The US Environmental Protection Agency, under Director Scott Pruitt, has again delayed its revised Certification and Training of Pesticide Applicators rule. This delay was enacted after the usual comment periods and rule making process were completed and after repeated previous delays from its original March 6, 2017 effective date. The claimed effective date is now May 22, 2018.
Pruitt stated that the EPA’s concerns included the economic prosperity of farmers and ranchers so that the burden on users would not outweigh its benefits. The revised rule included stricter competency standards for applicators, a minimum age of 18 for applicators and their workers, and a requirement for recertification after 5 years. The United Farm Workers released a statement protesting the delay, noting that the EPA itself had pointed out incidents involving children exposed to pesticides that resulted in injury or death. The UFW called the repeated delays an abuse of the rule making process.
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