Pesticide Container and Containment Regulations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to promulgate regulations prescribing procedures and standards for container design and the removal of pesticides from containers prior to disposal.
EPA’s final regulations, “Standards for Pesticide Containers and Containment” were published in a Federal Register notice on August 16, 2006. The pesticide container and containment regulations include the following five sections:
- Nonrefillable Container This section addresses “one-way” or disposable containers and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize human exposure during container handling and facilitate container disposal and recycling.
- Refillable Containers: This section applies to containers that are intended to be refilled and reused more than once and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
- Repackaging: This section, which describes procedures and other safeguards for repackaging pesticide into refillable containers, applied to pesticide registrants and anyone who refills pesticide containers for sale (registrants, formulators, distributors and dealers). These regulations are intended to minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, codify safe refilling management practices and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
- Labeling: This labeling segment includes instructions for how to properly clean pesticide containers and a statement identifying the container as nonrefillable or refillable. Pesticide registrants are required to ensure that labels include the specified information. Pesticide users are required to comply with the instructions on the labels.
- Containment Structures: This section establishes standards for secondary containment structures at certain bulk storage sites and for containment pads at certain pesticide dispensing operations. Pesticide dealers who repackage pesticides, commercial applicators and custom blenders have to comply with the requirements. The purpose of these standards is to protect the environment from leaks and spills at bulk storage areas and from contamination due to pesticide dispensing operations.
In order for State to enforce EPA’s new container/containment regulations they had to have existing regulations that were equivalent to the federal regulations, write and pass new regulations that were equivalent to EPA’s regulations or incorporate by reference EPA’s regulations into state regulations. On February 1, 2008, the Maryland Department of Agriculture proposed to amend the regulations pertaining to the Maryland Pesticide Applicators Law to incorporate by reference the federal regulations. This regulation change became effective April 7, 2008.