US EPA published the Pesticide Worker Protection Standard (WPS) (final rule) on Monday 11/2/2015. Frank participated in a meeting of DC reps from the pesticide and agricultural industries in DC to discuss potential “next steps” in response to the WPS final rule. The new rule is significantly changed versus the WPS we have been working under the past 20 years. Despite meetings with EPA and USDA in which we believed some of the most onerous, and least useful, portions were stricken— EPA, with urging of the administration and apparently in cooperation with various activist groups has replaced all the issues we were most concerned with in the final rule. Because the rule is final, our only options are legal (doubtful) or political (difficult and politically costly.) We will participate in more meetings the next couple of weeks to determine any options.
The Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, held a stakeholder meeting where EPA presented on the Proposed Revisions to the Pesticide Applicator Certification Rule (EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183.) Although we earlier reported that NCAE would not comment on this rule, based on concerns over potential definitions in “Require candidates to present identification—” (page 11 of the linked presentation) we will comment on that provision to attempt to assure that proper identification includes all legal work-authorization forms of ID and is not limited to a state resident driver license, as one state has already indicated to an NCAE Member as their interpretation of that provision.