separate subpart to make them 
easier to find and reference.
    EPA believes that the restructured rule will facilitate better 
understanding of the rule by employers and state and tribal regulatory 
agencies. EPA specifically requests comment on the following questions:
     Is the restructuring clearer and easier to read and 
understand?
     Are there other ways that part 170 could be simplified or 
made clearer? If so, please provide suggested language and rationale.

XX. Implementation of this Proposal

    EPA proposes to make the final rule effective 60 days after the 
date of publication in the Federal Register; however, compliance with 
certain provisions, including the additional pesticide safety training 
content and pesticide safety information and new signs for posting, 
would not be required until 2 years after the publication date of the 
final rule. The 2 year delay between publication of the final rule and 
the effective date of the changes would give state and tribal 
regulators, employers, trainers, and other stakeholders time to make 
the necessary changes to their daily activities and for materials and 
signs to be developed and made available. EPA expects that employers 
would need new signs and training materials to transition to new 
requirements. State regulators would need to become familiar with the 
new regulation and conduct outreach to the regulated community.
    Trainers would have to become familiar with the additional training 
content, to ensure that they meet any eligibility requirements, and to 
obtain new training materials. EPA recognizes that training materials 
that comply with the proposed expanded content must be available before 
the effective date of the new training requirements. Therefore, EPA has 
linked the effective date of the implementation of the proposed 
additional pesticide safety training requirements for workers and 
handlers to an announcement of availability of materials that satisfy 
the new requirements in the Federal Register. If EPA announces the 
availability of the materials sooner than18 months after the effective 
date of the final rule, then the new training requirements would go 
into effect 2 years after the effective date of the final rule. If EPA 
announces the availability of materials that comply with the proposed 
requirements more than 18 months after the effective date of the final 
rule, then the proposed training requirements would not take effect 
until 180 days after the announcement of availability publishes in the 
Federal Register.
    To facilitate implementation, EPA plans to issue a ``how to 
comply'' guidance document at the time the final rule is published, to 
develop and disseminate new training materials, to conduct outreach to 
all potentially affected parties, and to provide assistance to states.
    EPA specifically requests comment on the following questions:
     Please provide input on how to measure the efficacy of the 
revised WPS once implemented. Describe specific data elements and how 
EPA could use them to determine whether the revised regulation is 
effective.
     What data would help to evaluate the impacts (costs) and 
benefits of the rule after implementation? Describe specific data 
elements and how EPA could use them to evaluate the costs and benefits 
of the rule.
     If EPA evaluates the effectiveness and/or the impacts and 
benefits of the rule, what timeframe should be used to conduct the 
evaluation, e.g., should EPA begin a review after the rule is fully 
implemented or a specific time period after full implementation? For 
how long should EPA conduct the evaluation? Please provide additional 
information

[[Page 15509]]

on methodology that could be used to conduct any evaluation.

XXI. Reference List

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2013. Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to the 
Worker Protection Standard. Washington, DC.
    2. Lee, S-J, Mehler, L, Beckman, J, Diebolt-Brown, B, Prado, J, 
Lackovic, M, et al. ``Acute Pesticide Illnesses Associated with Off-
Target Pesticide Drift from Agricultural Applications.'' Environ 
Health Perspect 119 (2011):1162-1169.
    3. U.S. Department of Labor. Office of the Assistant Secretary 
for Policy. Office of Programmatic Policy. 2005. Findings From the 
National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) 2001-2002: A Demographic 
and Employment Profile of United States Farm Workers. Research 
Report No. 9.
    4. S. Rep. No. 92-883 (Part II), 92nd Congress, 2nd Session at 
43-46 (1972). U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News 1972, 
p. 4063.
    5. Rosenbaum, S and Shin, P. ``Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: 
Health Insurance Coverage and Access to Care.'' The Kaiser 
Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. May 3, 2005. Pub no. 7314.
    6. Kandel, W. 2008. Profile of Hired Farmworkers, A 2008 Update. 
Economic Research Report No. 60. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
Economic Research Service.
    7. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2007. OPP Report on Incident Information: The Baseline.
    8. Harchelroad, F, et al. ``Treated vs. Reported Toxic 
Exposures: Discrepancies Between a Poison Control Center and a 
Member Hospital.'' Vet Hum Toxicol 32 (1990): 156-159.
    9. Chafee-Bahamon, C, Caplan, DL and Lovejoy, Jr, FH. ``Patterns 
in Hospitals' Use of a Regional Poison Information Center.'' Am J 
Public Health 73 (1983): 396-400.
    10. Veltri, JC, McElwee, NE and Schumacher, MC. ``Interpretation 
and uses of data collection in poison control centers in the United 
States.'' Med Toxicol Adverse Drug Exp 2 no.6 (1987): 389-397.
    11. Calvert, G M, et al. ``Acute pesticide poisoning among 
agricultural workers in the United States, 1998-2005.'' American J 
Ind Med 51, no. 12 (December 2008): 883-898.
    12. Reigart, JR and Roberts, JR. 1999. Recognition and 
Management of Pesticide Poisonings. 5th Ed. U. S. Environmental 
Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide Programs. EPA 735-R-
98-003.
    13. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Inspection 
Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, 
1915.99, 1917.28, 1918.90, 1926.59, and 1928.21. March 20, 1998. CPL 
02-02-038.
    14. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ``Agricultural Worker 
Protection Standard 40 CFR Parts 156 & 170 Interpretive Policy, 
Question and Answers Web site.'' Retrieved August 25, 2011. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/safety/workers/wpsinterpolicy.htm.
    15. ARI/EPA General Training Issues Workgroup. 2003. 
Recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 
Improving Farmworker Pesticide Safety Training From the ARI/EPA 
General Training Issues Workgroup.
    16. Council for Agricultural Sciences and Technology and U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide Programs. 2004. 
Train the Trainer Pilot Project Final Report.
    17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2005. Report on the National Assessment of EPA's Worker 
Safety Program.
    18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2008. Small Business Advocacy Review Panel on EPA Planned 
Revisions to Two Related Rules: Worker Protection Standard for 
Agricultural Pesticides (RIN 2070-AJ22); and Certification of 
Pesticide Applicators (RIN 2070-AJ20). Washington, DC.
    19. U.S. Government Accounting Office. 1992. Hired Farmworkers: 
Health and Well-Being at Risk. Report to Congressional Requesters. 
GAO/HRD-92-46.
    20. U.S. Government Accounting Office. 2000. Pesticides: 
Improvements Needed to Ensure the Safety of Farmworkers and Their 
Families. Report to Congressional Requesters. GAO/RCED-00-40.
    21. Ward, MH, et al. ``Proximity to Crops and Residential 
Exposure to Agricultural Herbicides in Iowa.'' Environ Health 
Perspect 114, no. 6 (2006): 893-897.
    22. McCauley, LA, et al. ``Work Characteristics and Pesticide 
Exposures Among Migrant Agricultural Families: a Community-based 
Research Approach.'' Environ Health Perspect 109, no. 5 (2001): 533-
538.
    23. McCauley, L A, et al. ``Pesticide Exposure and Self Reported 
Home Hygiene: Practices in Agricultural Families.'' AAOHN Journal. 
51, no. 3 (2003):113-119.
    24. Rao, P, et al. ``Pesticide Safety Behaviors in Latino 
Farmworker Family Households.'' Am J Ind Med. 49, no. 4 (2006): 271-
280.
    25. Bradman, A, et al. ``Community-Based Intervention To Reduce 
Pesticide Exposure to Farmworkers and Potential Take-Home Exposure 
to Their Families.'' J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 19, no.1 
(2009):179-189.
    26. Natural Resources Defense Council. Comments from the Natural 
Resources Defense Council on the Revised Risk Assessment Methods for 
Workers, Children of Workers in Agricultural Fields, and Pesticides 
With No Food Uses (EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0889-0002). April 2010.
    27. Human Rights Watch. Fingers to the Bone: United States 
Failure To Protect Child Farmworkers. 2000. Washington, DC.
    28. Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. 1998. 
Report of the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee to the 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regarding the Selection of Five 
Regulations for Re-Evaluation.
    29. Calvert, GM, et al. ``Acute Pesticide-related Illnesses 
Among Working Youths, 1988-1999.'' Am J Public Health 93, no. 4 
(2003): 605-610.
    30. Curl, CL, et al. ``Evaluation of Take-home Organophosphorus 
Pesticide Exposure Among Agricultural Workers and Their Children.'' 
Environ Health Perspect 110, no. 12 (2002): A787-A792.
    31. Coronado, GD, et al. ``Agricultural Task and Exposure to 
Organophosphate Pesticides Among Farmworkers.'' Environ Health 
Perspect 112, no. 2 (2004): 142-147.
    32. S[aacute]nchez Lizardi, P, O'Rourke, MK and Morris, RJ. 
``The Effects of Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure on Hispanic 
Children's Cognitive and Behavioral Functioning.'' J Pediatr Psychol 
33, no. 1 (2007): 91-101.
    33. Das, R, et al. ``Pesticide-Related Illness Among Migrant 
Farm Workers in the United States.'' Int J Occup Environ Health 7, 
no. 4 (2001): 303-312.
    34. Goldman, L, et al. ``Risk Behaviors for Pesticide Exposure 
Among Pregnant Women Living in Farmworker Households in Salinas, 
California.'' Am J Ind Med. 45, no. 6 (2004): 491-499.
    35. Davis, S., et. al. Letter to U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson. On behalf of Farmworker 
Justice et al. December 15, 2006.
    36. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2007. Compiled Comments of the Pesticide Program Dialogue 
Committee on May 2007 Issue Papers. Washington, DC.
    37. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2007. Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Worker Safety 
Regulation Change Subgroup, Summary of PREP and PPDC Comments. 
Washington, DC.
    38. Calabro, K, Bright, K and Kouzekanani, K. ``Long-Term 
Effectiveness of Infection Control Training among Fourth Year 
Medical Students.'' Medical Education Online. 5, no. 1, (2000): 1-7. 
http://www.med-ed-online.org
    39. Spradley, Ples. Correspondence to Kathy Davis, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency on Pesticide Worker Safety Program 
Enhancement. American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators. 
June 7, 2007.
    40. Glasnapp, J. and Nakamoto, J. 2007. Hazard Communications 
for Agricultural Workers. JBS International, Inc. Aguirre Division.
    41. Adams, S. ``Improving safety instruction and results: Five 
principles of sound training. Professional Safety.'' Professional 
Safety. December 1, 2000. Article available at http://www.allbusiness.com/education-training/employee-training-assistance-employee/11442447-1.html.
    42. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2008. Summary of Potential SER Written and Oral Comments 
Received in Response to Small Business Advocacy Review Panel 
Outreach Meetings. Washington, DC.
    43. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2010. Worker Pesticide Safety Training Verification Card 
Order Report. Washington, DC.
    44. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. 2000. The National Assessment of the Worker Safety 
Program, Stakeholder Workshop #1.
    45. Dubberly, D. Email correspondence to Elizabeth Evans, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. Florida Department of Agriculture 
and Consumer Services. July 18, 2006.
    46. American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators. 2006. FL 
SDA Comments

[[Page 15510]]

on EPA's Plans for Proposed C&T and WPS Rule Changes. Washington, 
DC.
    47. NASDAF Workgroup. National Worker Safety Trainer Handbook: 
Pesticide Safety for Agricultural Workers. (Washington, DC: National 
Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation, 2008). 
EPA Cooperative agreement no. X8-83235401.
    48. Wallerstein, N and Rubenstein, H. Teaching about Job 
Hazards, A Guide for Workers and Their Health Providers. 
(Washington, DC, American Public Health Association, 1993.)
    49. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention. The National Institute of 
Occupational Safety and Health. Report to Congress on Workers' Home 
Contamination Study Conducted Under the Workers' Family Protection 
Act (29 U.S.C. 671a). September 1995. Publication No. 95-123.
    50. Lu, C, et al. ``Pesticide Exposure of Children in an 
Agricultural Community: Evidence of Household Proximity to Farmland 
and Take Home Exposure Pathways.'' Environmental Research 84, no. 3 
(2000):b290-302.
    51. Lambert, W E, et al. ``Variation in Organophosphate 
Pesticide Metabolites in Urine of Children Living in Agricultural 
Communities.'' Environ Health Perspect 113, no. 4 (2005): 504-508.
    52. Arcury, T A, et al. ``Pesticide Urinary Metabolite Levels of 
Children in Eastern North Carolina Farmworker Households.'' Environ 
Health Perspect 115, no. 8 (2007): 1254-1260.
    53. Liebman, A K, et al. ``A Pilot Program using Promotoras de 
Salud to Educate Farmworker Families About the Risks from Pesticide 
Exposure.'' J Agromedicine 12, no. 2 (2007):33-43.
    54. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ``Children's 
Environmental Health Centers (CEHCs) Web site.'' Retrieved April 21, 
2011. http://www.epa.gov/ncer/childrenscenters/.
    55. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ``Children's 
Environmental Health Centers (CEHCs): University of California at 
Berkeley Center for Children's Environmental Health Research Web 
site'' Retrieved August 5, 2011. http://www.epa.gov/ncer/childrenscenters/berkeley.html.
    56. Bradman, M A, et al. ``Pesticide Exposures to Children From 
California's Central Valley: Results of a Pilot Study.'' J Expo Anal 
Environ Epidemiol 7, no. 2 (1997): 217-234.
    57. Quandt, S A, et al. ``Agricultural and Residential 
Pesticides in Wipe Samples From Farmworker Family Residences in 
North Carolina and Virginia.'' 112, no. 3 (2004): 382-387.
    58. Coronado, G D, et al. ``Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure 
and Work in Pome Fruit: Evidence for the Take-home Pesticide 
Pathway.'' Environ Health Perspect 114, no. 7 (2006): 999-1006.
    59. Wolgalter, S, Sojourner, J and Brelsford, J. ``Comprehension 
and retention of safety pictorials.'' Ergonomics. 40, no. 5 (1997): 
531-542.
    60. Spencer, J R. November 2, 2001. Health and Safety Report: 
Analysis of the Impact of the Federal Worker Protection Standard and 
Recommendations for Improving California's Worker Protection Program 
Regarding Field Posting. California Environmental Protection Agency 
Department of Pesticide Regulation. HS-1819.
    61. U.S. Department of Labor. Office of the Assistant Secretary 
for Policy. Office of Program Economics. 2000. Findings From the 
National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) 1997-1998. Research 
Report No. 8.
    62. Davis, TC, et al. ``Low Literacy Impairs Comprehension of 
Prescription Warning Labels.'' J Gen Intern Med 21, no. 8 (2006): 
847-851.
    63. U.S. General Accounting Office 1992. Employers' Experiences 
in Complying with the Hazard Communication Standard. Briefing Report 
to Congressional Requesters. GAO/HRD-92-63BR.
    64. U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration. ``State Occupational Safety and Health Plans Web 
site.'' Retrieved September 14, 2011. http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/index.html.
    65. U.S. Department of Labor. Employment and Training 
Administration. ``The National Agricultural Workers Survey Web 
site.'' Retrieved January 11, 2011. http://www.doleta.gov/agworker/naws.cfm.
    66. North Carolina Administrative Code, Title 2, Chapter 9, 
Subchapter L, Part 1807. 2009.
    67. Cotto-Febo, S. ``Portable Central Location Project.'' 
(Presentation, Presented October,3, 2007 at Worker Safety and Health 
Symposium, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Arlington VA. 
October 3, 2007.)
    68. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Enforcement 
and Compliance Assurance. 2006. Overview of WPS Violations During 
2006 Inspections.
    69. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Enforcement 
and Compliance Assurance. 2007. Overview of WPS Violations during 
2007 Inspections.
    70. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Enforcement 
and Compliance Assurance. 2008. Overview of WPS Violations during 
2008 Inspections.
    71. Calvert, G M, et al. ``Case Report: Three Farmworkers Who 
Gave Birth to Infants With Birth Defects Closely Grouped in Time and 
Place--Florida and North Carolina, 2004-2005.'' Environ Health 
Perspect 115, no. 5 (2007): 787-791.
    72. Cline, JS. Letter to Jim Jones, Director of the Office of 
Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. On behalf 
of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. February 
2007.
    73. Washington State Department of Health. 2010. 2009 Annual 
Report: Pesticide Incident Reporting and Tracking Review Panel.
    74. Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. Letter to 
Administrator Stephen J. Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency: Recommendations Regarding Protecting Farmworker 
Children. November 15, 2005.
    75. Krieger, R, et al. ``Gauging Pesticide Exposure of Handlers 
(mixers/loaders/applicators) and Harvesters in California 
Agriculture.'' Med Lav 81, no. 6 (1990): 474-479.
    76. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health 
Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National 
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. National Institute for 
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommendations to the U.S. 
Department of Labor for Changes to Hazardous Orders. May 3, 2002.
    77. Casey, BJ, Jones, RM and Hare, T A. ``The Adolescent 
Brain.'' Ann N Y Acad Sci March (2008): 111-126.
    78. Farmworker Justice et al. Pesticides In the Air--Kids at 
Risk: Petition to EPA to Protect Children From Pesticide Drift. 
October 13, 2009.
    79. Young, M and Rischeitelli, D G. ``Occupational Risks and 
Risk Perception among Hispanic Adolescents.'' McGill J Med 9, no. 1 
(2006): 49-53.
    80. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. How To Comply With the 
Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides: What 
Employers Need To Know. Revised 2005.
    81. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2007. USDA Comments 
for the PPDC Worker Safety Regulation Change Subgroup. Washington, 
DC.
    82. Freeman Adcock, R, McAllister, R and Kelly, A. Letter to 
Kathy Davis, Certification and Worker Protection Branch, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency; Comments on Position Papers 
Relating to Worker Protection Standards (WPS). Pesticide Policy 
Coalition. August 31, 2007.
    83. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Transmittal of Meeting 
Minutes of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting Held December 
2-5, 2008 on the Scientific Issues Associated with Worker Reentry 
Exposure Assessment. February 19, 2009.
    84. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. Updated August 2010. Label Review Manual Chapter 7: 
Precautionary Statements.
    85. American National Standards Institute. American National 
Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment. ANSI Z358.1-
1990.
    86. Cooke, G, et al. 2011. Oregon OSHA Pesticide Emphasis 
Program Annual Report: Federal Fiscal Year 2010. Oregon Department 
of Consumer and Business Services. Information Management Division.
    87. Matoian, R. Letter to Joe Hogue, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency: Small Business Representative comments on WPS. 
July 14, 2008.
    88. Arcury, T A, et al. ``Farmworker reports of pesticide safety 
and sanitation in the work environment.'' Am J Ind Med 39, no. 5 
(2001): 487-498.
    89. California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California 
Code of Regulations. Title 3. Food and Agriculture. Division 6. 
Pesticides and Pest Control Operations; Section 6746. 2012.
    90. California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California 
Code of Regulations. Title 3. Food and Agriculture. Division 6. 
Pesticides and Pest Control Operations; Section 6000. 2012.
    91. California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Worker Health 
and Safety Branch. Closed Systems Director's Memo. January 2, 1998.
    92. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention. National Institute for

[[Page 15511]]

Occupational Safety and Health. 2004. NIOSH Alert: Preventing 
Occupational Exposures to Antioplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in 
Health Care Settings. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-165.
    93. Minnesota Department of Health. ``Medical Screening Web 
site: Physiologic effects of respirator use.'' Retrieved November 
17, 2010. Calvert, G M and Higgins, S A. ``Using Surveillance Data 
to Promote Occupational Health and Safety Policies and Practices at 
the State Level: a Case Study.'' Am J Ind Med 53, no. 2 (2010): 188-
193.
    94. California Department of Pesticide Regulation. California 
Code of Regulations. Title 3. Food and Agriculture. Division 6. 
Pesticides and Pest Control Operations; Section 6720-6746.
    95. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. 
``Cholinesterase Monitoring Web site.'' Retrieved March 15, 2011. 
http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/Cholinesterase/.
    96. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. 
Division of Occupational Safety and Health. 2009. Cholinesterase 
Monitoring of Pesticide Handlers in Agriculture: 2009 Report.
    97. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. 
Division of Occupational Safety and Health. January 2007. 
Cholinesterase Monitoring of Pesticide Handlers in Agriculture: 
Report to the Legislature.
    98. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide 
Programs. ``Pesticide Reregistration Status for Organophosphates Web 
site.'' Retrieved May 10, 2011. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/status_op.htm.
    99. Washington State Department of Health. Pesticide Incident 
Reporting and Tracking Review Panel 2005 Annual Report. December 
2005.
    100. Washington State Department of Health. Pesticide Incident 
Reporting and Tracking Review Panel Annual Report. May 2007.
    101. Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. 2003. 
Benefit-Cost Determination: Cholinesterase Monitoring in 
Agriculture. WAC 296-307-148.
    102. Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. 2011. 
Dangerous Exposure: Farmworker Children and Pesticides. Health and 
Safety Programs Annual Report, Vol. 1.
    103. Eskenazi, B, Bradman, A and Castorina, R. ``Exposures of 
Children to Organophosphate Pesticides and their Potential Adverse 
Health Effects.'' Environ Health Perspect Environ Health Perspect 
107, Suppl. 3 (1999): 409-419.
    104. Jones, A and Smith, L. Letter to Kevin Keaney, Branch 
Chief, Certification & Worker Protection Branch, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Comments regarding Issue Paper, ``Making the 
Regulatory Requirements for Certified Crop Advisors, Crop Advisor 
Employees & Aerial Apps.'' On behalf of National Alliance of 
Independent Crop Consultants, Certified Crop Advisors. 2006.
    105. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Agricultural Worker 
Protection Standard Training and Notification (Proposed Rule). EPA 
ICR No. 2491.01 and OMB Control No. 2070--NEW. 2013.
    106. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Agricultural Worker 
Protection Standard Training and Notification. EPA ICR number 
1759.07 and OMB Control No. 2070-0148. 2013.

XXII. FIFRA Review Requirements

    Under FIFRA section 25(a), EPA has submitted a draft of the 
proposed rule to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and the 
appropriate Congressional Committees. Their comments on this proposed 
rule and EPA's responses are located in the docket for this rulemaking.
    The Science Advisory Panel waived its review of this proposal on 
February 7, 2013.

XXIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review; and, 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735; October 4, 1993), this 
action is a ``significant regulatory action'' because it may raise 
novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the 
President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive 
Order. Accordingly, EPA submitted this proposed rulemaking to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Executive Orders 
12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821; January 21, 2011), and any changes made in 
response to OMB recommendations have been documented in the public 
docket for this action.
    Each of the WPS provisions is intended to do one of the following: 
(1) Inform farm workers and pesticide handlers about the hazards and 
risks from pesticides they use or with which they come into contact in 
the workplace, (2) protect workers and handlers from occupational 
exposure to pesticides and the potential adverse effects, or (3) 
mitigate the potential adverse effects of unavoidable pesticide 
exposure, including accidents. Within these categories, EPA evaluated 
the costs and benefits of alternative requirements and is proposing a 
set of requirements that, in combination, is expected to achieve 
substantial benefits at minimum cost. In addition, EPA prepared an 
analysis of the potential costs and benefits associated with this 
proposed action, titled ``Economic Analysis of Proposed Revisions to 
the Worker Protection Standard'' (Ref. 1). A copy of the analysis is 
available in the docket for this action and is briefly summarized here.
    EPA estimates the incremental cost of the proposed revisions to be 
between about $62.1 million and $72.9 million annually. These costs are 
almost entirely borne by farms that hire labor and use pesticides, 
which account for about 25 percent of all crop farms in the United 
States. Commercial pesticide handling establishments, which contract to 
apply pesticides on farms, may see an incremental cost of $170 to $190 
per year per firm. The cost to individual farms will depend on the 
number and type of employees employed. EPA estimates that larger farms 
will incur costs of $340 to $400 per year. Smaller operations are 
estimated to incur costs between $130 and $150 per year, which amounts 
to less than 0.1 percent of average annual revenue.
    The incremental cost to employ a worker is estimated to be less 
than $5 per year, which would not be expected to have an impact on 
employment. The incremental cost to employ a pesticide handler is 
estimated to be about $60 per year, which represents 0.3 percent of the 
total cost of a part-time employee, a marginal increase that would not 
be expected to have an impact on job availability.
    The benefits of the proposed rule would accrue to agricultural 
workers, pesticide handlers and, indirectly due to reduced take-home 
pesticide exposure, to their families. The revised rule is expected to 
substantially mitigate the potential for adverse health effects (both 
acute and chronic) for these workers and handlers from occupational 
exposures to pesticides.
    It is difficult to quantify a specific level of risk and project 
the risk reduction that will result from this rulemaking, because 
workers and handlers are potentially exposed to a wide range of 
pesticides with different toxicities and risks; however, the proposed 
changes to the WPS are designed to reduce occupational exposure to all 
pesticides. EPA believes there is sufficient evidence in the peer-
reviewed literature to suggest reducing pesticide exposure would result 
in a benefit to public health through reduced acute and chronic 
illness.
    Overall, the weight of evidence suggests that the proposed 
requirements would result in long-term health benefits to agricultural 
workers and pesticide handlers. EPA is not able to estimate the dollar 
value of the benefits that accrue from reducing chronic exposure to 
pesticides but there are well-documented associations between pesticide 
exposure and certain cancer and non-cancer chronic health effects in

[[Page 15512]]

the peer-reviewed literature. The proposed requirements provide 
benefits to the 2.3 million workers and pesticide handlers, not only by 
reducing their daily risk of pesticide exposures but also by improving 
quality of life throughout their lives, resulting in a lower cost of 
healthcare and a healthier society. Many of the changes to current WPS 
requirements specifically mitigate the potential for workers to 
transport pesticide residues home to their families. Thus, the proposed 
requirements are expected to reduce children's exposure to pesticides. 
The agency believes the unquantified benefits to children of workers 
and handlers are great, and reducing exposure to pesticides could 
translate into fewer sick days, fewer days missed of school, improved 
capacity to learn, and better long-term health. Parents and caregivers 
reap benefits by having healthier families, fewer missed workdays, and 
better quality of life, as well.
    EPA does estimate a value of avoided acute incidents as a result of 
the proposed rule, although this estimate is biased downward by an 
unknown degree for several reasons. First, pesticide incidents, like 
many illnesses and accidents, are underreported because sufferers may 
not seek medical care, cases may not be correctly diagnosed, and 
correctly diagnosed cases may not be filed with the central reporting 
database. Second, our approach only measures avoided medical costs and 
lost wages, not the willingness to pay to avoid possible symptoms due 
to pesticide exposure, which could be substantially higher. Just the 
small amount EPA is able to monetize accrues to be between $1.2 million 
and $2.8 million annually. The effect of underreporting can be 
significant. If only 25% of poisonings are reported (within the range 
of estimates in the literature), the quantified estimated benefits of 
the rule would be about $11.4 million annually. This conservative 
estimate only includes the avoided costs in medical care and lost 
productivity to workers and handlers. It does not include 
quantification of the reduction in chronic effects of pesticide 
exposure to workers and handlers, reduced effects of exposure including 
developmental impacts, to children and pregnant workers and handlers, 
or willingness to pay to avoid symptoms of pesticide exposure.
    Because the proposed changes to the requirements for protection of 
workers and handlers apply to many different pesticides in many 
different situations, EPA is not able to quantify the benefits expected 
to accrue from reducing chronic exposure to pesticides; however, well-
documented associations between pesticide exposure and certain cancer 
and non-cancer chronic health effects exist in peer-reviewed 
literature. EPA conducted a ``break even'' analysis to demonstrate the 
potential benefits that would result from reducing a very small number 
of chronic illnesses that have well-documented associations with 
pesticide exposure. Under this analysis, avoiding only 53 total cases 
of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate cancer, Parkinson's disease, lung 
cancer, bronchitis, and asthma (under 0.8% of total cases among 
workers) would bridge the gap between the estimated benefits from 
reducing acute incidents and the cost of the rule, about $63.7 million. 
Overall, the weight of evidence suggests that the proposed requirements 
would result in long term health benefits to agricultural workers and 
pesticide handlers, not only by reducing their daily risk of pesticide 
exposures, but also by improving quality of life throughout their 
lives, resulting in a lower cost of health care and a healthier 
society.
    In addition, changes to the current WPS requirements, namely 
improved training on reducing pesticide residues brought from the 
treated area to the home on workers and handlers' clothing and bodies 
and establishing a minimum age for handlers and early entry workers, 
other than those covered by the immediate family exemption, 
specifically mitigate the potential for children to be exposed to 
pesticides directly and indirectly. The unquantified benefit to 
adolescent workers and handlers, as well as children of workers and 
handlers is great; reducing exposure to pesticides could translate into 
fewer sick days, fewer days missed of school, improved capacity to 
learn, and better long-term health. Parents and caregivers reap 
benefits by having healthier families, fewer missed workdays, and 
better quality of life.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    The information collection requirements in this proposed rule have 
been submitted for approval to OMB under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq. EPA has prepared an Information Collection Request (ICR) document 
to replace the existing approved ICR. The new ICR document, which is 
titled ``Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Training and 
Notification (Proposed Rule)'' and is identified by EPA ICR No. 2491.01 
and OMB Control No. 2070-NEW, has been placed in the docket for this 
proposed rule (Ref. 105). Responses to the proposed amendments would be 
mandatory.
    The information activities related to the current WPS requirements 
are already approved by OMB in an ICR entitled, ``Worker Protection 
Standard Training and Notification'' (EPA ICR No. 1759; OMB Control No. 
2070-0148) (Ref 106). The proposed rule replacement ICR addresses the 
information collection requirements contained in the current 
regulations as well as in the amendments identified in this proposed 
rule. The amendments include:
     Increasing the amount of training handlers and workers 
receive.
     Establishing a minimum age for pesticide handlers and 
workers engaged in early-entry activities.
     Increasing recordkeeping responsibilities of the 
agricultural employers and handler employers.
    The replacement ICR addresses adjustments to the estimated number 
of respondents, time for activities, and wage rates related to the 
current regulatory requirements as approved under OMB Control No. 2070-
0148. In addition, the replacement ICR addresses program changes 
related to the proposed amendments, including modifications to 
restrictions in field entry activities during restricted entry 
intervals; increased hazard communications; increased training (for 
both workers and handlers); provisions for information during emergency 
assistance; and recordkeeping for respirator requirements and for 
workers performing early entry activities. The estimated annual burden 
approved by OMB under OMB Control No. 2070-0148 is 1,776,131 hours. The 
total estimated annual respondent burden being proposed in the 
replacement ICR is 8,316,993 hours, a net increase of 6,540,862 hours.
    The estimated burden represents the total to comply with the full 
WPS, including all proposed revisions and those that are unchanged by 
this proposal. This differs from the estimated incremental cost of the 
proposal, which only considers the net cost of the proposed revisions.
    The burdens of the various activities range from 30 seconds per 
respondent for workers to provide acknowledgements to their employers 
to an hour per respondent for handler training. This estimate includes 
third-party WPS training and notification requirements. Burden is 
defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB

[[Page 15513]]

control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in 40 CFR 
are listed in 40 CFR part 9.
    Any comments on the Agency's need for information, the accuracy of 
the provided burden estimates, and any suggested methods for minimizing 
respondent burden, should be directed to the public docket for this 
proposed rule, under Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184. See 
ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice for where to submit 
comments to EPA. In addition, please submit a copy of your comments on 
the ICR directly to OMB at the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20503, Attention: Desk Office for EPA. Since OMB is 
required to make a decision concerning the ICR between 30 and 60 days 
after March 19, 2014, a comment to OMB is best assured of having the 
full effect if OMB receives it by April 18, 2014. The final will 
address any comments received regarding the information collection 
requirements contained in this proposal.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., generally requires an agency to 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice 
and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure 
Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. EPA estimates the rule will affect over 300,000 small farms, 
nurseries, and greenhouses, and several hundred small commercial 
entities that are contracted to apply pesticides. EPA expects the 
impacts to be less than 0.1% of the annual value of sales or revenues 
for the average small entity. EPA calculates the impact of the rule as 
the percent of sales revenue. Only the very smallest farms, with 
average sales of less than $4,500 per year, may face impacts above one 
percent of sales. The number of entities that may be impacted in excess 
of one percent of sales could be over 40,000, given the number of 
small-small establishments. However, this is likely an overestimate of 
the number of farms impacted as it does not account for the nearly 
5,000 small-small farms in California that would face impacts well 
below the national average. Please refer to the Economic Assessment, 
Table 5.4-3. ``Small Business Impacts, WPS Farms making pesticide 
applications'' for further details of the assessment.
    Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and 
small governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of assessing the impacts of the proposed rule on small 
entities, small entity is defined in accordance with the RFA as:
    1. A small business as defined by the Small Business 
Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 121.201. The SBA's 
definitions typically are based upon either a sales or an employment 
level, depending on the nature of the industry.
    2. A small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a 
city, county, town, school district or special district with a 
population of less than 50,000.
    3. A small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise that 
is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.
    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., the 
Agency hereby certifies that this action will not have a significant 
adverse economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
factual basis for the Agency's determination is presented in the small 
entity impact analysis prepared as part of the economic analysis for 
this proposed rule and a copy of which is available in the docket for 
this rulemaking (Ref. 18). The following is a brief summary of the 
factual basis for this certification.
    Although not required by the RFA to convene a Small Business 
Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for this particular proposed rule because 
EPA has ultimately determined that this proposal would not have a 
significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities, 
EPA convened a SBAR Panel to obtain advice and recommendations from 
small entities representatives potentially subject to the proposed 
rule's requirements. EPA's subsequent small business analysis 
demonstrates that there will not be a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Nevertheless, a Panel consisting 
of the following four individuals was convened:
     EPA's Small Business Advocacy Chairperson,
     Director of the Field and External Affairs Division of 
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs,
     Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget, and
     Acting Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.
    The Panel was convened to consider revisions to two related rules, 
which were being revised by EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs: Worker 
Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides; and Certification of 
Pesticide Applicators.
    The Worker Protection Standard applies to the following 
agricultural establishments engaged in the production of agricultural 
commodities: farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses.
    Since many agricultural establishments are small entities, the WPS 
would potentially impact a large number of small entities. After 
extensive research from several sources, including the National 
Agricultural Statistics Service, state pesticide usage data, the Bureau 
of Labor Statistics, and internet research, EPA assembled a list of 
industries that could be affected by the regulation. EPA then reviewed 
qualifications for small and large entities. The number of entities by 
industry is listed in the Final Report of the SBAR Panel for the two 
rules (Ref. 18).
    In January 2008, EPA began an informal outreach process to 
potential Small Entity Representatives (SERs, representatives of the 
small entities who may be subject to the requirements of the proposed 
rule) as part of the pre-SBAR panel planning process. SERs participate 
in the process to ensure that EPA hears the concerns and suggestions of 
small entities. EPA contacted States, agricultural extension agents, 
and organizations known to represent affected small business, such as 
grower associations, and various pest control industry associations to 
ask them to submit the names of potential SERs. EPA looked for 
representatives from differing types of businesses involved in 
pesticide application and/or different crops or agricultural 
commodities. EPA also sought to have representatives from a number of 
geographic areas of the nation.
    In February 2008, EPA sent an email to the 20 potential SERs 
identified by that point and provided background on the proposed 
changes and a description of the SBAR Panel Process. EPA held an 
informal outreach meeting on June 30, 2008. The SBAR Panel convened on 
September 4, 2008. The Panel decided to add one additional SER, for a 
total of 21, prior to the Panel meeting with the SERs. The Panel held a 
formal panel outreach meeting/teleconference with SERs on September 25, 
2008. Two weeks before the panel outreach meeting EPA sent materials to 
each of the SERs via email. A list of all materials shared with the 
SERs before the outreach meeting is contained in the pre-proposed rule 
portion of the docket for this action.

[[Page 15514]]

    The outreach meeting was held to solicit feedback from the SERs on 
their suggestions for the upcoming rulemaking. EPA asked the SERs to 
provide feedback on ideas under consideration for the proposed 
rulemaking and to respond to questions regarding their experience with 
the implementation of the current WPS. Specifically, the Panel asked 
the SERs to provide any alternate solutions to the potential proposals 
presented by EPA that would provide flexibility or would decrease the 
economic impact on small entities while still accomplishing the goal of 
improved safety. The Agency received written comments from SERs which 
are Appendix B to the Panel's Report.
    The Panel evaluated the assembled materials and small entity 
comments and prepared a report for the Agency's consideration titled: 
``Small Business Advocacy Review Panel on EPA's Planned Revision to Two 
Related Rules: Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides; 
and Certification of Pesticide Applicators.'' A copy of the Panel 
report is included in the docket for this proposed rule.
    The SBAR Panel recommended that as part of the proposal for 
revising the Worker Protection Standard in 40 CFR part 170, EPA 
specifically request comments on the following regulatory flexibility 
options:
    a. Oral notifications. The Panel recommended that EPA permit oral 
notifications without posted notifications for those pesticide 
applications with REIs of 48 hours or less. EPA is proposing and also 
requesting comments on allowing oral notification for products with 
REIs of 48 hours or less, unless the pesticide label specifically 
requires both oral and posted notification.
    b. Annual training. The Panel recommended that EPA consider ways to 
reduce the burden of annual training for workers and handlers on 
entities with fewer than 10 employees if they maintain written 
documentation that: (1) There has been no worker turnover, (2) no new 
or different pesticides have been applied, and (3) all workers and 
handlers were previously trained on the establishment. EPA is proposing 
annual training for all workers and handlers regardless of the number 
of employees and requesting comment on this recommendation.
    c. Grace period. The Panel recommended that EPA consider 
programmatic flexibilities for small entities related to the grace 
period before employers must be trained. For example, consider 
collaboration between the Agency and states to increase the use of 
training verification programs to reduce the need for unnecessary 
retraining and use of the grace period. EPA is proposing a 2 day grace 
period and training verification records. EPA is also requesting 
comments on making mandatory the current optional training verification 
program and flexibility for small entities.
    d. Shower facilities. The Panel recommended that EPA limit 
consideration of shower facilities to establishments with permanent 
mixing-loading sites. EPA is not proposing to require showers on any 
establishment. EPA is requesting comments from the public on an 
alternative requirement for employers to provide showers at permanent 
mixing-loading sites.
    The Agency invites comments on all aspects of the proposal and its 
impacts on small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    Title II of UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, establishes requirements for 
Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on 
State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. This 
proposed rule 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 the private sector in any 1 year. The 
total estimated cost of the proposed rule is between $65 million and 
$75 million per year, with most requirements on agricultural employers, 
who would bear most of the cost. Thus, this proposed rule is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 or 205 of UMRA. This 
proposed rule is also not subject to the requirements of section 203 of 
UMRA because it contains no regulatory requirements that might 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It would not 
have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship 
between the national government and the states, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, 
as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999).
    Although this action does not have federalism implications, EPA 
worked extensively with state partners when considering revisions to 
the existing regulations. As discussed in Unit V.B., EPA has solicited 
feedback from states in a number of ways. The two primary avenues 
through which EPA sought state comments were the National Assessment of 
EPA's Pesticide Worker Safety Program (National Assessment) and the 
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee workgroup on proposed changes to 
the Worker Protection Standard and Certification Rule.
    The Agency initiated the National Assessment of EPA's Pesticide 
Worker Safety Program (National Assessment) in 2000. Through this 
process, EPA convened stakeholder meetings in Texas, California, and 
Florida. States participated substantially throughout the National 
Assessment. State regulators served on workgroups related to specific 
areas of change (pesticide safety training, hazard communication, and 
train-the-trainer programs). States provided feedback to EPA about the 
strengths and weaknesses of the rule as implemented and made 
suggestions for improving the protections and enforceability of the 
WPS. Recommendations from States and other stakeholders were included 
in the ``Report on the National Assessment of EPA's Pesticide Worker 
Safety Program'' (Ref. 17).
    In 2006, during the initial stages of the framing of this proposal, 
EPA's Federal Advisory Committee, the Pesticide Program Dialogue 
Committee (PPDC), formed a workgroup to provide feedback to EPA on 
different areas for change. The workgroup had over 70 members 
representing a wide range of stakeholders, including State 
representatives. EPA shared with the workgroup suggestions for 
regulatory change identified through the National Assessment and 
solicited comments. The workgroup convened for a series of meetings and 
conference calls to get more information on specific parts of the 
regulation and provided its thoughts to the Agency. States provided 
comments individually and through the Association of American Pesticide 
Control Officials. Comments from the PPDC workgroup members have been 
compiled into a single document and posted in the docket.
    In the spirit of the Order, and consistent with EPA policy to 
promote communications between the Agency and State and local 
governments, EPA specifically solicits comment on this proposed rule 
from State and local officials.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). The proposed 
rule would not regulate tribal governments directly;

[[Page 15515]]

agricultural employers are the directly affected entities. Thus, 
Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.
    EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this proposed 
action from tribal officials.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, 
April 23, 1997) because it is not economically significant as defined 
by Executive Order 12866. However, EPA believes that the environmental 
health or safety risks addressed in this proposed rule have a 
disproportionate effect on children.
    Children face the risk of pesticide exposure from work in 
pesticide-treated areas, from the use of pesticides near their homes, 
and from residues of pesticides brought home by family members after a 
day of working with pesticides or in pesticide-treated areas. The 
proposed rule is intended to reduce these exposures and risks. By 
establishing a minimum age for certain pesticide-related activities in 
agriculture, children would receive less exposure to pesticides that 
may lead to chronic or acute pesticide-related illness. Another 
proposal to reduce risk to children is training workers and handlers on 
the risks presented by take-home pesticide exposure and how best to 
reduce it.
    Like the Department of Labor's regulations that implement the FLSA, 
the proposed rule seeks to regulate the ages at which children can work 
in agriculture, at least for certain activities. The proposed rule 
would establish a minimum age of 16 for pesticide handlers and for 
early-entry workers, except those working on an establishment owned by 
an immediate family member. Since children in agriculture are at such 
great risk, EPA feels that they warrant special consideration in light 
of the Executive Order on children's health. EPA expects that many of 
the proposed changes would mitigate or eliminate many risks faced by 
youths.
    The public is invited to submit comments or identify peer-reviewed 
studies and data that assess effects of early life exposure to 
pesticides.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355; May 22, 2001), because it is not 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy. The revisions to part 170 are intended 
to improve the standards of protection offered to agricultural workers, 
and do not affect the use of oil, coal, or electricity.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    Section 12(d) of the NTTAA, Public Law 104-113, 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 
272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its 
regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with 
applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards 
are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, 
sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or 
adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA 
to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides 
not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    EPA considered adopting the American National Standards Institute 
Standard for eye flushing in the event of ocular contamination, which 
calls for a minimum of 1.5 liter (0.4 gallons) per minute of flushing 
fluid, such as water, for 15 minutes (ANSI Z358.1-2009). EPA adopted 
this standard only at permanent mixing loading sites on agricultural 
establishments, rather than for all handler eye flush decontamination 
because the Agency believes it would be impractical for employers to 
achieve at non-permanent sites. EPA is requesting comments on the 
incorporation of this standard into the regulation.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629; February 16, 1994) establishes 
federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision 
directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and 
permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission 
by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high 
and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations in the United States.
    EPA has determined that this proposed rule would not have 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations because it increases the 
level of environmental protection for all affected populations without 
having any disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on any population, including any minority or low-
income population. In fact, the population of agricultural workers and 
handlers that the rule seeks to protect is comprised primarily of 
minority and low-income individuals. As reviewed in Unit IV. A., the 
farmworker community, due to occupation, economic status, health, 
language and other sociodemographic characteristics, faces an increased 
risk of pesticide exposure which this rulemaking seeks to reduce 
through improving communication and protections.
    The Agency engaged with stakeholders from affected communities 
extensively in the development of this rulemaking, in order to obtain 
meaningful involvement of all parties. EPA believes that the proposed 
changes would improve the health of agricultural workers and handlers 
by, among other things, increasing the frequency of training, enhancing 
training content to include ways to minimize pesticide exposure to 
children and in the home, adding posting of treated areas near worker 
and handler housing to prevent accidental entry, and establishing a 
minimum age for pesticide handlers and early-entry workers.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 170

    Environmental protection, Pesticides, Agricultural worker, 
Pesticide handler, Employer, Farms, Forests, Nurseries, Greenhouses, 
Worker protection standard.

    Dated: February 20, 2014.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.

    Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR chapter I, subchapter E, part 
170 is revised to read as follows:

PART 170--WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD

Sec.
Subpart A--General Provisions
170.1 Scope and purpose.
170.3 Applicability of this part.
170.5 Definitions.
170.7 Effective date.
170.9 Agricultural employer duties.
170.11 Pesticide information requirements on agricultural 
establishments.
170.13 Commercial pesticide handler employer duties.
170.15 Prohibited actions.
170.17 Violations of this part.

[[Page 15516]]

Subpart B--Requirements for Protection of Agricultural Workers
170.101 Training requirements for workers.
170.103 Establishment-specific information for workers.
170.105 Entry restrictions associated with pesticide applications.
170.107 Worker entry restrictions after pesticide applications.
170.109 Oral and posted notification of worker entry restrictions.
170.111 Worker decontamination supplies.
Subpart C--Requirements for Protection of Agricultural Pesticide 
Handlers
170.201 Training requirements for handlers.
170.203 Knowledge of labeling, application-specific, and 
establishment-specific information for handlers.
170.205 Requirements during applications to protect handlers, 
workers, and other persons.
170.207 Personal protective equipment.
170.209 Handler decontamination supplies.
Subpart D--Exemptions and Exceptions
170.301 Exemptions.
170.303 Exceptions for entry by workers during restricted-entry 
intervals.
170.305 Agricultural employer responsibilities to protect workers 
entering treated areas during a restricted-entry interval.
170.307 Exceptions to personal protective equipment requirements 
specified on pesticide product labeling.
170.309 Exception to training requirements for workers.

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 136w.

Subpart A--General Provisions


Sec.  170.1  Scope and purpose.

    This regulation is intended to reduce the risks of illness or 
injury to workers and handlers resulting from occupational exposures to 
pesticides used in the production of agricultural plants on 
agricultural establishments. It requires agricultural employers and 
commercial pesticide handler employers to provide specific information 
and protections to workers and handlers when pesticides are used on 
agricultural establishments in the production of agricultural plants. 
It also requires pesticide handlers to wear the label-specified 
clothing and personal protective equipment when performing pesticide 
handler activities, and to take measures to protect workers and other 
persons during pesticide applications.


Sec.  170.3  Applicability of this part.

    (a) This regulation applies whenever a pesticide product bearing a 
label requiring compliance with this part is used in a manner directly 
related to the production of agricultural plants on an agricultural 
establishment that employs workers or handlers.
    (b) This regulation does not apply when a pesticide product bearing 
a label requiring compliance with this part is used on an agricultural 
establishment in any of the following circumstances:
    (1) As part of government-sponsored public pest control programs of 
which the owner, agricultural employer and handler employer have no 
control, such as mosquito abatement and Mediterranean fruit fly 
eradication programs.
    (2) On plants other than agricultural plants, which may include 
plants in home fruit and vegetable gardens and home greenhouses, and 
permanent plantings for ornamental purposes, such as plants that are in 
ornamental gardens, parks, public or private landscaping, lawns or 
other grounds that are intended only for aesthetic purposes or climatic 
modification.
    (3) For control of vertebrate pests, unless directly related to the 
production of an agricultural plant.
    (4) As attractants or repellents in traps.
    (5) On the harvested portions of agricultural plants or on 
harvested timber.
    (6) For research uses of unregistered pesticides.
    (7) On pasture and rangeland where the forage will not be harvested 
for hay.
    (8) In a manner not directly related to the production of 
agricultural plants, including, but not limited to structural pest 
control and control of vegetation in non-crop areas.


Sec.  170.5  Definitions.

    Terms used in this part have the same meanings they have in the 
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as amended. In 
addition, the following terms, when used in this part, shall have the 
following meanings:
    Agricultural employer means any person who is an owner of, or is 
responsible for the management or condition of an agricultural 
establishment, and who employs any worker or handler.
    Agricultural establishment means any farm, forest operation, or 
nursery engaged in the outdoor or enclosed space production of 
agricultural plants.
    Agricultural plant means any plant, or part thereof, grown, 
maintained, or otherwise produced for commercial production.
    Authorized representative means a person designated by the worker 
or handler, orally or in writing, to request and obtain any information 
that the employer is required to provide upon request to the worker or 
handler.
    Chemigation means the application of pesticides through irrigation 
systems.
    Closed system means a system for mixing or loading pesticides that 
encloses the pesticide during removal of the pesticide from its 
original container and transfer, mixing, or loading of the pesticide 
product, mixtures or dilutions, and any rinse solution, if applicable, 
into a new container or application equipment, in such a manner that 
prevents the pesticide and any pesticide mixture or use dilution from 
contacting handlers or other persons before, during and after the 
transfer, except for negligible release associated with normal 
operation of the system.
    Commercial pesticide handler employer means any person, other than 
an agricultural employer, who employs any handler to perform handler 
activities on an agricultural establishment.
    Commercial pesticide handling establishment means any enterprise, 
other than an agricultural establishment, that provides pesticide 
handler or crop advising services to agricultural establishments.
    Commercial production means growing, maintaining or otherwise 
producing agricultural plants for sale or trade, for research or 
experimental purposes, or for use in their entirety in another 
location. Commercial production includes producing agricultural plants 
for use by the agricultural employer or agricultural establishment 
instead of purchasing the agricultural plants.
    Crop advisor means any person who is assessing pest numbers, 
damage, pesticide distribution, or the status or requirements of 
agricultural plants.
    Early entry means entry by a worker into a treated area on the 
agricultural establishment after a pesticide application is complete, 
but before any restricted-entry interval for the pesticide has expired.
    Employ means to obtain, directly or through a labor contractor, the 
services of a person in exchange for a salary or wages, including 
piece-rate wages, without regard to who may pay or who may receive the 
salary or wages. It includes obtaining the services of a self-employed 
person, an independent contractor, or a person compensated by a third 
party.
    Enclosed cab means a cab with a nonporous barrier that totally 
surrounds the occupant(s) of the cab and prevents dermal contact with 
pesticides that are being applied outside of the cab.
    Enclosed space production means production of an agricultural plant 
in a structure or space that is covered in whole or in part and that is 
large enough to permit a person to enter.
    Entry-restricted area means the area from which workers or other 
persons

[[Page 15517]]

must be excluded during and after the pesticide application.
    Farm means any agricultural establishment, other than a nursery or 
forest operation, engaged in the outdoor or enclosed production of 
agricultural plants.
    Forest operation means an agricultural establishment engaged in the 
outdoor production of any agricultural plant to produce any wood fiber 
or timber products.
    Fumigant means any pesticide product that is a vapor or gas, or 
forms a vapor or gas upon application, and whose pesticidal action is 
achieved through the gaseous or vapor state.
    Hand labor means any agricultural activity performed by hand or 
with hand tools that cause a worker to have substantial contact with 
plants, plant parts, or soil and other surfaces that may contain 
pesticide residues.
    Handler means any person, including a self-employed person, who is 
employed by an agricultural employer or commercial pesticide handler 
employer and performs any of the following activities:
    (1) Mixing, loading, or applying pesticides;
    (2) Disposing of pesticides;
    (3) Handling opened containers of pesticides; emptying, triple-
rinsing, or cleaning pesticide containers according to pesticide 
product labeling instructions; or disposing of pesticide containers 
that have not been cleaned. The term does not include any person who is 
only handling unopened pesticide containers or pesticide containers 
that have been emptied or cleaned according to pesticide product 
labeling instructions;
    (4) Acting as a flagger;
    (5) Cleaning, adjusting, handling, or repairing the parts of 
mixing, loading, or application equipment that may contain pesticide 
residues;
    (6) Assisting with the application of pesticides;
    (7) Entering an enclosed space after the application of a pesticide 
and before the inhalation exposure level listed in the labeling has 
been reached or one of the ventilation criteria established by Sec.  
170.105(b)(3) or the labeling has been met to operate ventilation 
equipment, monitor air levels, or adjust or remove coverings used in 
fumigation;
    (8) Entering a treated area outdoors after application of any soil 
fumigant during the label-specified entry restricted period to adjust 
or remove coverings used in fumigation, such as tarpaulins;
    (9) Performing tasks as a crop advisor during any pesticide 
application or restricted-entry interval, or before the inhalation 
exposure level listed in the pesticide product labeling has been 
reached or one of the ventilation criteria established by Sec.  
170.105(b)(3) or the pesticide product labeling has been met.
    Handler employer means any person who is self-employed as a handler 
or who employs any handler.
    Immediate family is limited to the spouse, parents, stepparents, 
foster parents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, children, stepchildren, 
foster children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandparents, 
grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law.
    Labor contractor means a person who employs workers or handlers to 
perform tasks on an agricultural establishment for an agricultural 
employer or a commercial pesticide handler employer.
    Nursery means any agricultural establishment engaged in the outdoor 
or enclosed space production of any agricultural plant to produce cut 
flowers or foliage, ferns, plants, or seedlings that will be used in 
part or their entirety in another location. Such plants include, but 
are not limited to, flowering and foliage plants or trees; tree 
seedlings; live Christmas trees; vegetable, fruit, and ornamental 
transplants; and turf grass produced for sod.
    Outdoor production means production of an agricultural plant in an 
outside open space or area that is not enclosed or covered in any way.
    Owner means any person who has a present possessory interest (e.g., 
fee, leasehold, rental, or other) in an agricultural establishment. A 
person who has both leased such agricultural establishment to another 
person and granted that same person the right and full authority to 
manage and govern the use of such agricultural establishment is not an 
owner for purposes of this part.
    Personal protective equipment means devices and apparel that are 
worn to protect the body from contact with pesticides or pesticide 
residues, including, but not limited to, coveralls, chemical-resistant 
suits, chemical-resistant gloves, chemical-resistant footwear, 
respirators, chemical-resistant aprons, chemical-resistant headgear, 
and protective eyewear.
    Restricted-entry interval means the time after the end of a 
pesticide application during which entry into the treated area is 
restricted.
    Safety data sheet has the same meaning as the definition at 29 CFR 
1900.1200(c).
    Treated area means any area to which a pesticide is being directed 
or has been directed.
    Use, as in ``to use a pesticide'' means any of the following--
    (1) Pre-application activities, including, but not limited to:
    (i) Arranging for the application of the pesticide;
    (ii) Mixing and loading the pesticide;
    (iii) Making necessary preparations for the application of the 
pesticide, including responsibilities related to worker notification, 
training of workers or handlers, providing decontamination supplies, 
providing pesticide information, use and care of personal protective 
equipment, providing emergency assistance, and heat stress management.
    (2) Application of the pesticide.
    (3) Post-application activities intended to reduce the risks of 
illness and injury resulting from handlers' and workers' occupational 
exposures to pesticide residues during and after the restricted-entry 
interval, including responsibilities related to worker notification, 
training of workers or early entry workers, providing decontamination 
supplies, providing pesticide information, use and care of personal 
protective equipment, providing emergency assistance, and heat stress 
management.
    (4) Other pesticide-related activities, including, but not limited 
to, transporting or storing pesticides that have been opened, cleaning 
equipment, and disposing of excess pesticides, spray mix, equipment 
wash waters, pesticide containers, and other pesticide-containing 
materials.
    Worker means any person, including a self-employed person, who is 
employed and performs activities directly relating to the production of 
agricultural plants on an agricultural establishment.
    Worker housing area means any place or area of land on or near an 
agricultural establishment where housing or space for housing is 
provided for workers or handlers by an agricultural employer, owner, 
labor contractor, or any other person responsible for the recruitment 
or employment of agricultural workers.


Sec.  170.7  Effective date.

    The effective date for this part shall be [effective date 60 
calendar days after the promulgated rule is transmitted for 
Congressional review per FIFRA 25(a)(4)].


Sec.  170.9  Agricultural employer duties.

    Agricultural employers must:
    (a) Ensure that any pesticide applied on an agricultural 
establishment is used in a manner consistent with the pesticide product 
labeling, including the requirements of this part.
    (b) Ensure that each worker and handler subject to this part 
receives the protections required by this part.

[[Page 15518]]

    (c) Ensure that any handler, and any worker performing early entry 
activities, is at least 16 years old.
    (d) Provide to each person, including labor contractors, who 
supervises any workers or handlers, information and directions 
sufficient to ensure that each worker and handler receives the 
protections required by this part. Such information and directions must 
specify the tasks for which the supervisor is responsible in order to 
comply with the provisions of this part.
    (e) Require each person, including labor contractors, who 
supervises any workers or handlers, to provide sufficient information 
and directions to each worker and handler to ensure that they can 
comply with the provisions of this part.
    (f) Provide emergency assistance. If there is reason to believe 
that a person who is or has been employed by an agricultural 
establishment to perform tasks related to the production of 
agricultural plants, has been poisoned or injured by exposure to 
pesticides as a result of his or her employment on the agricultural 
establishment, the agricultural employer must do all of the following, 
within 30 minutes after learning of the possible poisoning or injury:
    (1) Make available to that person transportation from the 
agricultural establishment, including any worker housing area on the 
establishment, to an operating emergency medical facility.
    (2) Provide to that person or treating medical personnel all of the 
following information for each pesticide product to which that person 
might have been exposed:
    (i) Copies of the applicable safety data sheet and the label for 
the pesticide product, or alternatively, a copy of the applicable 
safety data sheet for the product and the product name, EPA 
registration number, active ingredients, antidote, and first aid and 
medical treatment information from the pesticide product labeling.
    (ii) The circumstances of application or use of the pesticide on 
the agricultural establishment.
    (iii) The circumstances that could have resulted in exposure to the 
pesticide.
    (g) Ensure that workers or other persons employed by the 
agricultural establishment do not clean, repair, or adjust pesticide 
application equipment, unless trained as a handler under Sec.  170.201. 
Before allowing any person not directly employed by the agricultural 
establishment to clean, repair, or adjust equipment that has been used 
to mix, load, transfer, or apply pesticides, the agricultural employer 
must provide all of the following information to such persons:
    (1) That pesticide application equipment may be contaminated with 
pesticides.
    (2) The potentially harmful effects of exposure to pesticides.
    (3) Procedures for handling pesticide application equipment and for 
limiting exposure to pesticide residues.
    (4) Personal hygiene practices and decontamination procedures for 
preventing pesticide exposures and removing pesticide residues.
    (h) Provide pesticide information in accordance with Sec.  170.11 
if workers or handlers are on the establishment and within the last 30 
days a pesticide product bearing a label requiring compliance with this 
part has been used, or a restricted-entry interval for such pesticide 
has been in effect on the establishment.
    (i) Ensure that before a handler uses any equipment for mixing, 
loading, transferring, or applying pesticides, the handler is 
instructed in the safe operation of such equipment.
    (j) Ensure that, before each day of use, equipment used for mixing, 
loading, transferring, or applying pesticides is inspected for leaks, 
clogging, and worn or damaged parts, and any damaged equipment is 
repaired or replaced.
    (k) Ensure that whenever handlers employed by a commercial 
pesticide handler establishment will be on an agricultural 
establishment, the handler employer is provided information about, or 
is aware of, the specific location and description of any entry 
restricted areas, or treated areas where a restricted-entry interval is 
in effect, and any restrictions on entering those areas.


Sec.  170.11  Pesticide information requirements on agricultural 
establishments.

    (a) Pesticide Safety Information. Whenever pesticide information is 
required to be provided under Sec.  170.9(h), pesticide safety 
information must be displayed on the agricultural establishment in 
accordance with this paragraph (a).
    (1) Content. The pesticide safety information must be conveyed in a 
manner that workers and handlers can understand and must include all of 
the following points:
    (i) Avoid getting on the skin or into the body any pesticides that 
may be on or in plants, soil, irrigation water, tractors, and other 
equipment, on used personal protective equipment, or drifting from 
nearby applications.
    (ii) Wash before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or tobacco, or 
using the toilet.
    (iii) Wear work clothing that protects the body from pesticide 
residues (long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks, and a hat 
or scarf).
    (iv) Wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and put on 
clean clothes after work.
    (v) Wash work clothes separately from other clothes before wearing 
them again.
    (vi) Wash immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides are 
spilled or sprayed on the body. As soon as possible, shower, shampoo 
hair, and change into clean clothes.
    (vii) Follow directions about keeping out of treated or entry-
restricted areas.
    (viii) The name, address, and telephone number of the nearest 
operating emergency medical care facility.
    (ix) After [date 2 years after effective date of the final rule 
specified in Sec.  170.7], the pesticide safety information must also 
include the name, address, and telephone number of the state or tribal 
lead agency responsible for pesticide enforcement, and instructions to 
employees to seek medical attention as soon as possible if they believe 
they have been poisoned or injured by pesticides.
    (2) Changes to pesticide safety information. If there are any 
changes to the information in Sec. Sec.  170.11(a)(1)(viii) or 
170.11(a)(1)(ix), the agricultural employer must promptly update the 
pesticide safety information display.
    (3) Location. The pesticide safety information must be displayed at 
a place on the agricultural establishment where workers and handlers 
are likely to pass by or congregate and it can be readily seen and 
read. The pesticide safety information must also be displayed anywhere 
that decontamination supplies must be provided on the agricultural 
establishment pursuant to Sec. Sec.  170.111 or 170.209.
    (4) Accessibility. Workers and handlers must be allowed access to 
the pesticide safety information at all times when the information is 
required to be displayed.
    (5) Legibility. The pesticide safety information must remain 
legible at all times when the information is required to be displayed.
    (b) Keeping and providing information about pesticides used on the 
agricultural establishment--(1) Content and timing. Whenever pesticide 
information is required to be provided under Sec.  170.9(h), the 
agricultural employer must maintain copies of the pesticide product 
labeling and the safety data sheet for the pesticide product(s) applied 
and record all of the following information no later than the end of 
the

[[Page 15519]]

work day that the application takes place:
    (i) The name, EPA registration number, and active ingredient(s) of 
the pesticide product applied.
    (ii) The crop or site treated and the location and description of 
the treated area.
    (iii) The date(s) and times the application started and ended.
    (iv) The end date and duration of the restricted-entry interval.
    (2) Record Retention and Accessibility. The agricultural employer 
must maintain the pesticide information described in Sec.  170.11(b)(1) 
on the agricultural establishment for 2 years after the date of 
expiration of any restricted-entry interval, and make the information 
available to any worker(s), handler(s), or their authorized 
representative(s) upon request during normal work hours.


Sec.  170.13  Commercial pesticide handler employer duties.

    Commercial pesticide handler employers must:
    (a) Ensure that any pesticide applied on an agricultural 
establishment is used in a manner consistent with the pesticide product 
labeling, including the requirements of this part.
    (b) Ensure each handler subject to this part receives the 
protections required by this part.
    (c) Ensure that any handler is at least 16 years old.
    (d) Provide to each person, including labor contractors, who 
supervises any handlers, information and directions sufficient to 
ensure that each handler receives the protections required by this 
part. Such information and directions must specify the tasks for which 
the supervisor is responsible in order to comply with the provisions of 
this part.
    (e) Require each person, including labor contractors, who 
supervises any handlers, to provide sufficient information and 
directions to each handler to ensure that the handler can comply with 
the provisions of this part.
    (f) Ensure that before any handler uses any equipment for mixing, 
loading, transferring, or applying pesticides, the handler is 
instructed in the safe operation of such equipment.
    (g) Ensure that, before each day of use, equipment used for mixing, 
loading, transferring, or applying pesticides is inspected for leaks, 
obstructions, and worn or damaged parts, and any damaged equipment is 
repaired or is replaced.
    (h) Ensure that whenever a handler who is employed by a commercial 
pesticide handling establishment will be on an agricultural 
establishment, the handler is provided information about, or is aware 
of, the specific location and description of any entry restricted 
areas, or treated areas where a restricted-entry interval is in effect, 
and the restrictions on entering those areas.
    (i) Provide the agricultural employer all of the following 
information before the application of any pesticide on an agricultural 
establishment:
    (1) Specific location(s) and description of the area(s) to be 
treated.
    (2) The date(s) and start and estimated end times of application.
    (3) Product name, EPA registration number, and active 
ingredient(s).
    (4) Restricted-entry interval.
    (5) Whether posting and oral notification are required under Sec.  
170.109.
    (6) Any restrictions or use directions on the pesticide product 
labeling that must be followed for protection of workers, handlers, or 
other persons during or after application.
    (j) Ensure if there are any changes to the information provided in 
Sec.  170.13(i), that the agricultural employer is provided updated 
information within 2 hours after completing the application. Changes to 
the estimated application end time of less than 1 hour do not require 
notification.
    (k) Provide emergency assistance. If there is reason to believe 
that a person who is or has been employed by the commercial pesticide 
handling establishment to perform tasks related to the production of 
agricultural plants, has been poisoned or injured by exposure to 
pesticides as a result of that employment, the commercial pesticide 
handler employer must do all of the following, within 30 minutes after 
learning of the possible poisoning or injury:
    (1) Make available to that person transportation from the 
commercial pesticide handling establishment, or any agricultural 
establishment on which that person may be working, to an operating 
emergency medical facility.
    (2) Provide to that person or treating medical personnel all of the 
following information for each pesticide product to which that person 
might have been exposed:
    (i) Copies of the applicable safety data sheet and the label for 
the pesticide product, or alternatively, a copy of the applicable 
safety data sheet for the pesticide product and the product name, EPA 
registration number, active ingredients, antidote, and first aid and 
medical treatment information listed on the pesticide product labeling.
    (ii) The circumstances of application or use of the pesticide(s).
    (iii) The circumstances that could have resulted in exposure to the 
pesticide(s).
    (l) Ensure that persons employed by the commercial pesticide 
handling establishment do not clean, repair, or adjust pesticide 
application equipment, unless trained as a handler under Sec.  170.201. 
Before allowing any person not directly employed by the commercial 
pesticide handling establishment to clean, repair, or adjust equipment 
that has been used to mix, load, transfer, or apply pesticides, the 
commercial pesticide handler employer must provide all of the following 
information to such persons:
    (1) That pesticide application equipment may be contaminated with 
pesticides.
    (2) The potentially harmful effects of exposure to pesticides.
    (3) Procedures for handling pesticide application equipment and for 
limiting exposure to pesticide residues.
    (4) Personal hygiene practices and decontamination procedures for 
preventing pesticide exposures and removing pesticide residues.


Sec.  170.15  Prohibited actions.

    No agricultural employer, commercial pesticide handler employer, or 
other person involved in the use of a pesticide to which this part 
applies, shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against 
any worker or handler for attempting to comply with this part, or 
because the worker or handler has made a complaint, testified, 
assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, 
proceeding, or hearing concerning compliance with this part. Any such 
intimidation, threat, coercion, or discrimination violates FIFRA 
section 12(a)(2)(G), 7 U.S.C. 136j(a)(2)(G).


Sec.  170.17  Violations of this part.

    (a) Under FIFRA section 12(a)(2)(G), it is unlawful for any person 
``to use any registered pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its 
labeling.'' When this part is referenced on a label, users must comply 
with all of its requirements, except those that are inconsistent with 
product-specific instructions on the pesticide product labeling.
    (b) A person who has a duty under this part, as referenced on the 
pesticide product labeling, and who fails to perform that duty, 
violates FIFRA section 12(a)(2)(G) and is subject to a civil penalty 
under section 14. A person who knowingly violates section 12(a)(2)(G) 
is subject to section 14 criminal sanctions.

[[Page 15520]]

    (c) FIFRA section 14(b)(4) provides that a person is liable for a 
penalty under FIFRA if another person employed by or acting for that 
person violates any provision of FIFRA. The term ``acting for'' 
includes both employment and contractual relationships, including, but 
not limited to, labor contractors.
    (d) The requirements of this part, including the decontamination 
requirements, must not, for the purposes of section 653(b)(1) of Title 
29 of the U.S. Code, be deemed to be the exercise of statutory 
authority to prescribe or enforce standards or regulations affecting 
the general sanitary hazards addressed by the OSHA Field Sanitation 
Standard, 29 CFR 1928.110, or other agricultural non-pesticide hazards.

Subpart B--Requirements for Protection of Agricultural Workers


Sec.  170.101  Training requirements for workers.

    (a) General requirement. Before any worker performs any task in a 
treated area on an agricultural establishment where within the last 30 
days a pesticide product bearing a label requiring compliance with this 
part has been used, or a restricted-entry interval for such pesticide 
has been in effect, the agricultural employer must ensure that each 
worker has been trained in accordance with this section within the last 
12 months, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and in 
Sec.  170.309 of this part.
    (b) Exceptions. The following workers need not be trained under 
this section:
    (1) A worker who is currently certified as an applicator of 
restricted use pesticides under part 171 of this chapter.
    (2) A worker who has satisfied the handler training requirements of 
Sec.  170.201.
    (3) A worker who is certified or licensed as a crop advisor by a 
program acknowledged as appropriate in writing by EPA or the state or 
tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement, provided that a 
requirement for such certification or licensing is pesticide safety 
training that includes all the topics set out in Sec.  170.201(c)(2) 
and (3).
    (c) Training programs. (1) Pesticide safety training must be 
presented to workers either orally from written materials or audio-
visually, at a location that is reasonably free from distraction and 
conducive to training. All training materials must be EPA-approved. The 
training must be presented in a manner that the workers can understand, 
such as through a translator. A person that meets the trainer 
requirements of Sec.  170.101(c)(4) must be present during the entire 
training program to conduct the training and must respond to workers' 
questions.
    (2) The training must include, at a minimum, all of the following 
topics:
    (i) Agricultural employers are required to provide workers with 
information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide 
exposures and illnesses. This includes providing pesticide safety 
training, pesticide safety and application information, decontamination 
supplies, and emergency medical assistance, and notifying workers of 
restrictions during applications and on entering pesticide treated 
areas.
    (ii) How to recognize and understand the meaning of the field 
warning sign used for notifying workers of restrictions on entering 
pesticide treated areas on the establishment.
    (iii) How to follow directions and/or signs about keeping out of 
entry-restricted or pesticide treated areas.
    (iv) Where and in what form pesticides may be encountered during 
work activities and potential sources of pesticide exposure on the 
agricultural establishment. This includes that pesticide residues may 
be on or in plants, soil, irrigation water, tractors, application 
equipment, or used personal protective equipment and that pesticides 
may drift through the air from nearby applications.
    (v) Potential hazards from toxicity and exposure that pesticides 
present to workers and their families, including acute and chronic 
effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.
    (vi) Potential hazards from chemigation and drift.
    (vii) Routes through which pesticides can enter the body.
    (viii) Signs and symptoms of common types of pesticide poisoning.
    (ix) Emergency first aid for pesticide injuries or poisonings.
    (x) Routine and emergency decontamination procedures, including 
emergency eye flushing techniques.
    (xi) Wash immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides are 
spilled or sprayed on the body and as soon as possible, shower, shampoo 
hair, and change into clean clothes.
    (xii) How and when to obtain emergency medical care.
    (xiii) When working near pesticides or in pesticide treated areas, 
wear work clothing that protects the body from pesticide residues and 
wash hands before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or tobacco, or 
using the toilet.
    (xiv) Wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and change 
into clean clothes as soon as possible after working near or in 
pesticide treated areas.
    (xv) Potential hazards from pesticide residues on clothing.
    (xvi) Wash work clothes before wearing again.
    (xvii) Wash work clothes separately from other clothes.
    (xviii) Do not take pesticides or pesticide containers used at work 
to your home.
    (3) After [date 2 years after effective date of the final rule 
specified in Sec.  170.7] if EPA has announced availability of training 
materials that comply with the requirements of Sec.  170.101(c)(2)(i)-
(xviii) and Sec.  170.101(c)(3)(i)-(ix) in the Federal Register by 
[date 18 months after effective date specified in Sec.  170.7], or 180 
days after EPA announces availability of training materials that comply 
with the requirements of Sec.  170.101(c)(2)(i)-(xviii) and Sec.  
170.101(c)(3)(i)-(ix) in the Federal Register if announced after [date 
18 months after effective date specified in Sec.  170.7], the training 
must also include all of the following:
    (i) Agricultural employers are required to provide workers with 
pesticide hazard information.
    (ii) Agricultural employers must not allow or direct any worker to 
mix, load or apply pesticides or assist in the application of 
pesticides unless the worker has been trained as a handler.
    (iii) There are minimum age restrictions and notification 
requirements for early entry activities.
    (iv) Potential hazards to children and pregnant women from 
pesticide exposure.
    (v) Keep children and nonworking family members away from pesticide 
treated areas.
    (vi) Remove work boots or shoes before entering home.
    (vii) After working near or in pesticide treated areas, remove work 
clothes and wash or shower before physical contact with children or 
family members.
    (viii) How to report suspected pesticide use violations to the 
state or tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement.
    (ix) Agricultural employers are prohibited from intimidating, 
threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any worker for 
attempting to comply with the requirements of this part, or because the 
worker has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in 
any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing pursuant to this 
part.
    (4) The person who conducts the training must meet one of the 
following:

[[Page 15521]]

    (i) Be designated as a trainer of certified applicators by EPA or 
the state or tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement.
    (ii) Have completed an EPA-approved pesticide safety train-the-
trainer program for trainers of workers.
    (iii) Until [date 2 years after effective date of the final rule 
specified in Sec.  170.7], a certified applicator of restricted use 
pesticides under part 171 may conduct worker training.
    (d) Recordkeeping. (1) For each worker required to be trained under 
paragraph (a), the agricultural employer must maintain on the 
agricultural establishment, for 2 years from the date of the training, 
a record including all of the following:
    (i) The trained worker's printed name and signature.
    (ii) The trained worker's date of birth.
    (iii) The date of the training.
    (iv) Information identifying which EPA-approved training materials 
were used.
    (v) The trainer's name and documentation showing that the trainer 
met the requirements of Sec.  170.101(c)(4) at the time of training.
    (vi) The agricultural employer's name.
    (2) For each worker trained, the agricultural employer must provide 
to the worker a record of the training that contains the information 
required under Sec.  170.101(d)(1).


Sec.  170.103  Establishment-specific information for workers.

    (a) Requirement. Before any worker performs any task in a treated 
area on an agricultural establishment where within the last 30 days a 
pesticide product bearing a label requiring compliance with this part 
has been used, or a restricted-entry interval for such pesticide has 
been in effect, the agricultural employer must ensure that the worker 
has been informed of establishment-specific information in accordance 
with this section. The establishment-specific information must be 
provided orally, in a manner the worker can understand.
    (b) Content. The establishment-specific information must include 
all of the following:
    (1) The location of pesticide safety information required by Sec.  
170.11(a).
    (2) The location of pesticide application and hazard information 
required by Sec.  170.11(b).
    (3) The location of decontamination supplies required by Sec.  
170.111.


Sec.  170.105  Entry restrictions associated with pesticide 
applications.

    (a) Outdoor production pesticide applications. During any outdoor 
production pesticide application described in column A of Table 1 of 
this paragraph, the agricultural employer must not allow or direct any 
worker or other person, other than an appropriately trained and 
equipped handler, to enter or to remain in the entry-restricted area 
specified in column B of Table 1 of this paragraph. After the 
application is complete, the area subject to the label-specified 
restricted-entry interval and the post-application entry restrictions 
specified in Sec.  170.107 is the treated area.

   Table 1--Entry-Restricted Areas During Outdoor Production Pesticide
                              Applications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          B. Workers and other persons,
                                             other than appropriately
 A. During application of a pesticide:    trained and equipped handlers,
                                                are prohibited in:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)(a) Applied:                          Treated area plus 100 feet
(i) Aerially, or                          around the treated area within
(ii) In an upward direction, or           the boundaries of the
(iii) Using a spray pressure greater      agricultural establishment.
 than 150 psi, or
(b) Applied as a:
(i) Fumigant, or
(ii) Smoke, or
(iii) Mist, or
(iv) Fog, or
(v) Aerosol.
(2)(a) Applied downward using:           Treated area plus 25 feet
(i) A height of greater than 12 inches    around the treated area,
 from the planting medium, or             within the boundaries of the
(ii) A fine spray (droplet median         agricultural establishment.
 diameter of 101-200 microns), or
(iii) A spray pressure greater than 40
 psi and less than 150 psi.
(b) Not as in (1) or (2)(a) of this
 table but for which a respiratory
 protection device is required for
 application by the product label.
(3) Applied otherwise..................  Treated area.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) Enclosed space production pesticide applications. (1) During 
any enclosed space production pesticide application described in column 
A of Table 2 under paragraph (b)(4) of this section, the agricultural 
employer must not allow or direct any worker or other person, other 
than an appropriately trained and equipped handler, to enter or to 
remain in the entry-restricted area specified in column B of Table 2 
during the application and until the time specified in column C of 
Table 2 has expired.
    (2) After the time specified in column C of Table 2 under paragraph 
(b)(4) of this section has expired, the area subject to the label-
specified restricted-entry interval and the post-application entry 
restrictions specified in Sec.  170.107 is the area specified in column 
D of Table 2 under paragraph (b)(4) of this section.
    (3) When column C of Table 2 under paragraph (b)(4) of this section 
specifies that ventilation criteria must be met, ventilation must 
continue until the air concentration is measured to be equal to or less 
than the inhalation exposure level the labeling requires to be 
achieved. If no inhalation exposure level is listed on the labeling, 
ventilation must continue until after one of the following conditions 
is met:
    (i) Ten air exchanges are completed.
    (ii) Two hours of ventilation using fans or other mechanical 
ventilating systems.
    (iii) Four hours of ventilation using vents, windows, or other 
passive ventilation.
    (iv) Eleven hours with no ventilation followed by 1 hour of 
mechanical ventilation.

[[Page 15522]]

    (v) Eleven hours with no ventilation followed by 2 hours of passive 
ventilation.
    (vi) Twenty-four hours with no ventilation.
    (4) The following Table 2 applies to paragraphs (b)(1), (2), and 
(3) of this section.

             Table 2--Entry-Restricted Areas During Enclosed Space Production Pesticide Applications
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                         D. After the expiration
                                         B. Workers and other                              of time specified in
                                         persons, other than                                column C, the area
   A. When a pesticide is applied:      appropriately trained          C. Until:              subject to the
                                        and equipped handlers,                               restricted-entry
                                          are prohibited in:                                   interval is:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) As a fumigant....................  Entire enclosed space    The ventilation          No post-application
                                        plus any adjacent        criteria of paragraph    entry restrictions
                                        structure or area that   (b)(3) of this section   required by Sec.
                                        cannot be sealed off     are met.                 170.107 after criteria
                                        from the treated area.                            in column C are met.
(2) As a                               Entire enclosed space..  The ventilation          Entire enclosed space.
(i) Smoke, or                                                    criteria of paragraph
(ii) Mist, or                                                    (b)(3) of this section
(iii) Fog, or                                                    are met.
(iv) Aerosol.
(3) Not in (1) or (2) of this table,   Entire enclosed space..  The ventilation          Treated area.
 and for which a respiratory                                     criteria of paragraph
 protection device is required for                               (b)(3) of this section
 application by the product label.                               are met.
(4) Not in (1), (2), or (3) of this    Treated area plus 25     Application is complete  Treated area.
 table, and:                            feet in all directions
(i) From a height of greater than 12    of the treated area,
 in. from the planting medium, or       but not outside the
                                        enclosed space.
(ii) As a fine spray (droplet median
 diameter of 101-200 microns), or
(iii) Using a spray pressure greater
 than 40 psi.
(5) Otherwise.                         Treated area...........  Application is complete  Treated area.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  170.107  Worker entry restrictions after pesticide applications.

    (a) After the application of any pesticide in outdoor production on 
an agricultural establishment, the agricultural employer must not allow 
or direct any worker to enter or to remain in the treated area before 
the restricted-entry interval specified on the pesticide labeling has 
expired and all treated area warning signs have been removed, except 
for early entry activities permitted by Sec.  170.303.
    (b) After the application of any pesticide in enclosed space 
production, the agricultural employer must not allow or direct any 
worker to enter or to remain in the areas specified in column D in 
Table 2 under Sec.  170.105(b)(4), before the restricted-entry interval 
specified on the pesticide labeling has expired and all treated area 
warning signs have been removed, except for early entry activities 
permitted by Sec.  170.303.
    (c) When two or more pesticides are applied at the same time, the 
applicable restricted-entry interval is the longest of the applicable 
restricted-entry intervals.


Sec.  170.109  Oral and posted notification of worker entry 
restrictions.

    (a) General Requirement. The agricultural employer must notify 
workers of all entry restrictions required by Sec. Sec.  170.105 and 
170.107 in accordance with this section.
    (1) Type of notification required--(i) Outdoor production 
applications. If a pesticide with product labeling that requires a 
restricted-entry interval greater than 48 hours is applied in outdoor 
production, the agricultural employer must notify workers of the 
application by posting warning signs in accordance with paragraph (b) 
of this section. If the product labeling of the pesticide requires a 
restricted-entry interval equal to or less than 48 hours, the 
agricultural employer must notify workers of the application either by 
posting warning signs in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section 
or by providing workers with an oral warning in accordance with 
paragraph (c) of this section.
    (ii) Enclosed space production applications. If a pesticide with 
product labeling that requires a restricted-entry interval greater than 
4 hours is applied in enclosed space production, the agricultural 
employer must notify workers of the application by posting warning 
signs in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. If the product 
labeling of the pesticide requires a restricted-entry interval equal to 
or less than 4 hours, the agricultural employer must notify workers of 
the application either by posting warning signs in accordance with 
paragraph (b) of this section or by providing workers with an oral 
warning in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.
    (iii) Double notification. If the pesticide product labeling has a 
statement requiring both the posting of treated areas and oral 
notification to workers, the agricultural employer must post signs in 
accordance with paragraph (b) of this section and must also provide 
oral notification of the application to the worker in accordance with 
paragraph (c) of this section.
    (2) Exceptions. Notification need not be given to a worker if the 
agricultural employer can ensure that one of the following is met:
    (i) From the start of the application in enclosed space production 
until the end of the application and during any restricted-entry 
interval, no workers will enter the entire enclosed space.
    (ii) The only worker(s) for which notification is required were 
also involved in the application of the pesticide as handlers, and they 
are aware of all information required by paragraph (c)(1) of this 
section.
    (iii) From the start of the application in outdoor production until 
the end of the application and during any restricted-entry interval, no 
worker(s) will enter, work in, remain in, or pass

[[Page 15523]]

through on foot the treated area or any area within 1/4 mile of the 
treated area on the agricultural establishment.
    (b) Requirements for posted warning signs. When posting is 
required, the agricultural employer must, unless otherwise prescribed 
by the label, ensure that the warning sign(s) conforms to the 
requirements of this paragraph. When several contiguous areas are to be 
treated with pesticides on a rotating or sequential basis, the entire 
area may be posted. Worker entry, other than entry permitted by Sec.  
170.303 of this part, is prohibited for the entire area while the signs 
are posted.
    (1) General. The warning signs must meet all of the following 
requirements:
    (i) Be one of the three sizes specified in this paragraph (b) and 
comply with the posting placement and spacing requirements applicable 
to that sign size.
    (ii) Be posted prior to but no earlier than 24 hours before the 
scheduled application of the pesticide.
    (iii) Remain posted throughout the application and any restricted-
entry interval.
    (iv) Be removed or covered within 3 days after the end of the 
application or any restricted-entry interval, whichever is later, but 
under no circumstances shall the signs remain posted and uncovered when 
worker entry is permitted, other than entry permitted by Sec.  170.303 
of this part.
    (v) Remain visible and legible during the time they are required to 
be posted.
    (2) Content. (i) The warning sign must have a white background. The 
words ``DANGER'' and ``PELIGRO,'' plus ``PESTICIDES'' and 
``PESTICIDAS,'' must be at the top of the sign, and the words ``Entry 
Restricted'' and ``Entrada Restringida'' must be at the bottom of the 
sign. Letters for all words must be clearly legible. An octagon 
containing an upraised hand on the left and a stern face on the right 
must be near the center of the sign. The inside of the octagon must be 
red, except that the hand and a large portion of the face must be in 
white. The length of the hand must be at least twice the height of the 
smallest letters. The length of the face must be only slightly smaller 
than the hand. Additional information such as the name of the pesticide 
and the date of application may appear on the warning sign if it does 
not detract from the size and appearance of the sign or change the 
meaning of the required information. An example of a warning sign 
meeting these requirements, other than the size and color requirements, 
follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP19MR14.002

    (ii) The agricultural employer may replace the Spanish portion of 
the warning sign with an alternative non-English language if that 
alternative language is the language read by the largest group of 
workers at that agricultural establishment who do not read English. The 
alternative language sign must be in the same format as the original 
sign and conform to all other requirements of paragraph (b)(2)(i) of 
this section.
    (iii) Until [date 2 years after effective date of the final rule 
specified in Sec.  170.7], a warning sign meeting the following 
requirements may be substituted for the warning sign specified in 
paragraph (b)(i) of this section. The warning sign must have a 
background color that contrasts with red. The words ``DANGER'' and 
``PELIGRO,'' plus ``PESTICIDES'' and ``PESTICIDAS,'' shall be at the 
top of the sign, and the words ``KEEP OUT'' and ``NO ENTRE'' shall be 
at the bottom of the sign. Letters for all words must be clearly 
legible. A circle containing an upraised hand on the left and a stern 
face on the right must be near the center of the sign. The inside of 
the circle must be red, except that the hand and a large portion of the 
face must be in a shade that contrasts with red. The length of the hand 
must be at least twice the height of the smallest letters. The length 
of the face must be only slightly smaller than the hand. Additional 
information such as the name of the pesticide and the date of 
application may appear on the warning sign if it does not detract from 
the appearance of the sign or change the meaning of the required 
information. An example of a warning sign meeting these requirements, 
other than the size and color requirements, follows:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP19MR14.003

    (3) Size and posting. (i) The standard sign must be at least 14 
inches by 16 inches with letters at least 1 inch in height.
    (ii) When posting treated areas in outdoor production using the 
standard sign, the signs must be visible from all reasonably expected 
points of worker entry to the treated area, including at least each 
access road, each border with any worker housing area within 100 feet 
of the treated area, and each footpath and other walking route that 
enters the treated area. Where there are no reasonably expected points 
of worker entry, signs must be posted in the corners of the treated 
area or in any other location affording maximum visibility.
    (iii) When posting treated areas in enclosed space production using 
the standard sign, the signs must be posted so they are visible from 
all reasonably expected points of worker entry to the treated area 
including each aisle or other walking route that enters the treated 
area. Where there are no reasonably expected points of worker entry to 
the treated area, signs must be posted in the corners of the treated 
area or in any other location affording maximum visibility.
    (iv) If a smaller warning sign is used with ``DANGER'' and 
``PELIGRO'' in letters at least 7/8 inch in height and the remaining 
letters at least 1/2 inch in height and a red octagon at least 3 inches 
in diameter containing an upraised hand and a stern face, the signs 
must be posted no farther than 50 feet apart around the perimeter of 
the treated area in addition to the locations specified in paragraphs 
(b)(3)(ii) or (b)(3)(iii) of this section.

[[Page 15524]]

    (v) If a smaller sign is used with ``DANGER'' and ``PELIGRO'' in 
letters at least 7/16 inch in height and the remaining letters at least 
1/4 inch in height and a red octagon at least one and a half inches in 
diameter containing an upraised hand and a stern face, the signs must 
be posted no farther than 25 feet apart around the perimeter of the 
treated area in addition to the locations specified in paragraphs 
(b)(3)(ii) or (b)(3)(iii) of this section.
    (vi) A sign with ``DANGER'' and ``PELIGRO'' in letters less than 7/
16 inch in height or with any words in letters less than 1/4 inch in 
height or a red octagon smaller than one and a half inches in diameter 
containing an upraised hand and a stern face is not permitted.
    (c) Oral warnings--(1) Requirement. The agricultural employer must 
provide oral warnings to workers in a manner that the workers can 
understand. If a worker is on the premises when an application will 
occur, the warning must be given before the application begins. 
Otherwise, the warning must be given at the beginning of the worker's 
first work period during which the application is taking place or the 
restricted-entry interval for the pesticide is in effect. The warning 
must include all of the following:
    (i) The location(s) and description of the entry-restricted area(s) 
and the treated area(s).
    (ii) The dates and times during which entry is restricted.
    (iii) Instructions not to enter the entry-restricted area during 
application, and not to enter the treated area until the restricted-
entry interval has expired.


Sec.  170.111  Worker decontamination supplies.

    (a) Requirement. The agricultural employer must provide 
decontamination supplies in accordance with this section for any worker 
on an agricultural establishment who is performing an activity in an 
area where a pesticide was applied and who contacts anything that has 
been treated with the pesticide, including, but not limited to, soil, 
water, and plants.
    (b) General conditions. The decontamination supplies required in 
paragraph (a) of this section must include 1 gallon of water per worker 
for routine washing and emergency eye flushing, soap, and single-use 
towels. The supplies must meet all of the following requirements:
    (1) Water. At all times when this part requires agricultural 
employers to make water available to workers, the agricultural employer 
must ensure that it is of a quality and temperature that will not cause 
illness or injury when it contacts the skin or eyes or if it is 
swallowed. When water stored in a tank is to be used for mixing 
pesticides, it must not be used for decontamination or eye flushing, 
unless the tank is equipped with properly functioning valves or other 
mechanisms that prevent movement of pesticides into the tank, such as 
anti-backflow siphon devices, one-way or check valves, or an air gap 
sufficient to prevent contamination.
    (2) Soap and single-use towels. The agricultural employer must 
provide soap and single-use towels for drying in quantities sufficient 
to meet the workers' needs. Hand sanitizing gels and liquids or wet 
towelettes do not meet the requirement for soap. Wet towelettes do not 
meet the requirement for single-use towels.
    (c) Timing. (1) If any pesticide with a restricted-entry interval 
greater than 4 hours was applied, the decontamination supplies must be 
provided from the time workers first enter the treated area until at 
least 30 days after the restricted-entry interval expires.
    (2) If the only pesticides applied in the treated area are products 
with a restricted-entry interval of 4 hours or less, the 
decontamination supplies must be provided from the time workers first 
enter the treated area until at least 7 days after the restricted-entry 
interval expires.
    (d) Location. (1) The decontamination supplies must be located 
together and be reasonably accessible to and not more than 1/4 mile 
from where workers are working.
    (2) Where workers are working more than 1/4 mile from the nearest 
place of vehicular access, the soap, single-use towels, clean change of 
clothing, and water may be at the nearest place of vehicular access.
    (3) The decontamination supplies must be outside any treated area.

Subpart C--Requirements for Protection of Agricultural Pesticide 
Handlers


Sec.  170.201  Training requirements for handlers.

    (a) General requirement. Before any handler performs any handler 
activity involving a pesticide product bearing a label requiring 
compliance with this part, the handler employer must ensure that the 
handler has been trained in accordance with this section within the 
last 12 months, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (b) Exceptions. The following persons need not be trained under 
this section:
    (1) A handler who is currently certified as an applicator of 
restricted use pesticides under part 171 of this chapter.
    (2) A handler who is certified or licensed as a crop advisor by a 
program acknowledged as appropriate in writing by EPA or the state or 
tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement, provided that a 
requirement for such certification or licensing is pesticide safety 
training that includes all the topics set out in Sec.  170.201(c)(2) 
and (3).
    (c) Training programs. (1) Pesticide safety training must be 
presented to handlers either orally from written materials or audio-
visually, at a location that is reasonably free from distraction and 
conducive to training. All training materials must be EPA-approved. The 
training must be presented in a manner that the handlers can 
understand, such as through a translator. A person that meets the 
handler trainer requirements of Sec.  170.201(c)(4) must be present 
during the entire training program to conduct the training and must 
respond to handlers' questions.
    (2) The pesticide safety training materials must include, at a 
minimum, all of the following:
    (i) All the topics required by Sec.  170.101(c)(2).
    (ii) Information on proper application and use of pesticides.
    (iii) Handlers must follow all pesticide labeling and use 
directions.
    (iv) Format and meaning of all information contained on pesticide 
labels and in labeling.
    (v) Need for and appropriate use and removal of all personal 
protective equipment.
    (vi) How to recognize, prevent, and provide first aid treatment for 
heat-related illness.
    (vii) Safety requirements for handling, transporting, storing, and 
disposing of pesticides, including general procedures for spill 
cleanup.
    (viii) Environmental concerns, such as drift, runoff, and wildlife 
hazards.
    (ix) Handlers must not apply pesticides in a manner that results in 
contact with workers or other persons.
    (x) Handler employers are required to provide handlers with 
information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide 
exposures and illnesses. This includes providing, cleaning, 
maintaining, storing, and ensuring proper use of all required personal 
protective equipment; providing decontamination supplies; and providing 
specific information about pesticide use and labeling information.
    (3) After [date 2 years after effective date of final rule 
specified in Sec.  170.7] if EPA has announced availability of training 
materials that comply with the

[[Page 15525]]

requirements of Sec.  170.201(c)(2)(i)-(x) and Sec.  170.201(c)(3)(i)-
(iv) in the Federal Register by [date 18 months after effective date 
specified in Sec.  170.7], or 180 days after EPA announces availability 
of training materials that comply with the requirements of Sec.  
170.201(c)(2)(i)-(x) and Sec.  170.201(c)(3)(i)-(iv) in the Federal 
Register if announced after [date 18 months after effective date 
specified in Sec.  170.7], the training materials must also include all 
of the following:
    (i) Handlers must cease or suspend a pesticide application if 
workers or other persons are in the treated area or the entry-
restricted area.
    (ii) Handlers must be at least 16 years of age.
    (iii) Handler employers must ensure handlers have received 
respirator fit-testing, training and medical evaluation if they are 
required to wear a respirator.
    (iv) Handler employers must post treated areas as required by this 
rule.
    (v) All the topics specified in Sec.  170.101(c)(3).
    (4) The person who conducts the training must meet one of the 
following:
    (i) Be certified as an applicator of restricted use pesticides 
under part 171 of this chapter.
    (ii) Be designated as a trainer of certified applicators or 
pesticide handlers by EPA or the state or tribal agency responsible for 
pesticide enforcement.
    (iii) Have completed an EPA-approved pesticide safety train-the-
trainer program for handler trainers.
    (d) Recordkeeping. (1) Handler employers must maintain records of 
training for handlers employed by their establishment for 2 years from 
the date of the training. The records must be maintained on the 
establishment and must include all of the following information:
    (i) The trained handler's printed name and signature.
    (ii) The trained handler's date of birth.
    (iii) The date of the training.
    (iv) Information identifying which EPA-approved training materials 
were used.
    (v) The trainer's name and documentation showing that the trainer 
met the requirements of Sec.  170.201(c)(4) at the time of training.
    (vi) The handler employer's name.
    (2) For each handler trained, the handler employer must provide a 
record of the training to the handler that contains the information 
required under Sec.  170.201(d)(1).


Sec.  170.203  Knowledge of labeling, application-specific, and 
establishment-specific information for handlers.

    (a) Knowledge of labeling and application-specific information. (1) 
The handler employer must ensure that before any handler performs any 
handler activity involving a pesticide product bearing a label 
requiring compliance with this part, the handler either has read the 
pesticide product labeling or has been informed in a manner the handler 
can understand of all labeling requirements and use directions 
necessary for proper use of the pesticide.
    (2) The handler employer must ensure that the handler has access to 
the product labeling at all times during handler activities.
    (3) The handler employer must ensure that the handler is aware of 
requirements for any entry-restricted areas as described in Sec.  
170.105.
    (b) Knowledge of establishment-specific information--(1) 
Requirement. Before any handler performs any pesticide handler activity 
on an agricultural establishment where within the last 30 days a 
pesticide product bearing a label requiring compliance with this part 
has been used, or a restricted-entry interval for such pesticide has 
been in effect, the handler employer must ensure that the handler has 
been informed of establishment-specific information in accordance with 
this paragraph (b). The establishment-specific information must be 
provided orally, in a manner the handler can understand.
    (2) Content. The establishment-specific information must include 
all of the following:
    (i) The location of pesticide safety information required by Sec.  
170.11(a).
    (ii) The location of pesticide application and hazard information 
required by Sec.  170.11(b).
    (iii) The location of decontamination supplies required by Sec.  
170.209.


Sec.  170.205  Requirements during applications to protect handlers, 
workers, and other persons.

    (a) Contact with workers and other persons. The handler employer 
and the handler must ensure that no pesticide is applied so as to 
contact, directly or through drift, any worker or other person, other 
than an appropriately trained and equipped handler located on the 
establishment.
    (b) Suspending applications. After [date 2 years after effective 
date of final rule specified in Sec.  170.7], the handler performing 
the application must immediately stop or suspend a pesticide 
application if any worker or other person, other than an appropriately 
trained and equipped handler, is in the treated area or entry-
restricted area.
    (c) Handlers using highly toxic pesticides. The handler employer 
must ensure that any handler who is performing any handler activity 
with a pesticide product that has the skull-and-crossbones symbol on 
the front panel of the pesticide product label is monitored visually or 
by voice communication at least every 2 hours.
    (d) Fumigant applications in enclosed space production. The handler 
employer must ensure all of the following:
    (1) That any handler who enters an entry-restricted area described 
in Table 2 of Sec.  170.105, maintains continuous visual or voice 
contact with another handler stationed immediately outside of the 
enclosed space.
    (2) That the handler stationed outside the enclosed space has 
immediate access to and uses the personal protective equipment required 
by the fumigant labeling for handlers, in the event that entry becomes 
necessary for rescue.


Sec.  170.207  Personal protective equipment.

    (a) Handler responsibilities. Any person who performs handler 
activities involving a pesticide product bearing a label requiring 
compliance with this part must use the clothing and personal protective 
equipment specified on the pesticide product labeling for use of the 
product.
    (b) Employer responsibilities for providing personal protective 
equipment. The handler employer must provide to the handler the 
personal protective equipment required by pesticide product labeling in 
accordance with this section. The handler employer must ensure that the 
personal protective equipment is clean and in proper operating 
condition. For the purposes of this section, long-sleeved shirts, 
short-sleeved shirts, long pants, short pants, shoes, and socks are not 
considered personal protective equipment, even though pesticide 
labeling may require such work clothing to be worn.
    (1) When ``chemical-resistant'' personal protective equipment is 
specified by the pesticide product labeling to be worn, it must be made 
of material that the manufacturer has declared, in writing, to be 
chemical resistant.
    (2) When ``waterproof'' personal protective equipment is specified 
by the pesticide product labeling to be worn, it must be made of 
material that allows no measurable movement of water or aqueous 
solutions through the material during ordinary conditions of use.

[[Page 15526]]

    (3) When a ``chemical-resistant suit'' is specified by the 
pesticide product labeling to be worn, it must be a loose-fitting, one- 
or two-piece chemical-resistant garment that covers, at a minimum, the 
entire body except head, hands, and feet.
    (4) When ``coveralls'' are specified by the pesticide product 
labeling to be worn, they must be loose-fitting, one- or two-piece 
garments that cover, at a minimum, the entire body except head, hands, 
and feet.
    (5) Gloves must be the type specified on the pesticide product 
labeling.
    (i) Gloves made of leather, cotton, or other absorbent materials 
may not be worn while performing handler activities unless gloves made 
of these materials are listed as acceptable for such use on the 
pesticide product labeling.
    (ii) Separable glove liners may be worn beneath chemical-resistant 
gloves, unless the pesticide product labeling specifically prohibits 
their use. Separable glove liners are defined as separate glove-like 
hand coverings, made of lightweight material, with or without fingers. 
Work gloves made from lightweight cotton or poly-type material are 
considered to be glove liners if worn beneath chemical-resistant 
gloves. Separable glove liners may not extend outside the chemical-
resistant gloves under which they are worn. Chemical-resistant gloves 
with non-separable absorbent lining materials are prohibited.
    (iii) If used, separable glove liners must be discarded immediately 
after a total of no more than 10 hours of use or within 24 hours of 
when first put on, whichever comes first. The liners must be replaced 
immediately if directly contacted by pesticide. Used glove liners must 
not be reused. Contaminated liners must be disposed of in accordance 
with any federal, state, or local regulations.
    (6) When ``chemical-resistant footwear'' is specified by the 
pesticide product labeling to be worn, one of the following types of 
footwear must be worn:
    (i) Chemical-resistant shoes.
    (ii) Chemical-resistant boots.
    (iii) Chemical-resistant shoe coverings worn over shoes or boots.
    (7) When ``protective eyewear'' is specified by the pesticide 
product labeling to be worn, one of the following types of eyewear must 
be worn:
    (i) Goggles.
    (ii) Face shield.
    (iii) Safety glasses with front, brow, and temple protection.
    (iv) Full-face respirator.
    (8) When a ``chemical-resistant apron'' is specified by the 
pesticide product labeling to be worn, an apron that covers the front 
of the body from mid-chest to the knees must be worn.
    (9) The respirator specified by the pesticide product labeling must 
be used. Whenever a respirator other than a dust/mist filtering 
respirator is required by the pesticide product labeling, the handler 
employer must ensure that the requirements of paragraphs (b)(9)(i) 
through (iii) of this section are met before the handler performs any 
pesticide handler activity where the respirator is required to be worn. 
The handler employer must maintain for 2 years, on the establishment, 
records documenting the completion of the requirements of paragraphs 
(b)(9)(i) through (iii) of this section.
    (i) Handler employers must provide handlers with fit-testing using 
the respirator specified on the pesticide product labeling in a manner 
that conforms to the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.134.
    (ii) Handler employers must provide handlers with training in the 
use of the respirator specified on the pesticide product labeling in a 
manner that conforms to the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.134.
    (iii) Handler employers must provide handlers with a medical 
evaluation by a physician or other licensed health care professional 
that conforms to the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.134 to ensure the 
handler's physical ability to safely wear the respirator specified on 
the pesticide product labeling.
    (10) When ``chemical-resistant headgear'' is specified by the 
pesticide product labeling, it must be either a chemical-resistant hood 
or a chemical-resistant hat with a wide brim.
    (c) Use of personal protective equipment. (1) The handler employer 
must ensure that personal protective equipment is used correctly for 
its intended purpose and is used according to the manufacturer's 
instructions.
    (2) The handler employer must ensure that, before each day of use, 
all personal protective equipment is inspected for leaks, holes, tears, 
or worn places, and any damaged equipment is repaired or discarded.
    (d) Cleaning and maintenance. (1) The handler employer must ensure 
that all personal protective equipment is cleaned according to the 
manufacturer's instructions or pesticide product labeling instructions 
before each day of reuse. In the absence of any such instructions, it 
must be washed thoroughly in detergent and hot water.
    (2) If any personal protective equipment cannot be cleaned 
properly, the handler employer must render the personal protective 
equipment unusable and dispose of it in accordance with any applicable 
federal, state, and local regulations. Coveralls or other absorbent 
materials that have been drenched or heavily contaminated with a 
pesticide that has the signal word ``DANGER'' or ``WARNING'' on the 
label must not be reused.
    (3) The handler employer must ensure that contaminated personal 
protective equipment is kept separately and washed separately from any 
other clothing or laundry.
    (4) The handler employer must ensure that all washed personal 
protective equipment is dried thoroughly before being stored or reused.
    (5) The handler employer must ensure that all clean personal 
protective equipment is stored separately from personal clothing and 
apart from pesticide-contaminated areas.
    (6) The handler employer must ensure that when dust/mist filtering 
respirators are used, they are replaced when one of the following 
conditions is met:
    (i) When breathing resistance becomes excessive.
    (ii) When the filter element has physical damage or tears.
    (iii) According to manufacturer's recommendations or pesticide 
product labeling, whichever is more frequent.
    (iv) In the absence of any other instructions or indications of 
service life, at the end of 8 hours of cumulative use.
    (7) The handler employer must ensure that when gas- or vapor-
removing respirators are used, the gas- or vapor-removing canisters or 
cartridges are replaced before further respirator use when one of the 
following conditions is met:
    (i) At the first indication of odor, taste, or irritation.
    (ii) When breathing resistance becomes excessive.
    (iii) According to manufacturer's recommendations or pesticide 
product labeling instructions, whichever is more frequent.
    (iv) In the absence of any other instructions or indications of 
service life, at the end of 8 hours of cumulative use.
    (8) The handler employer must inform any person who cleans or 
launders personal protective equipment of all the following:
    (i) That such equipment may be contaminated with pesticides.
    (ii) The potentially harmful effects of exposure to pesticides.
    (iii) The correct way(s) to clean personal protective equipment and 
to protect themselves when handling such equipment.

[[Page 15527]]

    (iv) Proper decontamination and personal hygiene practices.
    (9) The handler employer must ensure that handlers have a place(s) 
away from pesticide storage and pesticide use areas where they may do 
all of the following:
    (i) Store personal clothing not in use.
    (ii) Put on personal protective equipment at the start of any 
exposure period.
    (iii) Remove personal protective equipment at the end of any 
exposure period.
    (10) The handler employer must not allow or direct any handler to 
wear home or to take home personal protective equipment contaminated 
with pesticides.
    (e) Heat-related illness. Where a pesticide label requires the use 
of personal protective equipment for a handler activity, the handler 
employer must take appropriate measures to prevent heat-related 
illness.


Sec.  170.209  Handler decontamination supplies.

    (a) Requirement. The handler employer must provide decontamination 
supplies in accordance with this section for any handler that is 
performing any handler activity or removing personal protective 
equipment at the place for changing required by Sec.  170.207(d)(9).
    (b) General conditions. The decontamination supplies required in 
paragraph (a) of this section must include: at least 3 gallons of water 
per handler for routine hand washing, emergency eye flushing, and 
washing the entire body in case of an emergency; soap; single-use 
towels; and clean clothing for use in an emergency. The decontamination 
supplies must meet all of the following requirements:
    (1) Water. At all times when this section requires handler 
employers to make water available to handlers, the handler employer 
must ensure that it is of a quality and temperature that will not cause 
illness or injury when it contacts the skin or eyes or if it is 
swallowed. When water stored in a tank is to be used for mixing 
pesticides, it must not be used for decontamination or eye flushing, 
unless the tank is equipped with properly functioning valves or other 
mechanisms that prevent movement of pesticides into the tank, such as 
anti-backflow siphon devices, one-way or check valves, or an air gap 
sufficient to prevent contamination.
    (2) Soap and single-use towels. The handler employer must provide 
soap and single-use towels for drying in quantities sufficient to meet 
the handlers' needs. Hand sanitizing gels and liquids or wet towelettes 
do not meet the requirement for soap. Wet towelettes do not meet the 
requirement for single-use towels.
    (3) Clean change of clothing. The handler employer must provide one 
clean change of clothing, such as coveralls, for use in an emergency.
    (c) Location. The decontamination supplies must be located together 
outside of any treated area, and be reasonably accessible to and not 
more than 1/4 mile from each handler during the handler activity.
    (1) Exception for mixing sites. For mixing activities, 
decontamination supplies must be at the mixing site.
    (2) Exception for pilots. Decontamination supplies for a pilot who 
is applying pesticides aerially must be in the aircraft or at the 
aircraft loading site.
    (3) Exception for handling pesticides in remote areas. Where 
handler activities are performed more than 1/4 mile from the nearest 
place of vehicular access, the soap, single-use towels, clean change of 
clothing, and water may be at the nearest place of vehicular access.
    (4) Exception for treated areas. The decontamination supplies must 
be outside any treated area or area subject to a restricted-entry 
interval, unless all of the following conditions are met:
    (i) The soap, single-use towels, and clean change of clothing are 
protected from pesticide contamination in closed containers.
    (ii) The water is protected from pesticide contamination in closed 
containers.
    (d) Emergency eyeflushing. If the product label requires protective 
eyewear for handlers, the following requirements apply.
    (1) To provide for emergency eyeflushing, the handler employer must 
provide at least 1 pint of water per handler in portable containers 
that are immediately available to each handler who is performing 
activities for which the pesticide labeling requires protective 
eyewear.
    (2) A system capable of delivering at least 1.5 liters (0.4 
gallons) of water per minute for 15 minutes must be provided at all 
permanent pesticide mixing and loading sites when the label requires 
protective eyewear for mixing, loading, or applying.

Subpart D--Exemptions and Exceptions


Sec.  170.301  Exemptions.

    (a) Exemption for owners of agricultural establishments and their 
immediate families. (1) On any agricultural establishment that is 
wholly owned by an individual, or where all of the owners of the 
establishment are members of the same immediate family, the owner(s) of 
the establishment are not required to provide the protections of the 
following provisions to themselves or members of their immediate family 
when they are performing handling tasks or tasks related to the 
production of agricultural plants that would otherwise be covered by 
this part on their own agricultural establishment.
    (i) Sec.  170.9(c).
    (ii) Sec.  170.9(f) through (j).
    (iii) Sec.  170.11.
    (iv) Sec.  170.101.
    (v) Sec.  170.103.
    (vi) Sec.  170.109.
    (vii) Sec.  170.111 and 170.209.
    (viii) Sec.  170.201.
    (ix) Sec.  170.203.
    (x) Sec.  170.205(c) and (d).
    (xi) Sec.  170.207(c) through (e).
    (xii) Sec.  170.305(a) through (c) and (e) through (k).
    (2) The owners of agricultural establishments must provide all of 
the applicable protections required by this part for any employees or 
other persons on the establishment that are not members of their 
immediate family.
    (b) Certified crop advisors. The requirements of Sec. Sec.  
170.9(e), 170.203(a), 170.207 and 170.209 of this part do not apply to 
certified crop advisors provided the application is complete and all of 
the following conditions are met:
    (1) The crop advisor is certified or licensed as a crop advisor by 
a program acknowledged as appropriate in writing by EPA or a state or 
tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement.
    (2) The certification or licensing program requires pesticide 
safety training that includes all the information in Sec.  
170.201(c)(2) and (3).
    (3) The crop advisor who enters a treated area during a restricted-
entry interval only performs crop advising tasks while in the treated 
area.


Sec.  170.303  Exceptions for entry by workers during restricted-entry 
intervals.

    An agricultural employer may direct workers to enter treated areas 
where a restricted-entry interval is in effect to perform certain 
activities as provided in this section, and provided that the 
agricultural employer ensures that the worker is at least 16 years old 
and all of the applicable conditions of this section and Sec.  170.305 
of this part are met.
    (a) Exception for activities with no contact. A worker may enter a 
treated area during a restricted-entry interval if the agricultural 
employer ensures that all of the following conditions are met:

[[Page 15528]]

    (1) The worker will have no contact with anything that has been 
treated with the pesticide to which the restricted-entry interval 
applies, including, but not limited to, soil, water, air, or surfaces 
of plants. This exception does not allow workers to perform any 
activities that involve contact with treated surfaces even if workers 
are wearing personal protective equipment.
    (2) No such entry is allowed until any inhalation exposure level 
listed in the pesticide product labeling has been reached or any 
ventilation criteria required by Sec.  170.105(b)(3) or the pesticide 
product labeling have been met.
    (b) Exception for short-term activities. A worker may enter a 
treated area during a restricted-entry interval for short-term 
activities, if the agricultural employer ensures that all of the 
following requirements are met:
    (1) No hand labor activity is performed.
    (2) The time in treated areas where a restricted-entry interval is 
in effect does not exceed 1 hour in any 24-hour period for any worker.
    (3) No such entry is allowed during the first 4 hours after the 
application ends.
    (4) No such entry is allowed until any inhalation exposure level 
listed in the pesticide product labeling has been reached or any 
ventilation criteria required by Sec.  170.105(b)(3) or the pesticide 
product labeling have been met.
    (c) Exception for an agricultural emergency. (1) An agricultural 
emergency means a sudden occurrence or set of circumstances which the 
agricultural employer could not have anticipated and over which the 
agricultural employer has no control, and which requires entry into a 
treated area during a restricted-entry interval, when no alternative 
practices would prevent or mitigate a substantial economic loss. A 
substantial economic loss means a loss in profitability greater than 
that which would be expected based on the experience and fluctuations 
of crop yields in previous years. Only losses caused by the 
agricultural emergency specific to the affected site and geographic 
area are considered. Losses resulting from mismanagement cannot be 
included when determining whether a loss is substantial.
    (2) A worker may enter a treated area where a restricted-entry 
interval is in effect in an agricultural emergency to perform tasks 
necessary to mitigate the effects of the agricultural emergency, 
including hand labor tasks, if the agricultural employer ensures that 
all the following criteria are met:
    (i) EPA, the state department of agriculture, or the state or 
tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement declares the 
existence of circumstances that could cause an agricultural emergency 
on that agricultural establishment.
    (ii) The agricultural employer determines that the agricultural 
establishment is subject to the circumstances that result in an 
agricultural emergency meeting the criteria of paragraph (c)(1) of this 
section.
    (iii) If the labeling of any pesticide product applied to the 
treated area requires workers to be notified of the location of treated 
areas by both posting and oral notification, then the agricultural 
employer must ensure that no individual worker spends more than 4 hours 
out of any 24-hour period in treated areas where such a restricted-
entry interval is in effect.
    (d) Exceptions for limited contact and irrigation activities. A 
worker may enter a treated area during a restricted-entry interval for 
limited contact or irrigation activities, if the agricultural employer 
ensures that all of the following requirements are met:
    (1) No hand labor activity is performed.
    (2) No worker is allowed in the treated area for more than 8 hours 
in a 24-hour period.
    (3) No entry is allowed during the first 4 hours after the 
application ends.
    (4) No such entry is allowed until any inhalation exposure level 
listed in the pesticide product labeling has been reached or any 
ventilation criteria required by Sec.  170.105(b)(3) or the pesticide 
product labeling have been met.
    (5) The task is one that, if not performed before the restricted-
entry interval expires, would cause substantial economic loss, and 
there are no alternative tasks that would prevent substantial loss.
    (6) With the exception of irrigation tasks, the need for the task 
could not have been foreseen.
    (7) The worker has no contact with pesticide-treated surfaces other 
than minimal contact with feet, lower legs, hands, and forearms.
    (8) The label of the product that was applied does not require both 
posting and oral notification.


Sec.  170.305  Agricultural employer responsibilities to protect 
workers entering treated areas during a restricted-entry interval.

    If an agricultural employer directs a worker to perform activities 
in a treated area where a restricted-entry interval is in effect, all 
of the following requirements must be met:
    (a) Prior to early entry, the agricultural employer must inform 
each early entry worker with the information in paragraphs (a)(1) 
through (9) of this section. The information must be provided orally in 
a manner that the worker can understand.
    (1) Date of the entry.
    (2) Location of early entry area.
    (3) Pesticide(s) applied.
    (4) Dates and times that the restricted-entry interval begins and 
ends.
    (5) Which exception in Sec.  170.303 is the basis for the early 
entry, and a description of tasks that may be performed under the 
exception.
    (6) Whether contact with treated surfaces is permitted under the 
exception.
    (7) Amount of time the worker is allowed to remain in the treated 
area.
    (8) Personal protective equipment required by the pesticide product 
labeling for early entry.
    (9) Location of the pesticide safety information and the location 
of the decontamination supplies required by Sec. Sec.  170.11(a)(1) and 
170.111(d).
    (b) The agricultural employer must maintain on the agricultural 
establishment for 2 years a record of the information provided to early 
entry workers under paragraph (a) of this section, along with the 
printed name, date of birth, and signature of each early entry worker 
who received the information.
    (c) Prior to early entry, the agricultural employer must ensure 
that each worker either has read the pesticide product labeling or has 
been informed, in a manner that the worker can understand, of all 
labeling requirements and statements related to human hazards or 
precautions, first aid, and user safety.
    (d) The agricultural employer must ensure that each worker who 
enters a treated area during a restricted-entry interval is provided 
the personal protective equipment specified in the pesticide product 
labeling for early entry workers. The agricultural employer must ensure 
that the worker uses the personal protective equipment as intended 
according to manufacturer's instructions and follows any other 
requirements on the pesticide product labeling regarding early entry. 
Personal protective equipment must conform to the standards in Sec.  
170.207(b)(1) through (8).
    (e) The agricultural employer must maintain the personal protective 
equipment in accordance with Sec.  170.207(d)(1) through (8).

[[Page 15529]]

    (f) The agricultural employer must ensure that no worker is allowed 
or directed to wear personal protective equipment, without implementing 
measures sufficient to prevent heat-related illness and that each 
worker is instructed in the prevention, recognition, and first aid 
treatment of heat-related illness.
    (g) The agricultural employer must not allow or direct any worker 
to wear home or to take home employer-provided personal protective 
equipment contaminated with pesticides.
    (h) During any early entry activity, the agricultural employer must 
provide decontamination supplies in accordance with Sec.  170.209, 
except the decontamination supplies must be outside any area being 
treated with pesticides or subject to a restricted-entry interval, 
unless the decontamination supplies would otherwise not be reasonably 
accessible to those workers.
    (i) If the pesticide product labeling of the product applied 
requires protective eyewear, the agricultural employer must provide at 
least 1 pint of water per worker in portable containers that are 
immediately available to each worker who is performing early entry 
activities for emergency eyeflushing.
    (j) At the end of any early entry activities the agricultural 
employer must provide, at the site where the workers remove personal 
protective equipment, soap, single-use towels and at least 3 gallons of 
water per worker so that the workers may wash thoroughly.


Sec.  170.307  Exceptions to personal protective equipment requirements 
specified on pesticide product labeling.

    (a) Body protection. (1) A chemical-resistant suit may be 
substituted for coveralls, and any requirement for an additional layer 
of clothing beneath the coveralls is waived.
    (2) A chemical-resistant suit may be substituted for coveralls and 
a chemical-resistant apron.
    (b) Boots. If chemical-resistant footwear with sufficient 
durability and a tread appropriate for wear in rough terrain is not 
obtainable, then leather boots may be worn in such terrain.
    (c) Gloves. If chemical-resistant gloves with sufficient durability 
and suppleness are not obtainable, then during activities with plants 
with sharp thorns, leather gloves may be worn over chemical-resistant 
glove liners. However, once leather gloves are worn for this use, 
thereafter they must be worn only with chemical-resistant liners and 
they must not be worn for any other use.
    (d) Closed systems. (1) When pesticides are being mixed or loaded 
using a closed system as defined in Sec.  170.5 that meets all of the 
criteria in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, and the handler employer 
meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(3) of this section, the 
following exceptions to labeling-specified personal protective 
equipment are permitted:
    (i) Handlers using a closed system to mix or load pesticides with a 
signal word of ``DANGER'' or ``WARNING'' may substitute a long-sleeved 
shirt, long pants, shoes and socks, chemical-resistant apron, 
protective eyewear, and any protective gloves specified on the labeling 
for handlers for the labeling-specified personal protective equipment.
    (ii) Handlers using a closed system to mix or load pesticides other 
than those specified in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section may 
substitute protective eyewear, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and 
shoes and socks for the labeling-specified personal protective 
equipment.
    (2) The exceptions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section apply only 
where the closed system meets all of the following criteria:
    (i) The pesticide must be removed from its original shipping 
container and transferred through connecting hoses pipes, and/or 
couplings that are sufficiently tight to prevent exposure of any person 
to the concentrate, use dilution, or rinse solution.
    (ii) All hoses, piping, tanks, and connections used in conjunction 
with a closed system must be of a type appropriate for the pesticide 
being used and, the pressure and vacuum of the system.
    (iii) All sight gauges must be protected against breakage. Sight 
gauges must be equipped with valves so the pipes to the sight gauge can 
be shut off in case of breakage or leakage.
    (iv) The closed system must adequately measure the pesticide being 
used. Measuring devices must be accurately calibrated to the smallest 
unit in which the material is being weighed or measured.
    (v) The movement of a pesticide concentrate beyond a pump by 
positive pressure must not exceed 25 pounds per square inch (psi) of 
pressure.
    (vi) A probe must not be removed from a container except when the 
pesticide is used without dilution and the container has been emptied 
or the container is emptied and the inside, as well as the probe, have 
been rinsed in accordance with Sec.  170.307(d)(2)(viii).
    (vii) Shut-off devices must be installed on the exit end of all 
hoses and at all disconnect points to prevent the pesticide from 
leaking when the transfer is stopped and the hose is removed or 
disconnected. If the hose carried pesticide concentrate and has not 
been rinsed in accordance with Sec.  170.307(d)(2)(viii), a dry break 
coupler that will minimize pesticide loss to not more than two 
milliliters per disconnect must be installed at the disconnect point. 
If the hose carried a pesticide use dilution or rinse solution, a 
reversing action pump or a similar system that will empty the hose may 
be used as an alternative to a shutoff device.
    (viii) When the pesticide is to be diluted for use, the closed 
system must provide for adequate rinsing of containers that have held 
less than 60 gallons of a liquid pesticide. Rinsing must be done with a 
medium, such as water, that contains no pesticide. The system must be 
capable of spray-rinsing the inner surfaces of the container and the 
rinse solution must go into the pesticide mix tank or applicator 
vehicle via the closed system. The system must be capable of rinsing 
the probe, if used, and all hoses, measuring devices, etc. A minimum of 
15 psi of pressure must be used for rinsing. The rinsing must be 
continued until minimum of 10 gallons or one-half of the container 
volume, whichever is less, has been used. The rinse solution must be 
removed from the pesticide container concurrently with introduction of 
the rinse medium. Pesticide containers must be protected against 
excessive pressure during the container rinse operation. The maximum 
container pressure must not exceed five psi.
    (ix) Each commercially produced closed system or component to be 
used with a closed system must be sold with complete instructions 
consisting of a functional operating manual and a decal(s) covering the 
basic operation. The decal(s) must be placed in a prominent location on 
the system. The system must include specific directions for cleaning 
and maintenance of the system on a scheduled basis and information on 
any restrictions or limitations relating to the system, such as 
pesticides that are incompatible with materials used in the 
construction of the system, types (or sizes) of containers or closures 
that cannot be handled by the system, any limits on ability to correct 
or over measurement of a pesticide, or special procedures or 
limitations on the ability of the system to deal with partial 
containers
    (3) The exceptions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section apply only 
where the handler employer has satisfied the requirements of Sec.  
170.13 and all of the following conditions:
    (i) The written operating instructions for the closed system must 
be available

[[Page 15530]]

at the mixing or loading site and must be made available to any 
handlers who use the system and for inspection by authorized officials.
    (ii) The handler employer must assure that any handler operating 
the closed system is trained in its use and operates the closed system 
in accordance with the manufacturer's written operating instructions.
    (iii) The closed system must be cleaned and maintained as specified 
in the manufacturer's written operating instructions and as needed to 
make sure the system functions properly. If the system is not a 
commercially produced system it must be maintained on a regular basis.
    (iv) A record of the cleaning and maintenance must be maintained on 
the establishment for 2 years.
    (v) All personal protective equipment specified in the pesticide 
product labeling is immediately available to the handler for use in an 
emergency.
    (vi) The handler employer ensures that protective eyewear is worn 
when using closed systems operating under pressure.
    (e) Enclosed cabs. (1) If a handler applies a pesticide from inside 
an enclosed cab, and if the conditions listed in paragraph (e)(2) of 
this section are met, handlers may substitute a long-sleeved shirt, 
long pants, shoes, and socks for the labeling-specified personal 
protective equipment.
    (2) All of the applicator personal protective equipment required by 
the pesticide product labeling must be immediately available and stored 
in an enclosed container, such as a plastic bag, to prevent 
contamination. Handlers must wear chemical-resistant gloves in addition 
to any personal protective equipment required by the pesticide product 
labeling for applicators, if they exit the cab within a treated area 
during application or when a restricted-entry interval is in effect. 
Once personal protective equipment is worn in a treated area, it must 
be removed before reentering the cab.
    (f) Aerial applications--(1) Use of gloves. Chemical-resistant 
gloves must be worn when entering or leaving an aircraft that may be 
contaminated by pesticide residues. In the cockpit, the gloves must be 
kept in an enclosed container, such as a plastic bag, to prevent 
contamination of the inside of the cockpit.
    (2) Open cockpit. Handlers occupying an open cockpit must use the 
personal protective equipment specified in the pesticide product 
labeling for use during application, except that chemical-resistant 
footwear need not be worn. A helmet may be substituted for chemical-
resistant headgear. A helmet with a face shield lowered to cover the 
face may be substituted for protective eyewear.
    (3) Enclosed cockpit. Handlers occupying an enclosed cockpit may 
substitute a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes, and socks for 
labeling-specified personal protective equipment.
    (g) Crop advisors. Crop advisors entering treated areas while a 
restricted-entry interval is in effect may wear the personal protective 
equipment specified on the pesticide labeling for early entry 
activities instead of the personal protective equipment specified on 
the pesticide labeling for handler activities, provided that all of the 
following conditions are met:
    (1) The application has been complete for at least 4 hours.
    (2) No such entry is allowed until any inhalation exposure level 
listed in the pesticide product labeling has been reached or any 
ventilation criteria required by Sec.  170.105(b)(3) or the pesticide 
product labeling have been met.


Sec.  170.309  Exception to training requirements for workers.

    An agricultural employer may allow or direct a worker to perform 
tasks in a treated area on an agricultural establishment for up to two 
days without training the worker in accordance with Sec.  170.101 
provided the agricultural employer ensures all of the conditions of 
this section are met.
    (a) The worker is trained in accordance with Sec.  170.101 before 
the third day of working in a treated area on the establishment.
    (b) The worker will not enter a treated area on the agricultural 
establishment while any restricted-entry interval is in effect.
    (c) The worker is provided with a copy of a pesticide information 
sheet that contains all of the points and information listed in Sec.  
170.309(e)(1) through (15) prior to conducting any tasks in a treated 
area, and that same information is communicated to the worker orally in 
a manner the worker understands.
    (d) The agricultural employer must maintain on the agricultural 
establishment for a period of 2 years a record of the information 
provided to the worker under Sec.  170.309(c), along with the printed 
name of the worker, date of birth, the date the information was 
provided, the employer's name, and employer's phone number or phone 
number of the establishment, and signature of the worker affirming that 
he or she has been provided a copy of the information sheet required by 
Sec.  170.309(c), has had the information communicated to him or her 
orally in a manner the worker understands, and has understood the 
information.
    (e) Pesticide information sheets required by Sec.  170.309(c) must 
convey the following points and information:
    (1) Agricultural employers are required to provide workers with 
information and protections designed to reduce work-related pesticide 
exposures and illnesses, including the following:
    (i) Employers are required to provide pesticide safety information 
to workers before being asked to work in pesticide treated areas if 
they have not received full pesticide safety training.
    (ii) Employers are required to provide the full pesticide safety 
training to workers before their third day of work in pesticide treated 
areas.
    (iii) Employers are required to provide pesticide safety 
information, pesticide hazard information for products used on the 
establishment, decontamination supplies, emergency medical assistance, 
and notification to workers of restrictions during applications and on 
entering pesticide treated areas.
    (2) Agricultural employers must inform workers how to recognize and 
understand the meaning of the posted warning signs used for notifying 
workers of restrictions on entering pesticide treated areas on the 
establishment. Workers must follow employer directions and/or signs 
about keeping out of entry restricted or pesticide treated areas.
    (3) Agricultural employers must not allow or direct any worker who 
has not received full pesticide safety training and additional early 
entry worker training to work in any area that is currently under a 
restricted-entry interval. Employers must comply with minimum age 
restrictions and notification requirements in order to direct workers 
to perform early-entry activities.
    (4) Agricultural employers must not allow or direct any worker to 
mix, load, or apply pesticides or assist in the application of 
pesticides unless the worker has been trained as a handler.
    (5) Agricultural employers are prohibited from intimidating, 
threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any worker for the 
purposes of interfering with any attempt to comply with the 
requirements of this part, or because the worker has made a complaint, 
testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, 
proceeding, or hearing pursuant to this part.
    (6) There are potential sources of pesticide exposure on 
agricultural

[[Page 15531]]

establishments and pesticides and/or pesticide residues may be 
encountered during work activities. Pesticide residues may be on or in 
plants, soil, irrigation water, tractors, application equipment, or 
used personal protective equipment. Pesticides can also drift through 
air from nearby applications. Maintain a safe distance from nearby 
pesticide applications and leave the area immediately if pesticide 
sprays are contacting you.
    (7) Pesticides can cause illness or injury if they enter your body. 
Pesticides can enter the body by getting them on your skin or in your 
eyes, by swallowing them, or by breathing in their vapors.
    (8) There are potential hazards from toxicity and exposure that 
pesticides present to workers, including acute and chronic illnesses 
and effects, delayed effects, and sensitization.
    (9) There are potential hazards to children and pregnant women from 
pesticide exposure.
    (10) When working near pesticides or in pesticide treated areas 
wear work clothing that protects the body from pesticide residues and 
always wash hands before eating, drinking, using chewing gum or 
tobacco, or using the toilet.
    (11) Wash or shower with soap and water, shampoo hair, and change 
into clean clothes as soon as possible after working near or in 
pesticide treated areas.
    (12) There are potential hazards from the pesticide residues that 
may be on work clothing. Wash work clothes before wearing them again, 
and always wash work clothes separately from other clothes.
    (13) Pesticides may cause skin rashes or hurt your eyes, nose or 
throat. Pesticides can make you feel sick in different ways, such as 
headache or dizziness, muscles pain or cramps, nausea or vomiting, 
sweating, drooling, fatigue, or trouble breathing.
    (14) Wash immediately in the nearest clean water if pesticides are 
spilled or sprayed on the body. Shower, shampoo hair, and change into 
clean clothes as soon as possible. If a pesticide gets in your eyes, 
hold them open and rinse with a gentle stream of cool water. Rinse eyes 
for 15 minutes.
    (15) If you or someone you work with gets sick while working, tell 
your employer right away. If you suspect you have been injured or made 
ill from pesticides, get medical help as soon as possible. If you have 
been injured from pesticides while working, your employer must provide 
emergency transportation from the establishment to a nearby medical 
facility and provide information about the pesticide or pesticides that 
may have made you sick.

[FR Doc. 2014-04761 Filed 3-18-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P