Pesticide Registration Specialist, 608-224-4547
Certification and Licensing Specialist,
Fumigant Use in
Phase 2 of
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) label changes for soil
fumigants is in effect as of December 1, 2012. The Wisconsin Department of
Agriculture, Trade is working with the EPA to provide information about these
fumigants are pesticides that form a gas when applied to soil to control
nematodes, fungi, bacteria, insects and weeds and other pests. As gases, they
move from the soil to the air at the application site and may move off site at
concentration that pose health risks to people from hours to days after
this risk, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requiring extensive new
safety measures to protect agricultural workers and those who live, work or
spend time near fumigated fields. Phase
1 of the measures was enacted in 2010. Phase 2 measures began appearing
on product labels in December 2012. The new measures apply to products
addition to these new label requirements, applicators must also adhere to the
Protection Standard and, in Wisconsin, to ATCP
30.22, which covers agricultural use of metam sodium and
Requirements Print-friendly version (4 page PDF)
distribution -- Product registrants can sell or distribute only
products bearing approved Phase 2 labels. Distributors and retailers
who are not registrants may sell and distribute existing stocks bearing Phase 1
labels until their supplies are exhausted. Similarly, growers and
applicators may apply products bearing Phase 1 labels until those
supplies are exhausted. Back to top
-- Every treated area will need a buffer zone from 25 feet
to a half mile, to exclude non-handlers for at least 48 hours after treatment.
of a buffer zone is specific to each application and depends on
factors such as field size, application rates, methods of application and
equipment. Phase 2 labels will carry lookup tables to determine buffer
can receive “credits” for using practices that
reduce emissions such as using high-barrier tarps. Applying credits
reduces the size of buffer zones.
smallest buffer zone distance is 25 feet. Also, buffer zone distances cannot be
greater than ½ mile (2,640 feet). If after applying applicable
credits, the buffer zone distances are still greater than ½
mile, the application is prohibited.
addition to credits, other options to reduce the size of buffer zones are to
change the factors that determine the size of the zone. Examples include
breaking the treated area into smaller block sizes or using a lower application
rate or different active ingredient. Applicators should consider these options
prior to the completion of the FMP.
calculators may assist applicators determine buffer zone distances and credits.
Remember that these calculators are only tools and applicators must
follow the product label if there is any discrepancy between buffer zone
distances using the label compared with using the calculator.
of the buffer zone is important for determining whether or how other
new label requirements apply. These requirements are addressed in the
Difficult to Evacuate Sites and Emergency Preparedness and Response Measures
certain label requirements are met, buffer zones cannot:
with each other.
storage buildings under the control of the owner of the application
residential areas, outdoor residential areas, buildings, or other areas that
people may occupy.
agricultural areas owned and/or operated by persons other than the owner of the
roadways and rights-of-way.
other publicly owned and/or operated areas.
requirements for buffer zones – Unless a physical
barrier prevents access to the buffer, signs must be posted at points of entry
and likely approach routes no sooner than 24 hours before application, must
remain posted until the buffer zone period expires, and must be removed within
3 days after application.
requirements for information on the buffer zone sign, location of posting and
duration of posting are different from those for the Fumigant Treated Area sign
already required by labels.
information on buffer zone posting
Back to top
plans – In addition to requirements in Phase 1, FMPs
will now have to include a map, aerial photo or detailed sketch of the
application site; buffer zone and posting information; emergency preparedness
and response measures; and other Phase 2 labeling information. Some other
details have been revised, omitted or moved to new sections.
information about FMPs
Back to top
evacuate sites – Unless certain label requirements are
met, soil fumigant applications will be prohibited within ⅛ mile of
sites with a buffer zone of 300 feet or less and within ¼ mile of
sites with a buffer zone of more than 300 feet of sites such as schools, day
care centers, prisons, and hospitals if they are occupied during the
application or in the hours afterward.
administrative rule ATCP 30 also addresses this issue for agricultural use of
chloropicrin and metam sodium. Applicators must take both Phase 2 and ATCP 30
Chart showing which
requirements to follow (1 page PDF)
Back to top
preparedness and response – If the buffer zone is more
than 25 feet or if buffer zones overlap, and there are residences or businesses
within a certain distance, emergency preparedness and response are triggered.
Applicators must do one of the following:
for sensory irritation in areas between the buffer zone outer
perimeter and the residences and businesses, or
emergency response information directly to neighbors at least 1 week
before the application.
measures are triggered, the FMP must include details regarding the
selected response option. If the monitoring option is chosen, and someone
experiences sensory irritation, the emergency response plan outlined
in the FMP must be implemented immediately.
information about emergency preparedness and response
Back to top
training – Certified applicators who supervise soil
fumigant applications will need to complete EPA-approved training programs
specific to the active ingredients used. The FMP must document the
date and location where the soil fumigant training program was completed.
applicators can satisfy this requirement by taking and passing the
recertification exam now for the soil-fumigant subcategory, even if their
certification has not expired. The new requirements have been incorporated into
the test. Note that all applicator certifications expire
concurrently. So, applicators may want to take all of their certification exams
early and start the 5 year clock ticking again. Otherwise the newly passed
soil-fumigant certification will expire when the applicator’s other
certification expires – which means it expires sooner than the usual
Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator
Back to top
Notice to state and tribal
agencies – The new labels require applicators to
provide advance notification of soil fumigations to the state and/or tribal
lead agency for the area in which they are making an application, if required
by either or both of those agencies. Labels include an address for a website
for applicators to check. DATCP is not requiring advance notification of
applications. However, applicators still need to determine whether and how the
tribes in Wisconsin require notification.
Safety information for
communities and first responders
-- In addition to
these new label provisions in Phase 2, the EPA will require manufacturers
(registrants) of these soil fumigant products to provide safety information to
communities and first responders in high use areas. EPA has determined that
Wisconsin is a “high fumigant use” state based on
metam sodium use on potatoes. (On average, over a 10-year period,
more than 100,000 pounds of metam sodium have been applied annually.)
questions about label requirements: Matt Sunseri, firstname.lastname@example.org,
questions about certification and licensing: Mike Murray, email@example.com,