EPA Proposes New Rule for Pesticide Exposure Protection
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed rule that would improve and modernize the pesticide Application Exclusion Zone requirements. Those requirements are part of the 2015 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, and the agency is proposing to reinstate several provisions from that standard.
Among the changes, the revised standard includes a new provision requiring agricultural employers to keep workers and all others out of an area called the Application Exclusion Zone. The AEZ is an area surrounding an ongoing pesticide application. A previous rule change limited the AEZ to 25 feet in 2020. However, the proposed rule will change that to 100 feet for fine sprays. The distances will stay at 25 feet for medium or larger sprays when sprayed from a height greater than 12” from the soil surface.
The rule change would also apply the AEZ beyond an establishment’s boundaries, and when individuals are within easements on a producer’s land.
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