Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain, President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently granted NASDA’s request for an extension to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) rule until necessary guidance and training have been completed.
“Protecting the health and safety of agricultural workers is a fundamental priority for NASDA members,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn. “While states have been working diligently with EPA to implement the agency’s 2015 rule, the lack of needed education and training materials and other significant challenges with the rule have made the original implementation timeline unrealistic. We appreciate EPA delaying implementation until necessary guidance and training have been completed and we look forward to working with the agency to address our other concerns with the 2015 rule. EPA, state regulatory agencies, agricultural employers, trainers, farmers, and workers all have a shared responsibility to protect and promote worker safety.”
NASDA most recently requested an extension of the WPS implementation timeline in February and a number of individual state departments of agriculture have submitted similar requests. In forty-three states and Puerto Rico, the state department of agriculture is a co-regulator with EPA and responsible for administering, implementing and enforcing the production, labeling, distribution, sale, use and disposal of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and other applicable laws and regulations.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.