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Revisions in EPA WPS comment period open until Dec. 23, 2015

Deborah Breth, Integrated Pest Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

November 13, 2015

Posted in Federal Register: A Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency on 11/02/2015

What are the major changes from the proposal to the final rule?
This final rule revises the existing WPS. Some significant changes are described in this Unit. Units V. through XIX. discuss in more detail the proposed rule, public comments submitted, EPA's responses to the public comments, and final regulatory requirements.

In regard to training, the final rule retains the proposed content expansions (including how to protect family members and reduce take-home exposure) and the requirement for employers to ensure that workers and handlers receive pesticide safety training every year. Employers are required to retain records of the training provided to workers and handlers for two years from the date of training. The final rule eliminates the training "grace period," which allowed employers to delay providing full pesticide safety training to workers (for up to 5 days under the existing rule and for up to two days under the proposal) from the time worker activities began, if the workers received an abbreviated training prior to entering any treated area.

In regard to notification, the final rule retains the proposed requirements for employers to post warning signs around treated areas in outdoor production when the product used has a restricted-entry interval (REI) greater than 48 hours and to provide to workers performing early-entry tasks, i.e., entering a treated area when an REI is in effect, information about the pesticide used in the area where they will work, the specific task(s) to be performed, the personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the labeling and the amount of time the worker may remain in the treated area. The final rule does not include the proposed requirement for employers to keep a record of the information provided to workers performing early-entry tasks. The final rule retains the existing requirements concerning the sign that must be used when posted notification of treated areas is required.

In regard to hazard communication, the final rule requires employers to post pesticide application information and a safety data sheet (SDS) for each pesticide used on the establishment (known together as pesticide application and hazard information) at a central location on the establishment (the "central display"), a departure from the proposal to eliminate the existing requirement for a central display of pesticide application-specific information. The final rule also requires the employer to maintain and make available to workers and handlers, their designated representatives, and treating medical personnel upon request, the pesticide application-specific information and the SDSs for pesticides used on the establishment for two years. The final rule does not include the proposed requirement for the employer to maintain copies of the labeling for each product used on the establishment for two years.
In regard to protections during pesticide applications, the final rule designates the area immediately surrounding the application equipment as the area from which workers and other persons must be excluded (an area up to 100 feet around the application equipment). This "application exclusion zone" differs from the proposed "entry-restricted areas," which would have extended a specified distance around the entire treated area during application based on the application equipment used. The final rule requires handlers to suspend application, rather than cease application, if they are aware of any person in the application exclusion zone other than a properly trained and equipped handler involved in the application.

In regard to establishing a minimum age for handlers and workers performing early-entry tasks, the final rule requires that handlers and workers performing early-entry tasks be at least 18 years old, rather than the proposed minimum age of 16 years old. This minimum age does not apply to an adolescent working on an establishment owned by an immediate family member. The final rule does not require the employer to record workers' or handlers' birthdates as part of the training record, but does require the employer to verify they meet the minimum age requirements.

In regard to PPE, the final rule cross-references certain Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) requirements for respirator use that employers will be required to comply with, i.e., fit test, medical evaluation, and training for handlers using pesticides that require respirator use. The final rule expands the respirators subject to fit testing beyond the proposal to include filtering facepiece respirators. The final rule maintains the existing exception from the handler PPE requirements when using a closed system to transfer or load pesticides, and adopts a general performance standard for closed systems, which differs from the specific design standards based on California's existing standard for closed systems discussed in the proposal.

January 4, 2017 is the date when employers must comply with the provisions of the WPS with the exception of the new training content and the implementation of the new exclusion zone requirement.
January 4, 2018 (or 180 days after EPA announces the training materials are available, whichever is later) is when the new training curriculum must be implemented.
January 4, 2018 is when the exclusion zone requirements come into force.

EPA has received and considered a number of requests to extend the public comment period on the proposed changes to the certification of pesticide applicators rule.
EPA will grant a 30-day extension to the public comment period on the proposed changes to the certification rule. Comments must be submitted no later than December 23, 2015. Comments can be submitted via www.regulations.gov under docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183.
A formal announcement of the 30-day extension to the comment period will be published in the Federal Register shortly.





EPA WPS Comparison of Revisions to Current Standard (pdf; 583KB)

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Apples

Apples

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Apricots

Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Blueberries

Blueberries

Cherries

Cherries

Currants

Currants

Gooseberries

Gooseberries

Nectarines

Nectarines

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Plums

Plums

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Strawberries

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Unusual Fruit

Unusual Fruit

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Upcoming Events

Announcements

Save the Date! - Scroll down for Weekly Webinars

2020 Events - for details and registration info click on the event title of interest:

CCE prioritizes the health, safety and well-being of the communities we serve. Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and due to an abundance of caution certain events will be cancelled. Please check back through out the week for any additional event cancellations.

9 Nov - Lake Ontario Fruit Program Advisory Committee Meeting - 9:30am - 3:30pm via Zoom, details to  be announced

8 & 9 Feb 2021 - LOF Virtual Fruit Schools - details to be announced


Lake Ontario Fruit Program Webinar Recordings

Have you recently miss a webinar provided by the Lake Ontario Fruit Program that you wanted to see, or would you like to review the information again?  Then check it out at the Lake Ontario Fruit Program YouTube Channel.  LOF webinars are recorded, processed, and uploaded to the YouTube Channel within 1-2 days following the meeting.  LOF Webinar Recording & Resource Links

Managing Farms During COVID-19 series:

Managing Fruit and Vegetable Farms During COVID-19 recorded on June 24th.


Summer Fruit Series:
Summer Insect Management in Cherry recorded June 29th.

Managing Irrigation in Apple Orchards this Season recorded July 7th

Honeycrsip Bitter Pit Prediction Models recorded August 11, 2020

Protocol for Honeycrisp Sampling for the Passive Bitter Pit Prediction Model pfd




Pollinator Webinar Series - Summer 2020

The Pollinator Webinar Series presented by Penn State cover bee health and pollination services.



Bloom Pesticides for Pollinator Health

A reference table created by Janet van Zoeren and Anna Wallis, is now available at https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=711&crumb=pests|pests.

COVID-19 Update from LOF Team & Link to Resources

IMPORTANT NOTE FROM OUR TEAM:
Cornell Cooperative Extension's Lake Ontario Fruit Program prioritizes the health, safety, and well-being of our staff, constituents, and community members. Given the uncertainty surrounding the rapidly-changing COVID-19 situation, many of our upcoming events have been cancelled or postponed through May.  This includes on-site farm visits and consultations. Our specialists are working from home and will still be available to help you via phone, zoom or email and we will resume our regular programming as soon as we can. Check announcements and Upcoming Events for updated information and upcoming virtual events.  We look forward to helping you manage your farm business during this time and hope that you and your family stay safe and healthy!  

COVID-19 Resources provides links to all COVID-19 information.



"How to" Zoom: YouTube Video Link Available

To ensure the health and safety of everyone we are practicing social distancing.  Specialists are still available for consult via phone calls, emails, and Zoom meetings. Zoom  allows for a face to face meeting via a computer/smartphone and includes the option for screen sharing.  For anyone new to this technology Cornell has created a basic YouTube video on How to use Zoom.  

Pollinator Resouces

Now available Pollinator Resource Links


Article: "Supplemental Coverage Option for Apples"

Supplemental Coverage Option for Apples - Should you add this endorsement to your apple crop insurance policy?

Elizabeth Higgins, Ag Business Management Specialist, ENYCH


For the full article click the link below.

https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=604




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